After Clayton Kershaw's latest gem on Tuesday, a 2-0 win over the Royals in which he hurled eight shutout innings, the talk of getting him his first All-Star Game start has only been intensified.
In keeping with recent All-Star tradition, I immediately took a look at how much rest he would be on if he was asked to start. What I found is very encouraging to Dodger fans: if everything lines up over the next three weeks, Kershaw will make his final start before the break on Thursday, July 10 against the Padres.
That means the All-Star Game in Minnesota the following Tuesday will be on his normal four days' rest. Perfect!
Kershaw is still a few innings away from all of his stats becoming official. Right now, his 2.42 ERA would put him third in the National League, right ahead of teammate Josh Beckett. His 94 strikeouts rank him 10th, and that's with roughly 30 innings less than the top pitchers like Stephen Strasburg and Johnny Cueto.
For comparison's sake, here's a look at other contenders to start the ASG, and what their rest would be the day of the game:
Johnny Cueto: 2 days
Adam Wainwright: 2 days
Julio Teheran: 1 days
Jeff Samardzija: 5 days
Tim Hudson: 4 days
Josh Beckett: 2 days
Keep in mind that rotations can easily be tweaked, so nothing is set in stone. This is simply a look at how it would all play out according to the current layout of each team's rotation.
There have already been many great accomplishments in Kershaw's career, but one thing he has not achieved is ASG starter. That's looking more and more like a possibility based on his recent run (21 straight scoreless innings, no-hitter), and because it would be a nod to his overall success so early in his career.
It will ultimately be Mike Matheny's decision, as the Cardinals skipper will be managing the NL. But let's make it easy - start Kershaw, watch him throw two shutout innings, unleash the other strong arms on the AL, and get the home field advantage back to the NL for the World Series! Make it happen!