Cardinals/National League manager Mike Matheny choosing his own guy, Adam Wainwright, to start tonight’s game over Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw got quite a few Dodgers fans (and basically non-Cardinals fans) angry.
But what does Kershaw actually think about being passed over for the start in favor of Wainwright, who had a slightly worse ERA and many more innings in the first half?
Well, here’s what the reigning Cy Young winner said when asked yesterday:
I didn’t have a reaction. I kind of assumed. Adam had the best first half and Mike was his manager. You’re going to pick your guy. So, I completely understand. If they had asked me if I wanted to do it, I would have said, “Of course, I want to do it. That’d be awesome.” But it’s not something that’s on my bucket list. Every year, there’s just been somebody better in the first half, so that’s the way it works.
Last season NL manager Bruce Bochy picked Mets rookie Matt Harvey over Kershaw to start the All-Star game, which Kershaw was actually pretty upset about publicly, saying “it hurts” (among other things).
Nothing went right for the Blue Jays this weekend. The club was swept in a four-game series against the Athletics, including a 9-2 loss on Sunday. Not wanting to burn out his bullpen in a lopsided game — and perhaps thinking about the general entertainment value involved — Blue Jays manager John Gibbons decided to send designated hitter Kendrys Morales out to pitch the ninth inning. And in typical baseball fashion, he saw better results than some of the dudes who do this all the time.
Morales, who actually pitched in Cuba nearly 20 years ago, worked around a walk for a scoreless inning. He induced three fly outs and topped out at 87.4 mph on his fastball, per Brooks Baseball. He received a standing ovation on the way back to the dugout. Morales hasn’t been hearing that sort of thing for his contributions with the bat recently.
Morales, 34, is batting just .163/.248/.279 with three home runs through 32 games this season. There’s been some understandable clamoring for top prospect Vladmir Guerrero, Jr. to cut into his at-bats. For his part, Morales has been doing everything he can to break out of his slumber at the plate, including ditching the glasses he started wearing during spring training. Hey, whatever works. Morales also had two of Toronto’s four hits on Sunday.
On the heels of Morales’ first MLB appearance on the mound, it feels rather appropriate that the Blue Jays will get their first look at Angels sensation Shohei Ohtani — at least as a hitter — beginning on Tuesday.