Posted on July 14, 2014 at 2:18 PM
Monday, Jul 14 at 2:21 PM
ST. LOUIS -- It’s beyond funny how there is even a little bit of uproar over Mike Matheny’s decision to start Cardinals ace Adam Wainwright in Tuesday’s All Star game over the Dodgers Clayton Kershaw.
Too funny. I suppose if it was all coming from Los Angeles that’d be one thing.
Cities have a right to defend their hometown guy. St. Louis does it all the time.
But it’s not. There is some unquestioned hostility over the fact Matheny went with his own guy over the individual who’s by and large considered the best in the game. This honor isn’t about who’s the best in the game.
Heck, this decision isn’t even based on winning and losing for crying out loud. Both of these guys are going to pitch! Wainwright will probably take the 1st inning while Kershaw will come in and handle the 2nd and 3rd. If anything, Kershaw – if that’s how things play out – will still have more of a say in the National League’s chances than Wainwright.
This decision was about one thing. Honoring YOUR guy who has done everything imaginable to deserve this opportunity. Not to hate on Kershaw here, but the guy has won two Cy Young awards in his career. Wainwright hasn’t won any.
And you best believe that stings deep down inside the Redbirds ace.
The numbers on both of these pitchers are about equal. Wainwright’s thrown 138 innings and is 12-4 with a 1.83 ERA (tops in the Major Leagues). Kershaw, meanwhile has thrown just 96.1 innings this season but has a 1.78 ERA while putting together an 11-2 record.
(Side note: Waino’s ERA is tops in the majors because Kershaw hasn’t thrown enough innings to qualify for the ERA title at this point. That’ll change when he makes his next start.)
So if the numbers are ridiculously close and both are going to end up pitching in the game anyway, what does it really matter if the manager goes with his own guy who he knows this means a lot to? Do you think starting this game means as much to Kershaw – a guy who’s won a pair of Cy Young awards already?
I’m in no way suggesting Kershaw wouldn’t think it’d be special. He would. But this probably means a little bit more to Wainwright than him. And Matheny recognizes that.
They’re both going to pitch anyway. Who cares who starts?