Brewers closer would have pitched 11th inning of Midsummer Classic for NL
By Patrick Pinak
MIAMI -- Corey Knebel was ready in the bullpen, champing at the bit to get into the National League's 2-1 extra-innings loss to the American League in the 88th MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard.
"I was hot. I was the next pitcher to go in and ready to go," Knebel said. "I was hoping we would score two right there in the bottom of the 10th. Sometimes it just happens for a reason."
But ultimately, the Brewers' lone All-Star -- who entered sporting a 1.70 ERA and a 15.94 strikeout-per-nine-innings ratio -- was forced to watch the National League fall from the bullpen.
Knebel did, however, enjoy his first career Midsummer Classic experience.
"Oh, it was awesome," he said. "Just watching everything; low-scoring game, good hitters, good pitchers. It was great."
Last year at this time, Knebel was in the Pacific Coast League with Triple-A Colorado Springs. After posting a 4.68 ERA in 35 relief appearances with the Brewers in 2016, he wouldn't have dreamt of being in Miami on Tuesday.
"It is very surreal," he said. "I mean, last year coming into the All-Star break, I was still in the Minors. So to be here now, it's a dream come true."
Knebel said his favorite part of his All-Star Game experience was during the pregame ceremonies.
"Being introduced, that was probably the coolest part," he said. "Being next to Kenley [Jansen] and [Michael] Conforto on my other side, that was fun."
Now he gets two days off before the first-place Brewers (50-41) begin their second half at Miller Park against the Phillies. And Knebel already has big things on his mind.
"The All-Star Game is awesome, but we're here to win the World Series," he said. "That's what we're gonna shoot for."
Patrick Pinak is a reporter for MLB.com based in Miami. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.