CHICAGO -- Jason Schmidt, less than one year removed from starting the first game of a World Series that made it all the way to seven games, is not unfamiliar with being in the spotlight during some of baseball's biggest events.
But the role of starting pitcher in an All-Star Game was an entirely new one for the soft-spoken right-hander, who was clearly relishing every moment of the glitz and glitter of the Midsummer Classic on Tuesday.
"It was outstanding," he said. "A couple of outstanding lineups, great bullpens, everyone had fun."
Whether Barry Bonds -- 0-for-3 with no walks and no strikeouts -- embraced the All-Star experience as much as his Giants teammate is up for debate, as the left fielder left the clubhouse before the media was allowed in and was therefore unavailable for comment.
But back to Schmidt. He pitched two innings, faced eight batters, allowed one hit and did not give up a run. He threw 26 pitches, 18 for strikes.
Schmidt got through the first frame with ease, after coaxing a groundout and two fly balls for a 1-2-3 inning. In the second, he struck out Alex Rodriguez and Garret Anderson before hitting Edgar Martinez with a pitch. He yielded a base hit to Hideki Matsui but struck out Troy Glaus, capping a pretty good day in front of 47,609 mostly American League fans at U.S. Cellular Field.
"It was my first time in that situation so I kind of felt like a rookie going out for my first start," Schmidt said. "The first inning was a little rocky for me. To come into that situation like this, you think about that a little bit. They came out swinging and I got out of the inning quick, got to sit down and start that second inning with less pressure."
Schmidt wasn't pleased with the 7-6 final score that handed home-field advantage in the World Series over to the American League. But like most of his NL teammates, the point was to have fun, put on an impressive display for the fans, play competitively and try to win. By all accounts, the mission was accomplished.
Schmidt -- a 30-year-old veteran of eight big-league seasons -- twice referred to having rookie feelings on this warm July night in the South Side of Chicago. Even if his start last October in Anaheim bore much greater importance, no player wants to embarrass himself during one of the top highlights on the baseball calendar.
"It definitely helped being in the playoffs last year," Schmidt said. "But I felt like a rookie out there. You just want to get out of that first inning, for sure."
It could be argued that in some respects, pitching in an All-Star Game is more difficult than a World Series contest; after all, when you put the best players in all of baseball on one team, there is no bottom of the order. Everyone -- one through nine -- is capable of hitting that game-winning home run.
"It's unreal, the lineup they had," Schmidt said. "It's one after another after another. You can't let your guard down, ever.
"It was a good time. It was fun, even though we lost, we had a great time. It was fun to meet all these guys. It's something that once you experience it once, you want to get here again."
Alyson Footer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.