LOS ANGELES (AP) — Clayton Kershaw is going to the All-Star Game in Cincinnati despite a .500 record in the first half for the NL West-leading Los Angeles Dodgers.
The current National League MVP and Cy Young Award winner wasn’t elected by his peers and he finished third in the fan vote, but that didn’t bother him.
“I have no pride in how I get there,” he said Sunday. “I don’t care if I was the bat boy. It’s a special time. No one will remember that you were the replacement.”
He had a feeling he would make the roster because Washington’s Max Scherzer started for the Nationals on Sunday and decided not to be active for Tuesday’s game.
Kershaw is 6-6 but has a 2.85 ERA. He is an All-Star for the fifth straight year.
“He’s had a good half. You start there, but you look at also who Clayton is and his success and the star factor,” said San Francisco manager Bruce Bochy, who will guide the NL team. “Another great arm to help us.”
Kershaw got back to .500 with an eight-hit shutout in a 5-0 win over Philadelphia on Wednesday, his last start before the break. The left-hander struck out a season-high 13 while snapping a five-start winless streak.
“It has been frustrating at times,” he said. “People have high expectations for me and that’s good. I expect a lot out of myself, which helps me. I wasn’t very good for a while there.”
Kershaw said his family is looking forward to the trip, with his wife Ellen already selecting outfits for 5-month-old daughter Cali, the couple’s first child.
Kershaw and teammates Zack Greinke, Adrian Gonzalez, Yasmani Grandal and rookie Joc Pederson were presented with their red and black All-Star jerseys on the field before the game against Milwaukee.
Pederson will start the game after St. Louis outfielder Matt Holliday was ruled out because of injury, making him the first Dodgers rookie position player to start an All-Star Game.
He is one of six Dodgers rookies to be selected to the game; their other two starters — Fernando Valenzuela in 1981 and Hideo Nomo in 1995 — were pitchers.
Pederson is hitting .230 with 20 home runs, although he was in a 9 for 62 slump in his 18 previous games entering Sunday.