Pirates’ Josh Bell collects 1 of NL’s 5 hits in All-Star Game loss | TribLIVE.com
Pirates/MLB

Pirates’ Josh Bell collects 1 of NL’s 5 hits in All-Star Game loss

Jerry DiPaola
1389801_web1_1389801-b92dc8b2607647e08de1dea4f8436699
AP
National League’s Josh Bell, of the Pittsburgh Pirates, singles during the second inning of the MLB All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland.
1389801_web1_1389801-6eee03e3a12147f49e3365d5128e943f
AP
Josh Bell, of the Pittsburgh Pirates, and Javier Baez, of the Chicago Cubs, pose for a photo before the MLB All-Star Game, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland.
1389801_web1_1389801-2c6d028982204e6bac3f19d9999cc466
AP
National League’s Josh Bell, of the Pittsburgh Pirates, runs to first for a single during the second inning of the MLB All-Star Game against the American League, Tuesday, July 9, 2019, in Cleveland.

CLEVELAND – Josh Bell has a plan for the next time he faces the Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka. He’s just not speaking about it publicly.

If there is a next time, it could be in a World Series.

Until then, Tanaka must live with the fact that Bell got the best of him Tuesday night in the National League’s 4-3 loss to the American League in the All-Star Game at Progressive Field. But the Pittsburgh Pirates’ slugger, who has hit 27 home runs this seasons, did it with legs and hustle as opposed to muscle.

Bell batted twice as the designated hitter, the first time sending a groundball to the Yankees’ D.J. LeMahieu at deep second. He was called out by umpire Brian O’Nora, but the call was reviewed and overturned.

“I definitely felt I was safe,” he said. “Glad we have replay.”

When he was asked what his approach might be the next time he faces Tanaka, Bell was coy.

“I don’t know if I want him to know that,” he said, “but I felt like I missed that curveball away. I definitely don’t want to help him.”

The game was an exhibition, but the American League shifted the infield to the right side against him, anyway.

“I don’t think (the shift) is going anywhere soon unless I lay down a bunt,” Bell said, “which is probably not going to happen.”

Bell grounded out against the White Sox’s Lucas Giolito with a runner on second base to end the fourth inning.

Bell said the pitch was a fastball on the inner half of the plate.

“I think it was a ball,” he said. “Haven’t looked at it yet. Should have stayed away there. He threw a fastball away (on the previous pitch). I should have stayed with that approach. He busted me in and my eyes got big and he took it from me.”

Bell said he enjoyed his first All-Star experience, especially time spent with childhood friend Trevor Story of the Rockies. The two Texans spent much of the night in the dugout, reliving childhood memories, Bell said.

Bell made an out, but at least he didn’t strike out. Nine American League pitchers – one per inning – recorded 16 strikeouts.

“That’s baseball, that’s where it’s going, homers and strikeouts,” Bell said. “Just part of the game.”

The Indians’ Shane Bieber, who struck out the side in the fifth to the delight of the announced crowd of 36,747, was named Ted Williams All-Star Game MVP. He’s the first pitcher so honored since the Yankees’ Mariano Rivera in 2013 and the third player named MVP in his home ballpark. He joined the Red Sox’s Pedro Martinez in Fenway Park in 1999 and the Indians’ Sandy Alomar Jr. at Progressive in 1997.

The National League managed only five hits, including a home run by the Rockies’ Charlie Blackmon in the sixth and a two-run single by Home Run Derby champion Pete Alonso of the Mets in the eighth.

The American League took a 4-1 lead in the bottom of the seventh on a double-play grounder by the Red Sox’s Xander Bogaerts and a home run by the Rangers’ Joey Gallo into the right-field seats.

Gallo’s was the hardest hit of the night, leaving his bat at 111.5 mph.

National League manager Dave Roberts of the Dodgers called on the Giants’ Will Smith to pitch to Gallo, a relief to Pirates’ closer Felipe Vazquez. Gallo homered off Vazquez on April 30 in Texas.

“I was scared, oh, here we go again,” Vazquez said. “I thought, `He’s going to call on me,’ but he called Smith. I felt a little relief.”

Vazquez never got in the game, but he said he might have pitched the 10th inning, if necessary.

“It’s all good,” he said. “One of us got in. Josh represented us. I’m happy for him.”

Bell wasn’t pleased with the loss, but it was the seventh in a row by the American League, which owns a 25-6-1 record in the past 32 All-Star Games.

Jerry DiPaola is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jerry by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .

Categories: Sports | Pirates
TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.