This week the nation’s capital hosted the top players from around the country for the 2018 All-Star game. The week kicked off with the 2018 Home Run Derby featuring eight hitters, including Phillies left-fielder Rhys Hoskins and hometown favorite Bryce Harper.

“I grew up watching the Home Run Derby as a kid, so I think that full circle kind of moment is pretty cool,” Hoskins said before the competition.

Hoskins sailed through the first round but came up short in the semifinals against Cubs’ outfielder Kyle Schwarber who went on to face Bryce Harper in the finals. Harper sent 19 homers flying in the final round to triumph over Schwarber and walk away with the trophy. While Harper hit more homers when it counted, Schwarber hit 55 homers during the derby, more than any other player this year and the second most in derby history, with the record being 61 set by Giancarlo Stanton in 2016.

Photo from Newsday.

Storms threatened the Midsummer Classic Tuesday night, but the skilled groundskeepers at the National Stadium had the field ready by game time. After the national anthem played, players met and thanked 29 Medal of Honor recipients before the game began.

Pitcher Aaron Nola did Philadelphia proud by pitching a scoreless inning against top American League hitters. As one of the youngest Phillies pitchers in 50 years to make an All-Star debut, Nola’s 96 mph fastballs proved a formidable test for some of the AL’s best players, including Mookie Betts. Betts has only struck out 42 times this year out of 355 plate appearances, but Nola took him down with ease.

“This whole experience was fun for me,” Nola said. “Definitely memorable.”

Photo from Nola Media.

The AL led 5-3 in the ninth inning when Reds second baseman Scooter Gennett hit a home run to tie the game, forcing extra innings. Teammates Alex Bregman and George Springer, from Houston’s Astros, hit back-to-back homers in the top of the 10th inning securing the sixth victory in six years for the American League.

The National League will get the chance to even the scales on July 9, 2019 at Progressive Field in Cleveland.The Midsummer Classic returns to Cleveland after more than two decades and will be the first one played under the stadium’s new name.

 

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