Cleveland: Michael Brantley came back, took a well-deserved bow and delivered like always. Shane Bieber pitched a perfect inning and took home an MVP trophy and a shiny new pickup truck.
On an idyllic night for baseball, Cleveland connections shone brightest at the All-Star Game. Even Sandy Alomar Jr, whose storybook home run the last time the game was played at Progressive Field in 1997 made him an MVP and local legend, enjoyed another moment on the star-studded stage.
And then Bieber matched him, winning MVP honours after striking out the side in the fifth as the AL staff combined for 16 strikeouts in a 4-3 win over the NL and returned pitching to prominence a night after Vladimir Guerrereo Jr, Pete Alonso and Joc Pederson knocked balls over Progressive Field’s walls with stunning ease.
“It’s an incredible feeling now, now that it’s kind of sinking in,” Bieber said. “Just to be able to do it in front of the home crowd and my first All-Star Game is definitely not something I expected, especially being added to the game four or five days ago.”