Daily Distractions: Clayton Kershaw joins an exclusive group of Dodgers All-Stars.

Clayton Kershaw

Clayton Kershaw became the fourth Dodgers pitcher to appear in three consecutive All-Star Games. (Associated Press)


Clayton Kershaw didn’t start the All-Star Game — Matt Harvey did — though he did join a different exclusive group Tuesday.

Kershaw became the fourth Dodgers pitcher ever to throw in three straight All-Star games. He fared better than the last Dodgers pitcher to do so; Eric Gagné gave up a solo home run in the 2002 game to Alfonso Soriano, allowed three runs in one inning the following year, and tossed a scoreless inning in his final All-Star appearance in 2004.

Fernando Valenzuela pitched two scoreless innings in the 1984 All-Star game, one scoreless inning in relief of Nolan Ryan the following year, then pitched three (!) scoreless innings in his final All-Star appearance in 1986.

Don Newcombe (1949-51) is the other. Like Gagné, his third and final All-Star appearance was the only one in which he didn’t allow a run.

Whit Wyatt, Ralph Branca and Sandy Koufax were all chosen to pitch in three straight All-Star Games or more, but for various reasons did not.

Of course, some were still focused on one Dodger who wasn’t in the game Tuesday.

The American League won the game, 3-0, and will have home-field advantage in the World Series. Mariano Rivera threw a scoreless inning, was named MVP and will be responsible for every baby born today in New York City named “Mariano,” “Mo” or, perhaps, “Sandman.”

Some bullet points for a Slovakian Independence Day:


• All-Star Game trivia: What do David Ortiz, Michael Cuddyer, Torii Hunter and Grant Balfour have in common?

• Yasiel Puig never seemed too bothered about being excluded from the All-Star Game. He wasn’t among the dozen-plus athletes expected to attend Monday night’s pre-ESPY Award party at the Playboy Mansion, but Puig was there anyway and seemed to enjoy himself. Former Dodgers infielder Adam Kennedy was also there, but no current Dodgers attended other than Puig. (No other current Dodgers have been nominated for ESPYs.)

USA Today unearthed the story of the random, powerful connection between Dodgers hitting coach Mark McGwire and Detroit Tigers pitcher Max Scherzer.

• I didn’t include Scott Schebler on my list of the Dodgers’ top 10 prospects, which will be released with the next installment of our iPad app, but he’s climbing the ranks. Schebler, a 26th-round draft pick in 2010, is putting up impressive numbers in his first season with Single-A Rancho Cucamonga. He recently hit safely in 18 straight games and was named California League player of the week.

• Nobody has left a comment on my Dodgers midseason report card, so clearly my grades were perfect.

• Trivia answer: Before playing in Tuesday’s All-Star Game, Ortiz, Cuddyer, Hunter and Balfour were teammates 12 years ago.

• Three years after it was released, I think this is still my favorite Tame Impala song. Crank it up loud:

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