The phrase "This One Counts" is a bit silly at this stage in the game, since the MLB All-Star Game has counted for several years now.
But the game does determine homefield advantage for the World Series, so teams have to take it seriously. That's why Tony LaRussa put the Buster Posey-Matt Cain combo out there to start the game.
Or perhaps, as Cain told The Jim Rome Show, it was because Buster Posey was "panicked" about having to catch knuckleballs from R.A. Dickey.
"I think he was panicking about it a little bit. I'm gonna throw him under the bus," Cain said. "He told me he was a little worried if he had to catch it. Ruiz did a good job actually back there with him and he took it right in stride. But I think Buster was a little bit panicked, a little bit worried about having to catch him. So it worked out well."
It certainly did -- the Giants duo (along with Melky Cabrera and Pablo Sandoval) helped stake the NL to a big lead that they never surrendered. Holding onto that lead and winning the game to get homefield, Cain told Rome, wasn't something the team thought about before the game.
But it was definitely something that Cain and the rest of the National League All-Stars thought about before the game.
"We might not be thinking about it during the game, but we brought it up before the game for sure," Cain said. "It's definitely something that needs to be known. It definitely helped out last year for sure with the Cardinals."
Look, homefield is huge -- it's hard to blame the NL for discussing ahead of time the importance of winning the game to get more games for the home team in the World Series. And I'm sure Bud Selig loves to hear about that too.
It's just surprising that they weren't thinking about it during the game -- what closing out the AL would mean for whoever ended up going to the World Series.