The 2012 Midsummer Classic was a bit of a snoozer to be quite honest. The game was over before it really got started as the NL led by Pablo Sandoval who drove in 3 with a triple in the 5-run 1st inning against Justin Verlander, and eventual MVP Melky Cabrera went deep in his former home ballpark. The game meandered on as many A’s fans probably wondered if another All Star Game would pass without any appearance by the Athletics. Ron Washington though saw fit to get his former organization a moment in the sun on one of baseball’s biggest stages. Ryan Cook came in for the 7th inning, and he did not disappoint.
Sure it wasn’t Reggie Jackson nearly taking down the transformer at Tiger Stadium with a mammoth home run, it wasn’t Terry Steinbach winning the MVP, it wasn’t the A’s battery of Keith Foulke and Ramon Hernandez closing out the NL, but Ryan Cook showed everyone in the world just how filthy his stuff can be. I wasn’t able to watch the game personally due to work obligations, and probably would have elected not to either way, but I followed along on the MLB.com At Bat app on my phone and when Cook’s first pitch was a ball way outside on the pitch tracker I got worried. We all have seen how Ryan Cook can lose all control of his downright nasty stuff and get himself into major trouble, and a rookie pitcher on a big stage like this can be swallowed up by it.
Cook managed to freeze the golden boy of the nation’s capital Bryce Harper with a 96 MPH fastball on the inner half of the plate. Harper simply had no chance at that pitch as it tailed over the plate. Carlos Ruiz of the Phillies was Cook’s second victim, hitting a harmless fly ball to Mike Trout in left field. Then came the final batter Cook faced, New York Mets third baseman (And personal number 1 man crush which I’m not ashamed to admit) David Wright came to the plate with some very bright neon orange spikes. Cook proved his neon gold and white spikes were far superior as he threw essentially the same pitch he struck out Harper looking with to the right handed Wright, with the exact same result.
Sure it was completely meaningless at that point in the game, his outing was glorified mop up duty for the AL, but it doesn’t matter. The Oakland Athletics were not well represented at the All Star Game, but they certainly were represented well by Ryan Cook.