Friday, July 11, 2014

Saxon: Kershaw Should Start 2014 ASG

It's not going to happen.

Not that Kershaw doesn't deserve it, that's for sure. But with the Cardinals' Mike Metheny doing the managing the 2014 NL All-Star team, it's highly unlikely that Metheny will select Kershaw to start over Adam Wainwright, the Cardinals' own ace. But's Mark Saxon indicated, Kershaw's resume is more than solid enough to make him a very worthy starter.

While Kershaw's streak of 41 consecutive scoreless innings came to an end with Chase Headley's sixth-inning home run in the Dodgers' 2-1 win over the San Diego Padres on Thursday night, Kershaw said he couldn't care less about the streak. He pitched like it, too, mowing down the Padres for three more innings to cap off the complete-game three-hitter, adorned with 11 strikeouts. The streak ended. The mastery didn't.

And, coincidentally, just after the streak ended, Kershaw qualified for the NL ERA title by completing the sixth inning.

So, with Kershaw having polished off the pre-All-Star break portion of his season with an 8-0 run in which he had a 0.74 ERA, here's where he stands: He leads the league in ERA and WHIP and in strikeout-to-walk ratio (9.58) by the width of the Mississippi (Stephen Strasburg is next at 5.83).

In this case, I will admit, Matheny has plenty of cover to name Wainwright for the honor. Wainwright has made four more starts (remember, Kershaw missed more than a month because of a strained muscle in his back), piled up 35 more innings, had as many wins (11) and has a 1.79 ERA, just .01 higher than Kershaw's.

"Whatever Mike decides is fine with me," Kershaw said. "I'm just happy to get to be going and getting to go with three teammates is pretty cool."

Kershaw might say he doesn't care about starting Tuesday's game, but that might be a bit of white lie. It's strictly an honorific, but it's one of those things that stays on your resume the rest of your life. It's another check to mark off. He has the no-hitter. He has the two Cy Youngs. He's 26 and the Dodgers seem to be intent on winning for a while, so he should get enough shots at a World Series ring.

As stiff as the competition is and small as the three-month sample is, there's no guarantee he'll ever start an All-Star Game. Sandy Koufax started only one, in 1966.

I'm struck by how Kershaw is one hell of a ferocious competitor, yet he's also poised and balanced and politically appropriate with the press, when baited for the obvious answer. And at 26, no less!

Let's just win the World Series this year so we won't have this dilemma next year....


Dusty Baker said...

I'd rather him get the rest than start and pitch a few innings and get off his rotation. For me it's about the WS, not an exhibition game.

Neeebs (The Original) said...

^ Word

QuadSevens said...

If Kershaw isn't chosen to start the ASG, he can file that away in the back of his mind as motivation for the upcoming series with STL and possibly the post season.

karen said...

I hate politics.

Franklin Stubbs said...

Laughable, man.

He'd fuck them up in the first inning, or he can fuck them up in the third inning instead.

(Apologies to Quintana for the paraphrase)