The way it works in All-Star Games these days is that the starting pitcher throws two innings, while everyone else throws one at the max. For that reason, Phillies pitching coach Rich Dubee doesn’t want to see Roy Halladay start for the NL squad.
As Dubee told the Philadelphia Inquirer:
You’re looking at a guy that’s leading the league in innings pitched by a pretty good size. I don’t know that you can deny [the starting job]. It would be an honor. But at the same time, this guy is taking on a big workload again, like he always does. We’ll wait and see what happens.
Halladay didn’t sound particularly excited about starting either:
Obviously you go there to pitch and that’s the main idea, but there are definitely other guys that are worthy of it. Whether they ask me or not I don’t know. The only thing I always try to keep in mind is how is this going to affect me going forward? Obviously starting you have to pitch longer than if you come in later. Not that it’s always in your control, but it’s just things you consider and you talk over with the staff here.
Anyway, it sounds like the Phillies as a whole would be just fine with Jair Jurrjens or even one of the Giants pitchers getting the start.
I hope you don’t have any plans tonight at around 10PM Eastern time, because that’s when we get a pitching matchup for the ages as Max Scherzer will take on Clayton Kershaw at Dodger Stadium. When they meet tonight it will be the first time two pitchers with three or more Cy Young Awards have matched up since 2006. That year, and in 2005 and 2000, Roger Clemens faced Greg Maddux. In 2001 Clemens faced Pedro Martinez.
Kershaw won his hardware in 2011, 2013 and 2014, with an MVP award in 2014 to boot. Scherzer collected trophies in 2013, 2016 and 2017. Each has started the 2018 season in Cy Young form. Kershaw is 1-2, but that record is due to poor run support. He has a 1.73 ERA and has struck out 31 batters and has walked only three in 26 innings. Scherzer is 3-1 with a 1.33 ERA and a whopping 38 strikeouts to only 4 walks in 27 innings.
This will be the third time that Kershaw and Scherzer faced each other if you include the playoffs. The first meeting was a decade ago when both were rookies. They most recently faced off in Game 1 of the 2016 NLDS, way back when Scherzer only had one Cy Young Award to his credit. Kershaw beat Scherzer in that playoff game and the Dodgers beat Scherzer’s teams in the two regular season matchups, with neither guy setting the world on fire. As so often happens in baseball, the hype hasn’t been matched by reality.
Still, there’s always a chance it will. And even if, in the end, this turns into a slugfest, the first couple of innings should at least give us some hope of something good. I’ll be watching.