Henderson Alvarez replaces Jordan Zimmermann on NL All-Star roster

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According to Juan C. Rodriguez of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Marlins right-hander Henderson Alvarez has been added to the National League roster for Tuesday’s All-Star Game. He’ll replace Nationals right-hander Jordan Zimmerman, who left his start last night with a right biceps cramp.

This is the first All-Star selection for Alvarez. The 24-year-old right-hander has enjoyed an excellent first half, posting a 2.63 ERA and 73/22 K/BB ratio over 120 innings. He had a rare clunker last night against the Mets, giving up six runs over five innings for his first loss since May 11.

Interestingly, with Zimmermann sidelined, the Nationals will not have an active player on the NL roster. A little strange for a first-place team with some worthy candidates, including Anthony Rendon, Stephen Strasburg, and Rafael Soriano. With Alvarez and Giancarlo Stanton, the Marlins will now have two representatives.

Justin Verlander named ALCS MVP

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Following the Astros’ decisive 4-0 shutout over the Yankees on Saturday night, Justin Verlander was named the Most Valuable Player of the American League Championship Series. Hall of Fame outfielder and former MLB manager Frank Robinson handed the award to Verlander, who was beaming as he thanked his teammates and members of the Astros’ organization.

“I’ve got to say, it came down to the wire, and one thing kept going off in my head was Dallas,” Verlander told the crowd gathered at Minute Maid Park. “When he called me, he said that I won’t regret my decision to join the Houston Astros. And here we are right now, it’s the best feeling in the world. We’ve got four more wins to win a World Series, and I do not regret my decision to come here. This is the best feeling a player can have. So, thank you.”

Among a cast that boasted the likes of Jose Altuve, Carlos Correa and Dallas Keuchel, among others, Verlander was spectacular. He locked down a complete game win in Game 2, holding the Yankees to one run on five hits and a walk and striking out a postseason-high 13 batters. In Game 6, he saved the Astros from elimination with seven scoreless innings, helping propel the club to their eventual 7-1 finish that set up their series-clinching finale on Saturday.

The 34-year-old righty also took his place among some postseason greats. Thanks to an eight-strikeout outing on Friday night, his collective 136 postseason strikeouts are good for sixth-most in MLB playoff history, just a smidgen shy of Tom Glavine (143), Mike Mussina (145), Roger Clemens (173), Andy Pettitte (183) and John Smoltz (199). He also joined Bob Gibson, Curt Schilling and Sandy Koufax as one of just four hurlers to strike out 20+ Yankees in a postseason series.