Maybe they shoulda started Clayton Kershaw, you guys

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MINNEAPOLIS, MN — So I’m up in the press box watching the first inning of the All-Star Game and another baseball writer — whose name I won’t reveal, but it rhymes with Schmo Emanski — suggests that maybe Adam Wainwright grooved the pitch that Derek Jeter hit for a leadoff double. It would definitely fit in with a night when everything is aimed at honoring The Captain.

But then Mike Trout tripled and Miguel Cabrera hit a homer that was not a cheapie.

Me: Wow.

Schmo: OK, maybe he’s not grooving it.

I know this is hindsight, but hindsight is an awful lot of fun when it meshes nicely with your preconceptions. So I’ll just say it: maybe Clayton Kershaw should’ve gotten the start after all?

UPDATE: Kershaw sets the American League down 1-2-3 in the second. He’s the best, folks. Maybe one day he’ll be a starter and not a reliever.

Blue Jays clinch playoff berth with Orioles’ loss to Red Sox

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TORONTO — The Blue Jays clinched a postseason berth Thursday without taking the field.

Toronto was assured of an AL wild card berth when the Boston Red Sox beat the Baltimore Orioles 5-3.

If Toronto holds its current position as the first of the AL’s three wild cards, the Blue Jays would open a best-of-three wild-card series at Rogers Centre next week.

“These guys are excited to be in this position,” Blue Jays manager John Schneider said after Wednesday’s 8-3 loss to the New York Yankees. “You’ve got three really good pitchers lined up against a good Boston team, playing at home. So I think it’s more excitement more than it’s nerves or anything. I think the guys are going to come out and be ready to roll on Friday night.”

Toronto became the fourth AL team to clinch a playoff berth, joining division champions Houston, the Yankees and Cleveland. The Astros and Yankees have first-round byes.

The Blue Jays last went to the playoffs in 2020, when they were knocked out with two straight losses to Tampa Bay.

Eight of the 12 berths in the expanded postseason have been clinched: The Los Angeles Dodgers and St. Louis earned division titles, and Atlanta and the New York Mets are assured no worse the wild cards while still competing to win the NL East. The Dodgers have a first-round bye.