Cardinals starting pitcher Michael Wacha was voted into the All-Star game by his peers. Carlos Martinez was voted in through the final fan vote and found out last Friday he too would be going along to Cincinnati with the St. Louis group. Martinez beat out L.A. ace Clayton Kershaw in the fan’s vote, with Kershaw actually finishing in third.
Yet National League manager Bruce Bochy, who brought Kershaw on at the last minute when St. Charles, Mo. native Max Scherzer would not be available, decided to use Kershaw over Wacha and Martinez. It backfired as Kershaw gave up a two out single to Prince Fielder and a double to Royals’ starter Lorenzo Cain allowing two runs to score as the American League took a 3-1 lead on their way to a 6-3 victory and home field advantage for the World Series.
Was this a blatant snub by Bochy? Perhaps. There could also be some behind the scenes dealings taking place. The Cardinals are going to have to lean on Wacha and Martinez in the second half of the season along with Lance Lynn. Adam Wainwright is gone, Jaime Garcia is out…only getting five innings a start from guys like Tyler Lyons and Tim Cooney is going to tax the bullpen. Mike Matheny may have sent a directive to Bochy asking that he hold his starters back and use only an emergency situation.
The bad news is that players and fans felt Wacha and Martinez deserved the nod, even over the reigning Cy Young and MVP. The good news is that their arms are saved and they’ll start the second half well rested.