All-Stars Showcase Modern MLB: HRs, Strikeouts, Shifts

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By RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The All-Star Game showcased what baseball has become — home runs, strikeouts and offense-killing shifts.

The National League didn’t have a hit between the first and eighth innings of Tuesday night’s 3-2 loss, its ninth in a row.

Juan Soto, Kyle Schwarber and Jake Cronenworth all hit groundouts that might have been hits before the rise of computer programs that tell teams to place three and sometimes four players on the same side of second base.

The batter’s eye in center field offered a vivid display of what has overtaken baseball — an array of high-speed cameras and radar equipment that track every ball’s spin, every player’s sprint and stumble.

The NL did all its scoring during Shane McClanahan’s first 13 pitches of the first inning, getting Ronald Acuña Jr’s leadoff double, Mookie Betts’ RBI single and Paul Goldschmidt’s homer.

Not a surprise in a season that has been the big league batting average dip to .242, its lowest since 1967.

Baseball’s competition committee is considering changes for next season that some purists consider revolutionary and some conclude necessary. A pitch clock is almost certain after testing throughout the minors this year.

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