Minneapolis, MN, United States (4E Sports) – Seattle Mariners ace Felix Hernandez and Adam Wainwright of the St. Louis Cardinals will be the starting pitchers for the American and National Leagues, respectively, in Tuesday’s 85th All-Star Game at Target Field.
A five-time All-Star, Hernandez (11-2) becomes the first Mariners pitcher to start the All-Star Game since Randy Johnson in 1997.
Hernandez is also the first Venezuelan pitcher ever to start the All-Star game. He will have a countryman as batterymate in Royals catcher Salvador Perez.
“It’s an honor,” said Hernandez. “To be the first Venezuelan guy is something special.”
“There are many deserving candidates to be the starting pitcher for this team,” AL manager John Farrell said of his decision to start Hernandez.
“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,” he added.
Wainwright, for his part, is 12-4 with a 1.83 ERA in 19 starts this season. He beat out Los Angeles Dodgers ace Clayton Kershaw for the distinction. Kershaw is 11-2 with a 1.78 ERA, despite missing time on the disabled list.
“It’s one of the coolest things I can ever say I did — to say I started a big league All-Star Game. I’m incredibly happy, fortunate to be placed in this situation. I can’t wait to go out and hopefully lead our National League squad to a victory,” Wainwright said.
“Tough decision, there’s no question about it,” NL manager Mike Matheny said. “We’ve seen a lot of Clayton, and it’s not just narrowed down to those two. There are quite a few guys who could absolutely be considered.”
Wainwright is thrilled that the first batter he’ll face in Tuesday night’s game will be Derek Jeter, whom he never faced, even in Spring Training.