Voting for the MLB All-Star Game opened yesterday. While the fans have all the power to bring their favorite position players to the Midsu . to sendmmer Classic, the pitchers will be re-determined by each of the league’s managers: Dusty Baker of Houston and Brian Snitker of Atlanta. While each of them will have to make several tough decisions in determining the non-starters, including making sure each team has at least one representative, Snitker should already have one of his decisions ahead of him. If he’s writing down the pitchers he deems worthy of the All-Star accolade, he’d better write the name of Padres rookie MacKenzie Gore in pencil. If he does not, he will have committed a sin against all holy things.
I’m sure most of you baseball pundits have probably heard of Gore’s dominance at this point, but for those of you who haven’t, Gore has racked up a 1.50 ERA in eight games that started with 57 strikeouts in 48 innings. He allowed only one home run and has an ERA-plus of 259, making him 159 percent better so far than an average pitcher in 2022. Among starting pitchers with at least 30 innings thrown, Gore has the lowest ERA†
Since 1913 there have been zero other pitchers to start their career with an ERA of 1.50 or better and at least 55 strikeouts in their first nine games. ZERO! There was another person who recorded these numbers before, Hall of Famer Piet Alexander, but that’s it, and when the Titanic debuted so long ago, it hadn’t sunk yet. This is literally a feat no one has accomplished in over 100 years! Give the man an All-Star offer!
Now, I know you’re probably thinking, “Well, he hasn’t thrown enough,” right? But who cares? A streak so remarkable deserves recognition. His 1.8 WAR is seventh in NL among starters, according to Baseball-Reference. He has a higher K per 9 than anyone above him and a better ERA. What more is there to ask? WAR is a cumulative statistic. Gore hasn’t pitched as long as his competition, but he’s still one of the best pitchers in that category. He is ahead of Carlos Rodón of San Francisco, Max Fried of Atlanta, Pablo Lopez of Miami and last year’s NL winner Cy Young Corbin Burnes.
It was a decent start to the career of the former third overall pick. When the All-Star Game and all its festivities roll out in a month, Gore had better be on that list. Hell! If I were Snitker, I’d consider starting with Gore! Will that happen? Probably not. The All-Star Game is primarily a celebration of baseball. There are several other big names in NL worthy of the credit that would elicit a greater response from MLB fans across the country. While Gore has been great, calling him the starter wouldn’t be in the spirit of celebrating baseball. And since the game will be played at Dodgers Stadium, gifting future Hall of Famer Clayton Kershaw, who has just returned from injury, would be the best bet, especially as he is 4-0 with a 1.80 ERA. Still, Gore has done more than enough to be worthy of All-Star consideration.
If he’s not on the roster by July 19, MLB has officially stacked the deck against him. The trial was clearly rigged and both Rob Manfred and Snitker deserve a stern conversation before correcting their mistake. We watch! The correct decision has been handed to the competition on a tee. Don’t swing and miss.