Stephen Strasburg says he wasn't deserving of All-Star nod

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Stephen Strasburg told reporters Tuesday that while he was flattered by the groundswell of support he received about his potential inclusion in next week’s All-Star Game, he didn’t feel like deserved to
be there
, according to Bill Ladson of MLB.com.

“I have six starts [in the Major Leagues],” Strasburg said. “It didn’t
matter what I was going to do. I didn’t feel I was qualified to make the
team, No. 1, based on the experience that I have. I’m sure I’ll have an
opportunity down the road. It was never a goal of mine.

“You look at the guys that are going to the All-Star Game and look at
the years they have had, they have done that from Opening Day. I haven’t
been here since Opening Day. They deserve it. Hopefully, someday, I’ll
deserve it, too.”

No surprise, the young phenom is hitting all the right notes. I was all about Strasburg being in the game, just because I feel he is already one of the game’s best pitchers at this very moment, but I’m happy this pretty inconsequential issue can finally be put to bed.

Strasburg is scheduled to wrap up the first half of the season with a start against Matt Cain and the Giants on Friday.  

Dodgers plan to tab Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of World Series

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MLB.com’s Ken Gurnick reports that the Dodgers plan to tab ace Clayton Kershaw for Game 1 of the World Series. Nothing is set in stone yet ahead of Tuesday’s Game 1 of the World Series. In the event Kershaw can’t start Game 1, Rich Hill would start. Otherwise, Hill would start Game 4.

Kershaw, started Game 1 and Game 5 of the NLCS against the Brewers, then closed out Game 7 with a flawless inning. He was hit around to the tune of five runs (four earned) over three-plus innings in Game 1, but rebounded for seven innings of one-run ball in Game 5. He struck out two en route to sending the Dodgers to the World Series in the ninth inning of Game 7.

Kershaw also tossed eight shutout innings against the Braves in Game 2 of the NLDS. Overall, he has a 2.37 ERA in 19 innings this postseason. There was no doubt who would be the Dodgers’ first choice to start Game 1, but it’s a relatively recent situation where the ace of a team also closed out the final game of the previous series.

Hill has put up a 2.61 ERA in 10 1/3 innings this postseason. While he doesn’t have Kershaw’s pedigree, the Dodgers would be confident having him lead off the series. Hill was excellent down the stretch last year, helping the Dodgers reach Game 7 of the World Series against the Astros.

The Red Sox plan to start Chris Sale in Game 1 now that he’s recovered from a brief stint in the hospital due to a stomach ailment. The lefty has a 3.48 in 10 1/3 innings in the playoffs this year. He’s among a handful of candidates for the AL Cy Young award after posting a 2.11 ERA in the regular season, but his lack of innings (158) may hurt him.