Kershaw to start All-Star Game for NL, McClanahan for AL
Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw will start for the National League on Tuesday night in the first All-Star Game at Dodger Stadium since 1980, and Tampa Bay’s Shane McClanahan will be on the mound for the American League.
Los Angeles Angels two-way star Shohei Ohtani will start for the AL as a designated hitter. Last year, he was the starting pitcher and started as a DH in the AL’s 5-2 win at Denver.
Ohtani is 9-4 with a 2.38 ERA on the mound this year, striking out 123 in 87 innings. The reigning AL MVP shut down Houston in his last outing on Wednesday, and there was speculation he could start this Southern California showcase.
Ohtani said Monday he would not play in the All-Star Game and instead start the Angels’ first game after the break on Friday in Atlanta.
“From the information we got from Ohtani’s camp, you know, he probably shouldn’t start or wouldn’t start, and that’s why we picked Shane,” the AL manager said on Monday. Dusty Baker of the Astros.
“They just said they preferred it, you know, he’s not pitching,” Baker said.
Kershaw, 34, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, is 7-2 with a 2.14 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings. Two years ago, he helped Los Angeles win its first World Series title since 1988.
“It’s tough because obviously Sandy Alcantara, Tony Gonsolin, Max Fried, all those guys have better numbers than me and they should start this game and I get it,” Kershaw said. “But all that to say I’m so excited to be able to do it here at Dodger Stadium.”
Kershaw, who passed Don Sutton in April for the lead in team career strikeouts, will become the third Dodgers pitcher to start in the last seven All-Star Games, following Zack Greinke in 2015 in Cincinnati and Hyun Jin Ryu in 2019 in Cleveland. He will be the 13th pitcher to start at his home ballpark, the first since former teammate Max Scherzer in 2018 in Washington.
“I think because we’re here in Los Angeles, the home of the Dodgers…you throw that and I think Clayton’s name kept coming back to the fore to start this game,” the manager said. NL, Brian Snitker of Atlanta. . “I think his reputation, what he means to the game of baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers, I think it’s just perfect that he’s starting this game for us in the National League.”
Ohtani is 0 for 8 as a hitter against Kershaw. Last Friday night in Anaheim, Kershaw had a perfect game in the eighth inning and held Ohtani hitess in three at bats, striking him out twice.
“I don’t know how I got him out. Guess I’ll try to get it out again tomorrow and see what happens. said Kershaw.
In a left-handed matchup, McClanahan becomes the second Rays pitcher to start an All-Star Game after David Price in 2010 at Anaheim. McClanahan, a first-time All-Star, is 10-3 with a major league-leading 1.71 ERA and 147 strikeouts in 110 2/3 innings.
“To tell you the truth, I’ve never seen him pitch and we haven’t played him at all this year, but everyone I’ve talked to says he’s mean,” said Baker, forgetting that McClanahan relieved against the Astros in Game 6 of the 2020 AL Championship Series.
Ohtani is followed in the AL batting order by New York Yankees right fielder Aaron Judge, Boston third baseman Rafael Devers, Toronto first baseman Vladimir Guerrero Jr., left fielder Yankees Giancarlo Stanton, Minnesota center fielder Byron Buxton, Chicago White Sox shortstop Tim Anderson, Cleveland second baseman Andrés Giménez and Toronto wide receiver Alejandro Kirk.
Atlanta right fielder Ronald Acuña Jr. will leave for the NL and will be followed by Dodgers center fielder Mookie Betts, San Diego third baseman Manny Machado, St. Louis first baseman Paul Goldschmidt, l Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner, Chicago Cubs wide receiver Willson Contreras, Atlanta designated hitter William Contreras, San Francisco left fielder Joc Pederson and New York Mets second baseman Jeff McNeil.
Willson and William Contreras are the first set of brothers to make All-Star rosters in the same year since Aaron and Bret Boone in 2003. The Contreras siblings are the fifth pair of brothers to start in the All-Star Game together, joining Mort and Walker Cooper in 1942 and 43, Dixie and Harry Walker in 1947, Joe and Dom DiMaggio in 1949, and Roberto and Sandy Alomar Jr. in 1992.
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