Kershaw understands Wainwright selection

MINNEAPOLIS – A year ago, Clayton Kershaw bristled when Bruce Bochy picked New York Mets ace Matt Harvey to start the All-Star game over him at New York’s Citi Field.

Kershaw said things like, “It hurts,” and, “That’s his opinion.”

He was more conciliatory Monday, speaking about an hour or so after NL Manager Mike Matheny picked his own ace, Adam Wainwright, to start Tuesday night’s game for the National League. In both cases, Kershaw had the best set of statistics in the NL, but the numbers are closer this season than they were in 2013, when Kershaw had a 1.98 ERA and Harvey’s was 2.35.

Kershaw is 11-2 with a 1.78 ERA and Wainwright is 12-4 with a 1.83 ERA. Kershaw has 11 more strikeouts and Wainwright has pitched 41 2/3 more innings.

“I didn’t have a reaction. I kind of assumed. Adam had the best first half and Mike was his manager,” Kershaw said. “You’re going to pick your guy. So, I completely understand.”

Later, Kershaw said, “If they had asked me if I wanted to do it, I would have said, ‘Of course, I want to do it. That’d be awesome.’ But it’s not something that’s on my bucket list. Every year, there’s just been somebody better in the first half, so that’s the way it works.”

Of course, Kershaw could always get his revenge in the off-season by winning another Cy Young. He has won two of the last three. Then again, he said that’s not the goal either.

“I don’t know what Adam would say, but he’s won two World Series. I would trade Cy Youngs for World Series any day of the week,” Kershaw said.

Dodgers pitcher Zack Greinke said, “You can’t go wrong with who they picked, I think. I think Kersh is the best pitcher in the world, but I was thinking about this a little bit ago. I think if you had everyone in baseball pick their top five pitchers, him and Wainwright would be in everyone’s top five.”