After one of the more dominating stretches in recent history on the mound, Los Angeles Dodgers’ ace Clayton Kershaw was named to his fourth consecutive All-Star game on Sunday evening.
Kershaw is enjoying quite possibly his best season thus far, despite missing significant time with a disabled list stint. He became the first Dodger since Mike Piazza to be named to four straight All-Star games and has his mind set on a different goal this year.
According to Bill Shaikin of the LA Times, the left-hander wants a chance to kick things off on the mound for the National League squad:
I’d love to do it,” Kershaw said. “Obviously, there’s a ton of great candidates. I’ll be fine either way, but it would definitely be something that would be cool to do, that’s for sure.”
Kershaw is 10-2 with a 1.85 ERA and 115 strikeouts in 13 starts, including a no-hitter against the Colorado Rockies. Last season, the reigning Cy Young award winner had the numbers to earn a start, but manager Bruce Bochy went with the hometown Matt Harvey in New York. This year’s manager is Mike Matheny and he could go with his own starter Adam Wainwright, who has numbers similar to Kershaw.
While starting the game is more of an honor than a necessity, the All-Star game does count for something and the Dodgers should be a contender for a World Series berth, making the game a bit more important for the four players on the squad.
Kershaw discussed the game deciding home-field advantage and what he hopes will happen:
It’s good, I guess,” Kershaw said. “I don’t like the rule at all. It’s supposed to be an exhibition. You’re supposed to go have fun and compete, but, at the same time, that shouldn’t be the ultimate goal. It should be a really fun time for all of us. Hopefully, Dee steals a few bases and Puig hits a homer and we’ll win the game.”
It would only be fitting that the Dodgers play a significant role in a game that could ultimately aid them in their quest for a World Series championship.
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