With Clayton Kershaw and the Los Angeles Dodgers making the decision for the left-handed ace to start Sunday in the finale against the Kansas City Royals, it’s preventing him from pitching in the 2017 MLB All-Star Game.
There wasn’t much surprise, as Kershaw and the Dodgers both maintained throughout last week he would make his last scheduled turn in the rotation of the first half. “It would almost be weird if I didn’t pitch,” Kershaw told Alanna Rizzo and Jerry Hairston Jr. during an interview on SportsNet LA.
“It being my turn to start on Sunday, it just made sense to do it.” Kershaw went on to throw his first complete game of the season.
He received a seventh consecutive All-Star selection, and this year will be the second in a row he does not appear in the Midsummer Classic. What’s more, Kershaw has yet to start an All-Star Game.
Even if Kershaw remained eligible, getting the nod for the National League team still may have been an uphill battle. If it were up to him, Washington Nationals ace Max Scherzer would start the All-Star Game.
“As much fun as it would be to start an All-Star Game, I would love to get to do that, but you look at the numbers and Max Scherzer has had a better first half,” Kershaw said. “If I was managing the team, it would make some sense for Max to start.”
Scherzer, who made his last start of the first half on Friday, is 10-5 with a 2.10 ERA, 2.62 FIP and 0.78 WHIP in 18 starts this season. His 35.5 percent strikeout rate is on pace to set a career high.
Kershaw closed out the first half 14-2 with a 2.18 ERA, 3.01 FIP and 0.88 WHIP. He’s third in the Majors with 159 strikeouts and first with 132.1 innings pitched; Scherzer is second with 173 strikeouts and second with 128.1 innings.