Year In Review : 2012 National League
Off the field...
After two-hundred forty-four years since its first publication, the Encyclopædia Britannica discontinues its print edition.
On October 14th, Austrian skydiver Felix Baumgartner becomes the first person to break the sound barrier without any machine assistance during a record space dive out of the Red Bull Stratos helium-filled balloon from 24 miles (39 kilometers) over Roswell, New Mexico in the United States.
The 2012 phenomenon was a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or transformative events would occur around 21 December 2012. This date was regarded as the end-date of a 5,125-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar. Luckily for baseball fans (and people worldwide), the apocalypse did not occur.
In the American League...
Fenway Park celebrated its 100th birthday, with about 200 former Boston Red Sox players, managers and coaches coming out for the pre-game introduction. The New York Yankees, however, spoiled the party and defeated the Red Sox 6-2 on five home runs, all off starter Clay Buchholz.
A record-tying six Seattle Mariner pitchers combined to no-hit the Los Angeles Dodgers. Kevin Millwood threw the first six innings before leaving the game with a groin injury; he was relieved by Charlie Furbush, Stephen Pryor (who recorded his first major league victory), Lucas Luetge and Brandon League, before Tom Wilhelmsen closed out a 1–0 win and was credited with the save. The six pitchers tied a record for most in a combined no-hitter, which was set by six Houston Astros pitchers who no-hit the New York Yankees during the 2003 season.
Miguel Cabrera of the Detroit Tigers finished the season winning the American League Triple Crown, leading the league with 44 home runs, 139 runs batted in, and a .330 batting average. Cabrera became the first Triple Crown winner since Carl Yastrzemski in 1967.
In the National League...
The St. Louis Cardinals defeated the renamed Miami Marlins 4-1 in the first regular-season game at Marlins Park. The ceremonial first pitch is thrown by Muhammad Ali, who won his first of three heavyweight boxing championships by defeating Sonny Liston in Miami in 1964.
After 50 seasons and 8,020 games, the New York Mets recorded their first no-hitter as Johan Santana performed the deed in the Mets' 8-0 victory over the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field. Santana was assisted in the sixth inning by a foul ball call on a Carlos Beltran line drive over third base that appeared to land on the chalk line (Beltran eventually grounds out to third baseman David Wright) and by Mike Baxter's seventh-inning catch to rob Yadier Molina of a possible extra-base hit. The no-hitter left the San Diego Padres, who began play in 1969, as the only remaining team without a no-hitter.
The Washington Nationals defeated the visiting Los Angeles Dodgers, 4–1 on September 20th, they secured at least a National League wild card place and brought playoff baseball back to the U.S. capital for the first time in 79 years, when the Washington Senators fell to the New York Giants in the 1933 World Series.
Around the League...
New York Mets COO Jeff Wilpon, Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and owner Fred Wilpon announced that the 2013 All-Star Game will be held at Citi Field.
The National League shutout the American League, 8–0, in the 83rd All-Star Game played in Kansas City's Kaufmann Stadium. NL starting pitcher Matt Cain of the San Francisco Giants threw two shutout innings for the win, while teammates Pablo Sandoval and Melky Cabrera and Milwaukee Brewers' Ryan Braun contributed most of the offensive firepower. Sandoval hit a bases-loaded triple and scored one run during a five-run first inning off Detroit Tigers' Justin Verlander, while Braun doubled, tripled and made a fine catch in the outfield. Cabrera belted a two-run home run and scored two times to take home the MVP Award. Atlanta Braves' Chipper Jones singled in his final All-Star at-bat, at age 40.
Major League Baseball expanded its playoff format to ten teams for the 2012 season, adding a second wild card in each league. The decision established a new one-game, wild-card round in each league between the teams with the best records.