For the Dodgers, the final score of the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard was a bit of an afterthought. Los Angeles sent three representatives to participate in Tuesday's exhibition. But by Wednesday evening, the club boasted a fourth player from the American League's 8-6, 10-inning win against the National League.Manager
For the Dodgers, the final score of the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard was a bit of an afterthought. Los Angeles sent three representatives to participate in Tuesday's exhibition. But by Wednesday evening, the club boasted a fourth player from the American League's 8-6, 10-inning win against the National League.
Manager Dave Roberts, outfielder Matt Kemp, and pitchers Thomas Stripling and Kenley Jansen touted the Dodgers logo on their uniforms, but a day after representing the Orioles, shortstop Manny Machado was on his way to Los Angeles -- acquired for five prospects, including No. 84 overall prospect Yusniel Diaz.
Still, there was a game to be played Tuesday, and for the Dodgers' All-Stars, it was memorable.
"This is a blessing," Kemp said of making his first All-Star appearance since 2011. "It's been six years, so to be here with teammates, family and friends, it's a blessing."
Their inclusion was underscored by the possibility of what lies on the horizon. Never mind that Stripling was on the wrong end of the American League's win, as the right-hander gave up back-to-back home runs to the Astros' Alex Bregman (named the game's Most Valuable Player) and George Springer.
A few innings into Tuesday's contest, reports surfaced that the Dodgers were on the cusp of reaching a deal to acquire Machado, who started at shortstop for the AL All-Star team. Machado and Kemp were seen together before the game, although Kemp was coy as to what the two chatted about.
"That's my boy," said Kemp, who started in left field and even took a selfie with Machado after he doubled in the second inning. "We go back. Worked in the offseason a couple times a couple years ago and hit. That's my boy."
He continued: "We were just talking about what we were going to eat after the All-Star Game. Just talking about food, things like that. 'How's the family?' Stuff like that."
Dodgers players throughout the season have insisted they are focused on ultimately returning to the World Series. Slumps, injuries, home run barrages and win streaks haven't fazed them, one way or another. An unsatisfactory showing in Washington, D.C., likely won't affect any of them either; adding a significant piece like Machado could.
"It's been fun," Kemp said. "We've got a good group of guys, older and younger. … A lot of positive vibes in that clubhouse, and we're having a good time."
Perhaps Kemp knew that the Dodgers will be enjoying themselves with an eye on reaching another Fall Classic, now with a legitimate superstar to help lead the way.
Kaelen Jones is a reporter for MLB.com.