The 2011 MLB All Star Game kicks off Tuesday evening at 5:00pm on ESPN and will feature some of the best talent baseball has to offer. The Oakland Athletics are having a tough season and will only send lone representative Gio Gonzalez. While Gonzalez is the mandatory representative, he has put together a strong 2011 campaign and is a worthy selection to Ron Washington's AL roster.
The question for A's fans is if and when Gonzalez will get a chance to face National League hitters. The A's pitchers have had a mix of success. Here is a rundown of the A's performances since 2005:
2010: Trevor Cahill and Andrew Bailey represented the A's at Angel Stadium. Bailey pitched 1/3 of an inning giving up a walk and getting a strikeout to end the seventh inning.
2009: Andrew Bailey was the lone representative and did not make an appearance in the game.
2008: Justin Duchscherer represented the A's and got in one inning of work, giving up three hits and an earned run.
2007: Dan Haren represented the A's and was the American League's starting pitcher. He threw two innings giving up one run on two hits and a walk.
2006: Barry Zito pitched a perfect fifth inning as the A's lone representative.
2005: Justin Duchscherer did not appear in the game.
This doesn't provide much in the way of predictive information as to whether Gonzalez will make an appearance in the game. Jered Weaver will make the start for the American League team and likely pitch two innings. After that it's anybody's guess how Ron Washington will use his bullpen. I could see Gonzalez coming around the fifth inning if he is not locked in as the emergency extra-innings pitcher. Let's hope former Oakland A's Ron Washington doesn't do that to Gio.