If you asked me before last night's All-Star game how I expected our Chicago boys--White Sox Matt Thornton and Paul Konerko, and Cubbie Marlon Byrd--to perform in the game, I would have said Thornton will get a key out against a lefty batter, Paulie will deliver a late-inning clutch hit and Byrd will not touch the field unless the game goes into extras (I also would have said the National League will lose again).
Boy, was I wrong: Thornton actually squared off against Byrd (both an SBW dream and nightmare) in a key situation and walked him after possibly the most intense at-bat of the game. Thornton then gave up what would prove to be the game-winning hit, a three-run double by left-handed hitter Brian McCann that scored the always-hustling Byrd from first base. Speaking of hustling, Byrd also saved the first N.L. All-Star win in 14 years by charging a shallow 9th inning fly ball, grabbing it on the first bounce and spinning around and throwing to second in time to force out David Ortiz, who had been on first but had to wait to see if the ball would drop.
As for Paulie, he got his late-inning at-bat, but struck out.
McCann may have been the obvious MVP of the night, but Byrd was awfully close, and it's nice to see a Cub get the spotlight for something positive during this otherwise tough season. As for Thornton and Konerko, time to forget about this game, and go about the business of keeping the Sox in first place.
Behind Sinclair's 'Project Baltimore'
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