Matheny picks the second best guy to start the All-Star Game Kershaw gets ASG start snub - again

Perhaps it should come as no surprised that the guy who finished second in the 2013 World Series (i.e. – the loser) selected the second best pitcher in the National League to start the 2014 All-Star Game tomorrow night at Target Field in Minneapolis.

Granted, as the manager of the National League All-Star team it is Cardinals manager Mike Matheny’s prerogative to pick whoever he wants to start the game for the NL, but if he would have taken the two or three seconds necessary to see who the best pitcher in the National League (and all of baseball for that matter) really is instead of ‘rewarding his guy’, it would be Clayton Kershaw on the mound in the bottom of the first inning tomorrow night and not Adam Wainwright.

Although Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright pitched exceptionally well against the Dodgers on June 26 at Dodger Stadium, he got beat 1-0  - thanks in a big part to two hits by Miguel Rojas and a clutch RBI single by pinch-hitter Justin Turner. (Photo credit - Ron Cervenka)

Although Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright pitched exceptionally well against the Dodgers on June 26 at Dodger Stadium, he got beat 1-0 – thanks in a big part to two hits by Miguel Rojas and a clutch RBI single by pinch-hitter Justin Turner. (Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

It’s not the fact that Kershaw has won two Cy Young Awards in the last three years – compared to Wainwright’s none; or the fact that Kershaw has won the ERA title in each of the last three years - compared to Wainwright’s none; or the fact that Kershaw has a no-hitter and Wainwright does not, or even the fact that Kershaw currently has the best ERA in all of baseball; it is because Clayton Kershaw is simply the better pitcher of the two – period.

Make no mistake about it, Adam Wainwright is a very very good pitcher, but Clayton Kershaw is better - period. (Photo credit - Ron Cervenka)

Make no mistake about it, Adam Wainwright is a very very good pitcher, but Clayton Kershaw is better. (Photo credit – Ron Cervenka)

Heading into the All-Star Game Kershaw’s ERA is 1.78 compared to Wainwright’s 1.83. He also has 126 strikeouts compared to Wainwright’s 115. And while Wainwright’s record is 12-4 compared to Kershaw’s 11-2, Wainwright has started 19 games and pitched 138.0 innings compared to Kershaw’s 14 starts and 96.1 innings because of having to spend six weeks on the disabled list.

If Matheny used the MLB’s official statistics in his decision to select his own poster child over Kershaw, he is a much bigger fool than we realize. Because these MLB stats require that a pitcher must have a minimum of one inning pitched for every game that their team has played to be eligible, Kershaw falls exactly 0.2 innings shy. As noted, Kershaw has pitched 96.1 innings and because of their early season opening series in Australia (for the so-called “goodwill of the sport”) the Dodgers have already played 97 games, with the Cardinals (and every other team in the MLB except the Tampa Bay Rays) having played only 96 games (or fewer). In other words, Kershaw would have the requisite 96 innings pitched but for this “goodwill of the sport.”

Obviously this minimum innings requisite will fall by the wayside with Kershaw’s next start slated for Sunday, July 20 in (of all places) St Louis and it will never again be given a second thought, but as soon as Kershaw reaches what will then be a required 100 innings pitched mark, he will immediately and officially take over the ERA lead (which he already has) from Adam Wainwright.

When you add all of these things together, Matheny’s decision to go with Wainwright all boils down to one thing – favoritism; and that favoritism could very well cost the Dodgers home field advantage in the World Series.

Thanks a lot, Mike. Thanks a lot.

 

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

10 Responses to “Matheny picks the second best guy to start the All-Star Game Kershaw gets ASG start snub - again

  1. lindav says:

    My sentiments exactly.

  2. Bluenose Dodger says:

    Since I don’t get too excited about All-Star selections I don’t get upset about what decisions the manager makes.

    Should it be Clayton – sure. It isn’t so as mentioned above let’s win the WS so Clayton starts in 2015.

    I’m not sure Wainright will cost the NL home field advantage in the WS but stranger things do happen.

    All-Star games have frequently been ripe with favoritism so this is nothing new. It just wrankles us a bit.

  3. ebbetsfld says:

    No big deal to me. I’m more upset with the four managers who started their all star pitchers yesterday thereby eliminating them from the game altogether!

  4. lindav says:

    Harold, under the old rules, I’d just be a bit miffed knowing that the managers ALWAYS show some favoritism and Mattingly would be no different. BUT now that the ASG has true meaning – it is possible that Wainwright could blow the game in the 1st/2nd inning because he only has 2 days rest and cause the NL to not get home field advantage. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll just all relax. Just saying..

    • Bluenose Dodger says:

      You are correct Linda. However, I just don’t get concerned over things like that. The first task for the Dodgers is to get to the WS and then deal with home field advantage issues.

      I think Wainwright is going on three days rest which isn’t all that cool but not unusual in play-offs. I agree Clayton should start for reasons already stated but expect Wainwright will have a short outing.

      In any event – go Yasiel, Dee, Zack and Clayton.

      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.”

      BTW – Matheny’s stated reason for selecting Wainwright over Clayton is bogus – leadership and performance.

  5. OldBrooklynFan says:

    I was surprised too, when I found out that Kershaw was not starting this year’s All Star Game, but since Matheny picked his own man, it didn’t seem too surprising on second thought.
    Who knows? Maybe it will work out for the best.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.

Powered by WordPress