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