Let’s not get too worked up about All-Star snubs

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If I had carte blanche to make an All-Star team I probably wouldn’t have done it like John Farrell, Mike Matheney, voting players and voting fans did. I think everyone would make different choices if they had their say, and of course any committee of decision makers is subject to the weird things that committees do.

I’d like to think I’d find room for Garrett Richards or Huston Street. That Kyle Seager or Ian Kinsler could make the team. That maybe Josh Harrison wouldn’t be on it and, instead, I’d find room for Anthony Rendon. That is, if I wanted to maintain that utility player role Harrison is apparently filling. If I just wanted to go for star power and narrative, I’d go for the finally-rebounding Justin Morneau and let him return to Minnesota with his head up. I’d probably replace 85% of the relief pitchers picked with starters, all of whom could easily go an inning next week. Most starters are more famous. They’re bigger stars, and that’s what the All-Star Game is about. It’s also why I will giggle at anyone who says Derek Jeter doesn’t belong. He’s the biggest star of them all.

But while I’ll gladly argue with anyone on a surface level about this choice or that choice (arguing is fun for me if you haven’t noticed), it’s really, really hard for me to get genuinely worked up about “snubs.”

Partially because, between now and next Tuesday, a lot of players on the All-Star team will beg out with injuries, real or imaginary. Many pitchers will be ruled ineligible by their teams due to work loads and the like. Just about everyone who is “snubbed” as of this morning will be in Minneapolis next week. That is, if they want to be. Many of these guys are probably secretly happy that they were snubbed so that they can get three or four days off in the middle of a long season to go fishing or to the beach or to spend time with their kids, wives or girlfriends. Regardless of how it all shakes out, no one is likely to give quotes to the press in which they honestly and passionately express their feelings of being slighted.

I’m a blogger and bloggers have the reputation of shooting first and aiming later, substituting immediacy for consideration and reaction for reflection. We can argue about how fair of a stereotype that is for a given web-based writer, but I totally see where that’s coming from.

But in the “biggest All-Star snubs!” game, I’m inclined to wait it out for a few days. If we do so, most of all of this will be taken care of.

Max Scherzer, with broken nose, strikes out 10 Phillies over seven shutout innings

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Nationals starter Max Scherzer bunted a ball into his face during batting practice on Tuesday, breaking his nose in the process. He ended up with a gnarly looking shiner around his right eye, making him appear a bit like Terminator. Scherzer still took the ball to start the second game of Wednesday night’s doubleheader against the Phillies.

Despite the injury, Scherzer was incredibly effective, limiting the Phillies to four hits and two walks across seven shutout innings, striking out 10 batters in the process. He might even have had some extra adrenaline going, as he averaged 96.2 MPH on his fastball, his highest average fastball velocity in a game since September 2012, per MLB.com’s Jamal Collier. The Nationals provided Scherzer with just one run of support, coming on a Brian Dozier solo home run off of Jake Arrieta in the second inning, but it was enough.

Wander Suero worked a scoreless top of the eighth with a pair of strikeouts. Victor Robles added a solo homer off of Pat Neshek in the bottom half. Closer Sean Doolittle took over in the ninth, working a 1-2-3 frame to give the Nats their 2-0 victory.

Over his last six starts, Scherzer now has a 0.88 ERA with a 59/8 K/BB ratio across 41 innings. He has gone six innings, struck out at least nine batters, and held the opposition to two or fewer runs in each of those six starts.