"Winning teams make things go right, right from the start," said Joe Morgan, who right from the start put the National League in command of the 48th All-Star Game by leading off the first inning with a home run. The National Leaguers kept making things go their way. Before that inning was over, Dave Parker had singled and, with a well-calculated slide to the outside of the plate, eluded Catcher Carlton Fisk as he scored on George Foster's double. Foster scored moments later, ambling home ahead of Greg Luzinski's homer.
Jim Palmer, who had pitched eight shutout innings during his past three All-Star Games, then yielded his third home run of the night to Steve Garvey in the third to put the NL up 5-0. When American League Manager Billy Martin yanked him after that blast, Palmer said, "What took you so long?"
It took the American Leaguers until the sixth to score. Don Sutton, the game's MVP, gave up just one hit in the first three innings and Gary Lavelle one during the next two. Then along came the pitcher who is fast becoming the AL's favorite: Tom Seaver. During the pregame introductions, the Yankee Stadium crowd of 56,683 had saved its biggest ovation for Seaver, who was in New York for the first time since being traded to Cincinnati. When Seaver took to the mound, though, it was AL batters who wanted to cheer. Richie Zisk drove in two runs against him in the sixth and Willie Randolph another in the seventh. At that point, over the last 23 innings in three All-Star Games, the AL had scored seven runs—all against Seaver.
With their lead trimmed to 5-3, the National Leaguers got busy, scoring twice in the eighth on Dave Winfield's single. A two-run homer in the ninth by George Scott of the AL made the final score 7-5. It was the sixth consecutive victory for the NL and the 14th in 15 games, increasing its advantage in the series to 29-18-1.
Assorted reasons were given for this continuation of NL superiority. Sutton felt that having an AL umpire, Bill Kunkel, behind the plate helped him. "Some of my high fastballs would have been balls in the National League," Sutton said. Billy Martin had promised to "manage like this is the seventh game of the World Series," but got little chance to do so. Three pitchers he had banked on—Frank Tanana, Mark Fidrych and Vida Blue—missed the game because of arm troubles. And Nolan Ryan, who was upset because he was not chosen originally, declined Martin's belated invitation and instead went to the beach.
Said Scott: "The fans voted bad. We didn't have our best players on the field at the start. The fans robbed us of our artillery. We had 90 taters on the pine." Translated, that was George's way of saying the AL bench was stocked with sluggers, including Scott himself (25 homers), Jim Rice (23), Larry Hisle (21) and Graig Nettles (20).
During a personal seven-game losing streak, Mark Lemongello of Houston (2-2) admitted he was so upset that he "even thought of suicide, but I figured if I tried I'd probably miss." Lemongello was alive and well last week, and got his first win since May 13 by beating Cincinnati 3-1 with relief help from Joe Niekro. Five days later Lemongello went the distance for the first time to stop St. Louis 4-2.
Also delighted to be a winner again was John Montefusco of the Giants (1-3), who missed 63 days because of a bum ankle. Another returnee, Tim Foli, helped the Count beat the Phillies 6-2 by hitting two homers. Foli had been out for a month with three cracked ribs.