As the Dodgers begin their second game of the three-game series in Arizona, they will send to the mound their best pitcher so far this season in Clayton Kershaw. All-Star rosters will be announced Sunday morning at 9 a.m., so this is Kerhsaw's last shot to make an impression. Here is how he stacks up among the 57 National League pitchers with enough innings to qualify:
- 18th in ERA (3.19)
- 24th in ERA+ (121)
- 9th in FIP (3.34)
- 24th in x-FIP (4.10)
- Tied for 8th in Wins Above Replacement (2.1)
- Tied for 19th in wins (seven)
- 8th in strikeouts (108)
- Tied for 29th in innings pitched (98 2/3)
- 4th in hits per nine innings (6.75)
- 3rd in strikeouts per nine innings (9.85)
- 55th in walks per nine innings (4.38)
- 25th in strikeout-to-walk ratio (2.25)
Kershaw very well could make it. All pitchers on the roster are chosen by a combination of player voting, and Philadelphia manager Charlie Manuel, in conjunction with Major League Baseball. It is certainly possible that Kershaw is held in enough high esteem to garner enough support. After all, Kershaw was the winning pitcher in the "one" for 14-1 Ubaldo Jimenez, so he's got that going for him.
Which is nice.
It is also possible that several starters will be ruled ineligible by pitching next Sunday, allowing Kershaw to step in as a replacement. But it seems he faces an uphill battle to reach Anaheim.
A better bet to join Andre Ethier and Jonathan Broxton in the All-Star Game might be Rafael Furcal. Even though he has missed 30 games this year, Furcal is hitting .335/.382/.485 with 40 runs scored. Even with the missed time, Furcal is tied with Hanley Ramirez for the lead among NL shortstops with 2.7 Wins Above Replacement (WAR), but then again no All-Star roster spot has ever been chosen based on WAR. Troy Tulowitzki's injury opened the door for someone to backup starter Ramirez. Jimmy Rollins has played just 22 games, so he won't be tabbed by his manager. I have to think the backup shortstop will be either Furcal or Jose Reyes.
Furcal has 24 hits in his last 50 at-bats, and has an active streak of six straight games with two or more hits, a streak only surpassed this season by Robinson Cano (eight games) and Ichiro Suzuki (seven games). In his last 21 plate appearances batting left-handed, Furcal has 12 hits and two walks.
Before the game, the Dodgers placed Manny Ramirez on the disabled list and optioned Ramon Troncoso to Triple A Albuquerque. Xavier Paul and Travis Schlichting were recalled from Albuquerque to take their spots on the roster.
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Game Time: 6:40 p.m.
TV: Prime Ticket