Astros reflect on All-Star Game
Tejada plays nine innings; Berkman makes early departure
HOUSTON -- Astros Miguel Tejada and Lance Berkman both participated in a very historic All-Star Game, and although they got a little less rest than their teammates, both were honored to be a part of the 15-inning contest on Tuesday.
Tejada, who had two hits and one run scored and was instrumental in a couple of big defensive plays, played the last nine innings of the game, which neither he nor the rest of the National League team expected.
But when the game dragged on frame after frame, the NL had no choice but to leave him in the game.
"What I remember the most is that the last six innings of that game were really intense," Tejada said. "Every play was a play at the plate. That's exciting, and my heart kept beating in that game. That's going to be history."
Tejada said he was so focused that he did not even realize the game had ended in the 15th. He was still concerned about making another out.
The All-Star Game holds more weight now that the winning team gets home-field advantage in the World Series. Although the American League won, 4-3, for its 11th victory in 12 All-Star Games since 1996, Tejada said he was proud of the way his team played.
"It would have been so amazing if that game had ended with nobody winning," he said. "That's not an exhibition game anymore. It's a competition now. I could see in everybody's eyes in the National League that they were really hungry to win. We lost the game, but at the same time we're all proud because we never quit. We always tried to make that last one. I thought we lost because we were the visiting team. If we were the home team, I think we would have won."
Berkman, who made it to the second round of the State Farm Home Run Derby the previous night, said he and his family left New York after being removed in the sixth inning.
He said after the game that was the Midsummer Classic, he is still not sure how much rest he actually got during the so-called break.
"Whenever you get two pitching staffs together like that, it's going to be real tough to score runs, so it's not surprising that it was a low-scoring game and nobody could really break through," Berkman said. "It seemed like every time up you're facing closer, closer, closer. Those guys are used to shutting other teams out, and especially for one inning, there's not a whole lot offensively you can do."
Krysten Oliphant is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.