By J.Y. Mortimer
LOS ANGELES – Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw and catcher Will Smith were named National League All-Stars, joining teammates Freddie Freeman, Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez in the Emerald City who were all voted in as National League starters on Thursday. For the fourth straight season, the Dodgers will have five or more representatives at the game and have the third highest total of players going to Seattle, behind the Atlanta Braves (8) and Texas Rangers (6).
Kershaw, 35, will make his second consecutive and 10th overall trip to the All-Star game, which will tie him with Pee Wee Reese for most appearances in franchise history. The Texas native becomes the 74th player in Major League Baseball history with double digit nods to the All-Star Game and the ninth pitcher ever, joining Warren Spahn (17), Mariano Rivera (13), Tom Seaver (12), Roger Clemens (11), Steve Carlton (10), Whitey Ford (10), Randy Johnson (10) and Juan Marichal (10). In his last start on Tuesday, he earned his National League leading 10th win of the season and his 207th win of his career, which is two away from tying Don Drysdale for second all-time in franchise history (209), with 6.0 scoreless innings on one hit and two strikeouts against the Rockies. On the season, he is 10-4 this season in 16 starts and holds an ERA of 2.55 (27 ER/95.1 IP) with 105 strikeouts against 24 walks. In 16 seasons with Los Angeles, the left-hander has a record of 207-91 with an ERA of 2.48 (738 ER/2676.1 IP), 2,912 strikeouts and a 1.00 WHIP. He is currently 21st all-time on the Major League strikeout list and only needs 88 more to become the 20th player in Major League history with 3,000 strikeouts. Last season, he made his first career All-Star Game start, pitching a scoreless inning in front of his home crowd at Dodger Stadium.
He has made seven Midsummer Classic appearances, and he is 0-2 with a 3.86 ERA (3 ER/7.0 IP) with three walks and five strikeouts.
Smith, 28, who was edged out by Atlanta Braves catcher Sean Murphy in the Phase 2 Fan Vote, will earn his first ever All-Star Game selection as a reserve. In 61 games with the Boys in Blue this season, he is batting .276 with 12 homers and 41 RBI and is among leaders on the team in batting average (2nd), runs (39, T-4th), hits (59, 4th), total bases (106, 4th), home runs (4th) and RBI (41, 5th). Having played in the 2020 World Series and the 2023 World Baseball Classic, Smith will now represent the National League in the Midsummer Classic, ranking among the National League catchers in various categories, including home runs (3rd), RBI (3rd), batting average (2nd), hits (6th), slugging percentage (.495, 2nd) and on-base plus slugging (.892, 2nd). while he leads the league in runs (39), on-base percentage (.396). In his five big league seasons in the Dodgers, Smith has slashed .264/.363/.501 with 72 doubles, 84 homers and 271 RBI in 419 games.
The 93rd Midsummer Classic will be hosted by the Seattle Mariners and played at T-Mobile Park and will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish language coverage in the United States. ESPN Radio will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game, while Univision will provide Spanish language coverage on radio. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.
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