CINCINNATI -- Sunday afternoon the Los Angeles Dodgers announced that left-handed pitchers Clayton Kershaw would replace Washington Nationals right-handed pitcher Max Scherzer on the 2015 MLB All-Star roster for the National League team.
The Nationals announced on Saturday that Scherzer would be starting on Sunday, the last game before the All-Star break. As a result, someone needed to replace the ace righty in short order. Kershaw, who was not selected to the starting lineup nor the reserve list, was dropped to the Final Vote but failed to win.
In 18 starts this season, Kershaw posted a 2.85 ERA with a 2.39 FIP. To date, Kershaw had allowed 11 home runs, which ties the season-high 11 homers he allowed for all of 2013, and surpassed the nine he gave up in 2014. Kershaw, despite an MLB-leading 160 strikeouts, also posted 7.2 hits per nine, also his highest so far since his rookie season when he had a 9.1 H/9.
While Kershaw may be having what can be considered a down year by his standards, it's still an All-Star worthy season for most pitchers. And if Kershaw is considered the downgrade over Scherzer this season, it's not the worst trade-off the NL team could get.
Entering the final game before the All-Star break, Scherzer held the third-lowest ERA in the majors, at 2.12. His 2.03 FIP marked the lowest in MLB, giving the Nationals three complete games, two of those being shutouts. He came within one batter of a perfect game on June 20, before a hit by pitch of Jose Tabata ended it. Nevertheless, Scherzer has been a bonafide ace, and the decision to have him start for the Nationals over the All-Star Game is an easy one.