Sunday, July 6, 2014
Kershaw wants to start All-Star Game
By Brent W. New Special to ESPNLosAngeles.com
Starting the All-Star Game would "definitely be something that would be cool to do," Clayton Kershaw said.
DENVER -- If it were up to him, Los Angeles Dodgers southpaw Clayton Kershaw said he’d be thrilled to start in the All-Star Game on July 15 at Target Field in Minneapolis.
“Yeah sure, I’d love to do it,” Kershaw said Sunday following the Dodgers’ 8-2 victory over Colorado.
Kershaw, who was selected to his fourth consecutive National League squad, will join Dodgers teammates Dee Gordon, Zack Greinke and Yasiel Puig in the Midsummer Classic.
The $215 million man, per his latest contract, has dominated the opposition this season and is the favorite to start the game on the mound for the NL squad, to be managed by Mike Matheny of the St. Louis Cardinals. Kershaw (10-2) has a 1.85 ERA, a 0.87 WHIP and carries a streak of 36 innings without allowing a run into his next start, likely Thursday against the San Diego Padres.
It seems as if the only thing Kershaw hasn’t done of late is start an All-Star Game. And indeed, he never has. In Kershaw’s two Cy Young seasons, Giants manager Bruce Bochy was making the decision, and he went with Roy Halladay in 2011 and Matt Harvey in 2013 over Kershaw.
“Obviously there’s a ton of great candidates for it," Kershaw said of getting the nod. "I’ll be fine either way, but it [would] definitely be something that would be cool to do for sure."
Unhappy with All-Star rules: Kershaw gave his two cents about the rule that stipulates that the league that wins the All-Star Game gets home-field advantage for its World Series participant.
“I don’t like the rule at all,” Kershaw said. “It’s just 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."
Not alone: Kershaw was excited for his selection, although it was fully expected. But what the southpaw said he really cherished Sunday was watching his teammates celebrate.
“[I’m] really excited for the guys, Dee and Puig, the first-time guys. And getting to do it with Greinke as well,” he said. “It makes it special. I’ve never gotten to go with four of my teammates before, so that’s pretty special. You know, just seeing how excited Dee was, and I know Puig is excited too, is cool.”
How is Kershaw getting better? Catcher A.J. Ellis tried to explain it.
“I think the biggest thing for me has been the consistency of the breaking balls,” Ellis said after Kershaw’s eight-inning outing Friday in Colorado. “You know usually he’ll have his ‘A’ slider but his ‘C’ or ‘D’ curveball, or vice-versa where his slider isn’t working but his curveball is. But during this run, I mean, he’s had an ‘A’ curveball and an ‘A’ slider this entire time.
"And they are both electric strikeout pitches, which is why I think you’re seeing him have pretty good strikeout totals that have been unmatched in his career. When he gets two strikes he can go either way he wants to go.”