Hernandez, Wainwright get called to start
MINNEAPOLIS (TSX) — Seattle Mariners right-hander Felix Hernandez was named the starting pitcher for the American League for Tuesday’s All-Star Game, while St. Louis Cardinals manager Mike Matheny gave the nod to his own ace, Adam Wainwright, over Los Angeles Dodgers left-hander Clayton Kershaw for the National League.
Hernandez, 28, will be making his fifth All-Star appearance and will be the first Mariner pitcher to start the All-Star Game (8 p.m. ET, FOX) since Randy Johnson in 1997, as well as the first Venezuelan to ever start the game. Hernandez posted an 11-2 record with a 2.12 ERA through his first 20 starts, and was considered the likely choice by AL manager John Farrell with the New York Yankees’ Masahiro Tanaka sidelined by an elbow injury.
“There are many deserving candidates to be the starting pitcher for this team,” Farrell said. “But given what (Hernandez) has done over a long and successful career and what he’s doing this year, it’s an honor to name him the starter for this game.”
“King Felix” has not allowed more than two runs since May 12, and is 7-1 with a 1.48 ERA and a 1.73 batting average against in his past 11 starts. Hernandez has played in two previous All-Star Games, pitching scoreless innings in 2009 and ‘13.
“It’s an honor,” Hernandez said, per MLB.com. “To be the first Venezuelan guy is something special.”
Kershaw leads the NL with a 1.78 ERA, but Wainwright posted very strong first-half numbers of his own, including a 1.83 ERA, an NL-best 138 innings pitched and three complete games en route to posting 12 victories at the break.
Wainwright, 32, will be the first Cardinal pitcher to start the All-Star Game since Chris Carpenter in 2005. This will be Wainwright’s third All-Star apperance. He did not pitch in last year’s game, but did throw a scoreless inning in relief four years ago.
“Last year, I remember I was pitching the day before the All-Star break and I told Mike, ‘If it was any consolation, unless I was starting (the All-Star Game), don’t even think about moving my start around because that would be the only thing worthy of doing that,’” Wainwright added. “The way (Matt) Harvey was pitching, it was obvious in (New York City) that he was going to get the start. It’s something every starter would take tremendous pride in.”