Heading into the All-Star Game St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Mathney was under some scrutiny for his decision to start Adam Wainwright ahead of Clayton Kershaw.
Wainwright’s performance in the first inning did little to validate his manager’s choice. Behind a double, triple and home run, the American League took a 3-0 lead into the second inning.
The situation then took another twist when Wainwright stated he purposely threw fastballs to Derek Jeter, who was playing in the final All-Star Game of his career. Jeter promptly hit the leadoff double that led to the AL’s rally.
Wainwright later attempted to clarify his remarks, but the damage had been done. Like Kershaw, Zack Greinke threw one perfect inning of relief.
When asked if he would have done the same for Jeter as what Wainwright initially stated he did, Greinke said he likely wouldn’t throw pitches down the heart of the plate, according to ESPN LA’s Mark Saxon:
I don’t think I would throw it right down the middle to him by any means,” Greinke said. “At least, ideally I wouldn’t. I don’t think he would want that either. He wants your best stuff. I would probably try to throw best stuff — four strikes — and see what happens.”
Greinke entered the game in the fourth inning and struck out two of the three batters he faced. Collectively, Greinke and Kershaw threw two innings, didn’t allow one hit and picked up three strikeouts.
The Cardinals and Dodgers will begin a three-game series in St. Louis on Friday. Aside from Lance Lynn scheduled to take the mound for the Cardinals, Matheny has not yet set his rotation.
After Haren takes the ball in Friday’s game, Greinke and Kershaw are scheduled for starts in the following games.
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