THE ANGELS – Shohei Ohtani and Clayton Kershaw are two-way praisers.
Six miles from the Hollywood Walk of Fame, LA’s most important baseball stars open the All-Star Game on Tuesday night when they return to Dodger Stadium for the first time in 42 years.
Kershaw, a three-time Cy Young winner of the Dodgers, gets his first all-star game in the National League. Ohtani of Los Angeles will lead as the American League’s designated hitter for the second year in a row after opening on the mound and surpassing order last year in Denver.
Ohtani, 21st century Babe Ruth, has 0 of 8 in her career as a hitter against Kershaw with four strikeouts, three and one double play. He doesn’t hit two others he’s faced so many times: Wade LeBlanc (0 for 11) and Justus Sheffield (0 for 13).
“The only thing that makes him great is his ability to throw time to the hitters and obviously his command,” Ohtani said on Monday through translator Ippei Mizuhara.
Sitting in the sun in the central field pavilion of Dodger Stadium, not far from the statue of the great Sandy Koufax of the Dodgers, Ohtani marveled at the 34-year-old left-hander, six years his senior.
“He makes all the throws; he rarely loses his points, he rarely leaves the ball in the middle of the plate,” Ohtani said. “Every release you make is really quality.”
Kershaw’s face flushed as he spoke of his success against Ohtani: blush or the 85-degree sun, hard to tell which one.
Last Friday night in Anaheim, Kershaw led a perfect game in the eighth inning and kept the Ohtani hits in three innings at bat, taking it out twice.
“I don’t know how I got it out,” Kershaw said. “I think I’ll try to get it out again tomorrow and see what happens.”
Shane McClanahan becomes the second Tampa Bay pitcher to start an All-Star game after David Price in 2010 in Anaheim. The first-time star player, the 25-year-old left-hander has a 10-3 record with an effectiveness of 1.71 and 147 strikeouts in 110 2/3 innings.
“I’m telling you the truth, I’ve never seen him pitch and we haven’t played with him at all this year, but everyone I’ve talked to has told me he’s nasty,” said Dusty Baker of Houston, the American League coach.
Kershaw, nine-time All-Star, has a 7-2 record with an effectiveness of 2.14 and 75 strikeouts in 71 2/3 innings. Two years ago, he helped Los Angeles win its first World Series title since 1988.
“His reputation, which meant for the baseball game, the Los Angeles Dodgers, I think it’s perfect for him to start this game for us in the National League,” said National League coach Brian Snitker of Atlanta.
Ohtani, a two-time All-Star and reigning AL MVP, is a baseball unicorn: he bats .258 with 19 homers, 56 RBIs and 10 stolen bases, while leading 9-4 with a 2.38 ERA as a right-handed pitcher. along with 123 strikeouts and 22 bases per ball in 87 innings.
“He’s very good at the game of baseball. Having someone like that to be able to excel in both the way he does is amazing,” Kershaw said. “It’s fun to see how they play the game too.”
Ohtani decided not to play both ways in this year’s All-Star Game.
“I’m going to throw the first game after the All-Star break,” Ohtani said, facing Friday in Atlanta. “That will only give me two days off. Obviously, I prioritize the season more than the All-Star Game.”
Kershaw, who passed to Don Sutton in April for leading the team’s career punches, will become the Dodgers ’third pitcher to start in the last seven All-Star Games, after Zack Greinke in 2015 in Cincinnati and Hyun Jin Ryu in 2019 in Cleveland. He will be the 13th pitcher to start at his baseball stadium, the first since his teammate Max Scherzer in 2018 in Washington.
Kershaw thought of daughter Cali and sons Chance, Charley and Cooper.
“As you get older, everything gets a little more perspective with this game and how special it is,” Kershaw said. “I was trying to wait a little longer for them to see him. I think my daughter is 7 years old and my eldest son is 5, and I have a 2 year old and 7 month old boy who probably won’t remember this. But the 7 and 5 year old boy , it’s fun to see it with your own eyes, and I hope you take them here to watch the Home Run Derby and just watch it. I think they’re starting to understand baseball a little bit more. “
In the San Fernando Valley, Charley plays youth ball at Toluca Lake with Charlie Freeman, the son of Dodgers first baseman Freddie Freeman. Both are 5.
“It was fun. I think they start that again in about two months: joy, kids playing baseball, there’s nothing better than that,” Freeman said. “Unfortunately, we can’t be there every game and every training session, so those other coaches do their job.”
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Kershaw and Ohtani the most stellar Hollywood stars
Source link Kershaw and Ohtani the most stellar Hollywood stars