Tampa Bay Rays Cy Young candidate Shane McClanahan got the honor of starting the All-Star game for the American League, but unforuntaely, his historic first half did not translate to the All-Star game.
McClanahan finished the All-Star game with a stat line of 1 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, and 1 HR. He has dominated hitters all year long, but the National League was able to get the best of him this time around. NL MVP favorite Paul Goldschmidt made the highlight of the inning with his 2-run shot off of McClanahan.
It is really unfortunate that McClanahan had a rough outing for the American League, as for many casual fans, this was their first exposure to the Rays' young ace. Ultimately, the All-Star game is an exhibition, but fans can create takes and opinions of players off of games like this.
The fact that McClanahan would be selected for the game says a lot about how the league feels about him. You do not start a pitcher like McClanahan if you do not believe he is legit. The Rays starter should shake off this start and go into the second half with confidence as easily the best pitcher in baseball this first half.
The Rays desperately need McClanahan to be the pitcher he was in the first half for the club to make a run this season. There is no greater weapon entering October than an ace like the Rays' lefty who can shut down an opposing lineup. It's time to see whether or not this was a one half streak, or the start of something special for Sugar Shane.