Clayton Kershaw Pitches Tough Fifth Inning in NL All-Star Victory

Clayton Kershaw was the lone Dodger who played in any of the 83rd All-Star game Tuesday evening. Matt Kemp was shown smiling from the dugout while he enjoyed the game from the sidelines. Kersh made 27 pitches in the fifth inning in the Kansas City heat. While the All-Star game is fun, it was a bit disconcerting to see Kersh laboring for that long during this exhibition game when he is scheduled to pitch Friday to begin the Dodger second half. I also found it incredibly hard to root for a team composed of Ryan Braun, a bunch of Giants, CarGo, and other rival players. Although the shutout of the AL by the NL was somewhat enjoyable.

Clayton Kershaw, Buster Posey, and Dave Duncan have a meeting on the mound during the fifth inning. Photo: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports via US PRESSWIRE

The fifth inning was a rough one for Kershaw when the AL loaded the bases up after David Ortiz

Bryce Harper acts like a clown as he botches a fly ball in the fifth inning. Photo: Scott Rovak/USA TODAY Sports via US PRESSWIRE

and Mike Napoli both singled and Asdrubal Cabrera drew a two-out walk. The inning would have been over a lot sooner if it wasn’t for Bryce Harper‘s misjudgement on the ball hit by Napoli to left field. It was scored as a hit, but it looked like an error on Harper to me. Harper, the 19-year old controversial rookie from the Nationals, also committed a TOOTBLAN earlier in the game. Kershaw escaped the inning unscathed as pinch-hitter Ian Kinsler flied out.

The real story of the evening was Justin Verlander‘s first inning meltdown. He allowed five runs on four hits and two walks as the NL hung a high-five in the first inning. Melky Cabrera singled, and Ryan Braun‘s double off the wall scored the first run for the National League. Verlander walked Carlos Beltran and Buster Posey to load the bases up and set the stage for Pablo Sandoval who smacked a bases-clearing triple down the right field line. Panda brought the fifth run of the inning home on a Dan Uggla infield single to short.

While Verlander picked up the loss, Matt Cain got the win after pitching two scoreless frames.

Justin Verlander is routed by the NL in the first inning. Photo: H. Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports via US PRESSWIRE

Rafael Furcal (whom I reall miss) tripled in the sixth against Matt Harrison, and Hit Machine plated the sixth NL run as his teammate Matt Holliday singled him home. Melky Cabrera, who was named the MVP of the game, lined a two-run homerun to left field giving the NL a commanding 8-0 lead. Ryan Braun added the NL’s third triple of the evening in the inning as well which is an All-Star Game first.

Melky Cabrera is somehow good this year? Photo: Scott Rovak/USA TODAY Sports via US PRESSWIRE

The NL probably celebrated by feasting on some traditional Kansas City barbecue after their dominating defeat of the American League. The NL now will have home field advantage in the World Series. While I feel the Midsummer Classic should not have anything to do with the Fall Classic, I’m glad that the National League has come out victorious the past few years. I can cite that the superior National League pitching probably has a great deal to do with it.

The Dodgers will have the next two days off before they reconvene to begin the second half of the 2012 season. Keep it here during the break as we look at how our Boys in Blue performed over the first half and how they might fare down the stretch. We may not have had the opportunity to see Matt Kemp play in the All-Star game to our disappointment, but he will be back in the lineup along with Andre Ethier this Friday!

Topics: All-Star Game, Clayton Kershaw, Justin Verlander, Matt Cain, Matt Kemp, Melky Cabrera, National League

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