Play ball! Again!
The two most uneventful days of the sports calendar are over. The MLB All-Star break is behind us. In cased you missed it, the Senior Circuit routed the American League as if it were the 1970s and John Kruk dominated some ribs as if he were at the drive-in that Fred Flinstone frequented in Bedrock. With all that behind us, the race to October begins. As the second half of the 2012 baseball season gets underway on Friday, and there are plenty of star-driven storylines that could dramatically change the league's landscape. Will Pittsburgh and Baltimore continue their surprising seasons near the top of the standings? Will the phree-falling Phillies trade World Series MVP Cole Hamels? Will the Nationals really shut down Stephen Strasburg if they're still in the playoff hunt?
But before we find out the answers to those pressing questions, let's take one last look back and the most thrilling, confounding and unexpected moments of the first half of the season. From Johan Santana's historic night in Queens to Josh Hamilton's four home-run performance, the game stars have certainly delivered. Well, except for Tim Lincecum. Meanwhile, Mike Trout has done just about everything possible to break into the league's upper echelon. Of course, there have also been plenty of miscues and missed calls. And, needless to say, Ozzie Guillen got himself into trouble.
Sound off in the comments below and let us know if we missed any memorable moments.
Mike Trout's Amazing Catch - June 27, 2012
Rookie Mike Trout of the Los Angeles Angels robbed J.J. Hardy of a home run with an amazing leaping grab at the wall in Baltimore.
Bryce Harper's First Homerun - May 14, 2012
The young phenom went deep to record his first career homerun in the major leagues en route to a 8-5 win over the Pirates.
Phil Humber's Perfect Game - April 21, 2012
Phil Humber threw the 21st perfect game in MLB history for the Chicago White Sox in Seattle in a 4-0 win over the Mariners.
Scott Hairston's Cycle - April 28, 2012
Scott Hairston of the New York Mets hit for the cycle to help numb the pain of a 18-9 loss to Rockies in Colorado.
Umpire's Huge Blown Call - May 2, 2012
The Rockies got a break when umpire Tim Welke made perhaps the worst call of the season at first base.
Ozzie's Castro Comments - April 7, 2012
Ozzie Guillen addressed the media in response to the comments he made previously about his admiration for Fidel Castro. Guillen was later suspended for five games.
Jared Weaver's No-Hitter - May 2, 2012
Jared Weaver of the Los Angeles Angels threw a no-hit performance in Anaheim in a 9-0 win over the Twins. Weaver struck out nine and walked one while throwing 121 pitches.
Chris Davis Gets The Win - May 6, 2012
Surprisingly, Orioles' first baseman Chris Davis took the mound in his first-ever MLB pitching appearance during extra innings against the Red Sox. Davis eventually earned the win in Boston after striking out two, 9-6.
Josh Hamilton Hits 4 HRs - May 10, 2012
Josh Hamilton put on a show in Camden Yards, going 5-for-5 with four homeruns, and a double for a total of 18 bases on the night - an AL record. Hamilton became the first player in MLB history to hit four homeruns in one game in the 10-3 win against the Orioles.
Andy Pettitte Returns - May 13, 2012
Andy Pettitte returned to mound in the Bronx for the first time since retiring after the 2010 postseason.
Beckett Gets Booed In Boston - May 10, 2012
Josh Beckett was booed mercilessly in Boston after giving up seven runs in 2 1/3 innings and golfing with an injury on an off day. The ace redeemed himself during his next outing, striking out nine and defeating the Mariners, 5-0.
Stanton's Slam Breaks Scoreboard - May 21, 2012
Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton launched a grand slam to demolish the scoreboard at the new home of the Miami Marlins against the Colorado Rockies.
Johan Santana's No-No - June 1, 2012
Johan Santana threw nine innings of no-hit baseball to deliver the first no-hitter in New York Mets franchise history. Santana's last out came at the expense of 2011 World Series MVP David Freese.
Matt Cain's Perfecto - June 13, 2012
Matt Cain recorded the first perfect game in San Francisco Giants history with a 10-0 win over the Astros. The perfect game was the 22nd in MLB history.
Dickey's Consecutive One-Hitters - June 13, 18
The knuckleball wonder threw two back-to-back one-hit games to beat the Rays and the Orioles, while breaking Jerry Koosman's scoreless inning streak with 32 2/3 innings. With his second one-hitter, Dickey struck out 13 and became the first pitcher of the season to tally 11 wins.
Twins' Incredible Double Play - June 16, 2012
Brian Dozier scooped up a grounder redirected off of Jeff Manship's mitt to trigger an amazing 1-6-4-3 double play.
Aaron Hill's Second Cycle - June 18, 2012
Aaron Hill tripled in the sixth inning to become the second player since 1931 to hit for the cycle twice in the same season. The Diamondbacks would go on to beat the Mariners, 7-1.
DeWayne Wise Fools Umpire - June 26, 2012
New York Yankee's DeWayne Wise made a leaping dive into the stands at Yankee Stadium and appeared to catch a Jack Hannahan foul ball. Without looking at the ball, Wise fooled the umpire into thinking he made the catch when he never did. The umpire called the third out to retire the side.