On Thursday night, teammate Zack Greinke made a compelling case to start the 86th edition of the Midsummer Classic.
Roughly 24 hours after Kershaw stymied the Philadelphia Phillies for his first shutout of the season, Greinke nearly matched his teammate's feat. The 31-year-old expended just 94 pitches over eight scoreless innings against the Phillies, allowing one hit and striking out eight while extending his streak of scoreless innings to 35 2/3 - the longest in the majors this season.
"He's the whole package, obviously," Phillies interim manager Pete Mackanin said postgame. "He's more impressive than the guy last night. We got one hit until the ninth inning. He had all his pitches working. He's got command. He's got location. He's got velocity. He makes it look easy at times. A good competitor."
Greinke lowered his ERA to 1.39 in Thursday's 6-0 victory at Dodger Stadium, easily the lowest in the majors, while becoming just the ninth pitcher since 1920 to record five straight outings of six innings or more without allowing a run.
Considering how exceptional Greinke has been over the last month, a difficult decision is looming for Bruce Bochy, who will manage the National League squad in Cincinnati on Tuesday night.
Tempted as he may be to start Madison Bumgarner, the undisputed ace of his rotation in San Francisco, Greinke's dominance through the first half of the season is virtually unprecedented: no starter has managed an ERA as impressive as Greinke's heading into the All-Star break since the mound was lowered in 1969.