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Kershaw to pitch in the All-Star Game, leaving Ohtani on the bench

Publish Date: 07/19/2022
Fact checked by: Mike Goodpaster

Clayton Kershaw, one of the starters for the National League, will take the mound on Tuesday night in Los Angeles at the 2022 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard, leaving Los Angeles Angels star Shohei Ohtani on the bench. The MLB All-Star Game itself will be the first to be played at Dodger Stadium in four decades.

While Kershaw is well-known for having won the Cy Young Award three times, which is presented each year to the player who makes the finest pitch in the major leagues of baseball, he will, however, be making his All-Star Game debut this time.

The native Texan, a nine-time All-Star pitcher, is 7-2 with a 2.14 ERA and 75 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings. He assisted Los Angeles in capturing its first World Series championship since 1988 two years ago.

Meanwhile, for Ohtani, he chose not to pitch in the All-Star Game because he is scheduled to start the Angels’ second-half opener on Friday, but he will be in the lineup at designated hitter for the second straight Midsummer Classic. He’s batting 258 with 19 homers, 56 RBIs, and 10 stolen bases while pitching 9-4 with a 2.38 ERA, 123 strikeouts, and 22 walks in 87 innings.

“I’m pitching the first game out of the All-Star break, so I’d only have two days in between,” Ohtani said. “I obviously prioritize the season over the All-Star Game.”

The Angels star Ohtani will certainly be present at the festivities on Tuesday. He will bat leadoff against NL starter Kershaw after having won the public vote to start as the American League designated hitter.

Ohtani, on the other hand, is 0 for 8 in his career against the Dodgers pitcher, with four strikeouts, three groundouts, and a double-play grounder.

Kershaw’s remarkable pitch

The Japanese international Ohtani gave his comments when asked about Kershaw’s pitching style prior to the MLB All-Star Game

“The one thing that makes him great is his ability to throw the timing off of the hitters, and his command obviously,” Ohtani said via translator Ippei Mizuhara on Monday. “He makes every pitch — he rarely misses his spots, rarely leaves the ball in the middle of the plate. Every pitch he makes is really quality.”

NL manager Brian Snitker also commented on the impact Kershaw brought to the Dodgers this season.

“His reputation, what he’s meant to the game of baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers, I think it’s just perfect that he start this game for us in the National League,” Snitker said.

Kershaw himself expressed his gratitude for Snitker and appreciated his decision to pick him for Tuesday.

“As you get older, everything gets put into perspective a little more with this game and how special it is,” Kershaw said, as per FOX Sports. “Definitely doesn’t last forever. I’m just trying to enjoy it. I’m just going to enjoy tomorrow, and I think they will, too.”

Following Zack Greinke in 2015 at Cincinnati and Hyun Jin Ryu in 2019 at Cleveland, Kershaw will be the third Dodgers pitcher to start in the last seven All-Star Games. It’s also worth noting that Kershaw only recently passed Don Sutton for the team career strikeouts lead in April. He will be the 13th pitcher to make his home debut, and the first since former teammate Max Scherzer did so in 2018.

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