Sunday, July 7, 2013

Kershaw is an All-Star, Puig and Gonzalez on Final Vote

For the third straight year, Clayton Kershaw will be representing the Dodgers in the Midsummer Classic with the National League.  The last Dodger pitcher to be selected three straight years was closer Eric Gagne from 2002-2004, and the last starting pitcher was the great Orel Hershiser from 1987-1989.  Some great company, indeed.

Kershaw will start today in San Francisco, which lines up his final start before the break on Friday, July 12.  You can bet Bruce Bochy will get an inning or two out of him on four-day's rest as the NL looks to win their fourth consecutive ASG.

What's interesting about the pitchers for the NL is how inexperienced they are in the ASG.  The only other starters with multiple selections are Cliff Lee (four) and Adam Wainwright (two).  Craig Kimbrel (three) and Aroldis Chapman (two) are the only closers with more than one.  I can imagine young studs like Matt Harvey and Jose Fernandez will be leaning on the "grizzled veterans" of Kershaw and Lee on how to prepare for such a game like this one.

Perhaps the biggest news to come out of the selections is on the Final Vote, where both Yasiel Puig and Adrian Gonzalez have a chance to be voted in by the fans.  I bet Gonzalez had a good laugh about this one, as he probably feels like he has no chance to get in over Puig.  And who can blame him?  Nothing against Gonzo, but it would be shocking if Puig lost.

I wonder if the ASG was on Puig's mind as he struck out four times in a loss to the Giants on Saturday.  Everyone is due a stinker, and after 31 games, he finally had his.  Even so, other than Gonzo, the remaining competition is Ian Desmond, Hunter Pence, and Freddie Freeman.  They're all great players, but again, this seems like Puig's vote to lose.

Something everyone needs to remember is that injury replacements are always needed, especially with starting pitchers being ineligible to pitch in the ASG if they start the Sunday before the break.  In that case, I bet Hyun-Jin Ryu and Kenley Jansen have decent shots of being added.  Heck, even Gonzo could make it if not voted in, as I can recall that happening to Andre Ethier a couple of years back.  In other words, stay tuned.

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