Okay, I’ll be the first to admit that when I wrote on Friday I’d skip the Fall Stars Game, I anticipated that not only would the Phils’ lone representative Austin Listi not get into the contest, but even if he did get in his stats thus far didn’t predict that he’d contribute much. So we’d be content to spectate day games with fellow Phillies fan Robin and her husband (this photo courtesy of Dave), and catch the end of last night’s game on MLB-TV.
Apparently, as Yogi might say, that’s why they play the games and don’t rely on my predictions! Listi had a big night after entering the game midway, with a walk, groundout RBI, and capped by a no-doubt-about-it 3 run homer into the left field bullpen in the top of the 8th to put the East ahead 6-5. His bomb had a 101 mph exit velocity (weren’t you dying to know that?), and seemed to position him to be in line for the game’s MVP.
Now don’t take what I’m about to say as diminishing Austin’s near heroics, because it was a thrilling moment of the game and you had to feel really good for the kid. But in the bottom of the 9th with one on, two out, and a 3-2 count, the West’s Buddy Reed launched a shot that the East’s center fielder misjudged. That is Listi’s play to back up, and though the runner was off from second with the crack of the bat and would have scored anyway, Austin misplayed the ball into a triple by failing to barehand it as it caromed his way off the wall.
So that put Buddy Reed on 3rd base to walk off with the winning run and rob Austin Listi of his MVP chances. Although he certainly wasn’t considered one of the “big names” coming into last night’s game, Austin made his mark and reminded me why we go to these games. And yes, I’ll plan on attending the Fall Stars Game next year!