Vote for your favorite moment in All-Star Game history

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Fact: if you put anything in NCAA Tournament-style brackets, it’s instantly fun.  Don’t tell me differently. I voted on stuff like “cats vs. dogs” on some blog my wife likes recently, all because they used brackets, so I know of what I speak.

The fact that MLB.com is doing that with a baseball-related topic is just extra bonus, because you’re predisposed to like that kind of thing if you’re reading this blog already. The topic: top moments in All-Star Game history. The real appeal: each little bracket pod has the video of the moment, so even if you don’t care about the votes, there’s a lot of good footage and memories there.

Although, really, it seems like they’re missing a moment or two. Like, maybe one that would spring to mind if I looked up and to the right … up … and to the right …

Ah, I’m just kidding. At the moment, I’m sort of liking the one below. If for no other reason than because “Dave Parker loaded up the canon” could mean a couple of different things in 1979, if you know what I mean.

Report: Steven Matz has been pitching through pain, may need elbow surgery

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Newsday’s Marc Carig reports that Mets starter Steven Matz has been pitching through pain for most of the season. He may need surgery to fix a nerve issue in his elbow. Matz was sidelined in spring training with an elbow injury and made his regular season debut on June 10.

Matz, 26, has struggled over 13 starts, posting a 6.08 ERA with a 48/19 K/BB ratio in 66 2/3 innings. Many were scrambling for explanations for his pitching woes and now they have it.

According to Carig, the Mets let Matz skip his bullpen sessions to help him pitch through the pain. Given the Mets’ shoddy history of dealing with injuries, that’s not a good look for the club.

Carig noted on Twitter that Jacob deGrom offers some optimism for Matz’s case. deGrom underwent right elbow surgery to repair ulnar nerve damage last September and bounced back to have a great season this year.

Clayton Kershaw’s simulated game went so well he threw an extra inning

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Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw was scheduled to throw three innings in a simulated game on Monday. That simulated game went so well, he threw an extra inning, MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports. Kershaw will make a minor league rehab start next and could be activated towards the end of next week.

Kershaw, 29, has been on the disabled list since July 24 with a lower back strain. That put the pause button on another outstanding season. He’s carrying a 15-2 record with a 2.04 ERA and a 168/24 K/BB ratio in 141 1/3 innings.

The 87-35 Dodgers have run away with the NL West, needing some combination of 20 wins and 20 Rockies losses (19 for the third-place Diamondbacks) to officially clinch the division. While the Dodgers are all but mathematically assured of reaching postseason baseball, the club would still like to get Kershaw as ready as possible over the next month-plus.