WASHINGTON - JUNE 04: Matt Capps #55 of the Washington Nationals celebrates after the final out of a 4-2 victory over the Cincinnati Reds at Nationals Park on June 4, 2010 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
In 2005, for Detroit's All-Star Game, there were two Washington Nationals selected as reserves, with DC's Flat-Brimmed Closer Chad Cordero, who entered the Break in '05 with a (2-1) record, 31 saves in 46 games, and 47.2 innings pitched over which he'd allowed just 37 hits, 6 ER, 4 HR's and 12 walks (2.27 BB/9) while recording 42 K's (7.93 K/9) and posting a 1.13 ERA, and Livan Hernandez, the former and current, Mr. National Himself, who was, at the time of his selection, (12-3) in 19 starts, with a 3.48 ERA and 78 K's in 134.1 innings on the mound for the then-recently-relocated franchise.
In '06, Washington, (and baseball fans everywhere, who voted him a starter), sent reluctant DC outfielder Alfonso Soriano to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's PNC Park as the Nationals' (thus far) lone "elected" All-Star representative. After 81 games that season, Soriano had collected 93 hits in 338 at bats, for a .275 AVG, with 24 doubles, 21 HR's, 56 RBI's, 10 stolen bases, and (in one of the rare instances where the term "irony" could, possibly, be correctly applied), a League-leading 12 outfield assists, though most of those were because opposing team's coaches and baserunners continued to test his unproven arm throughout his first season in the outfield.
In July of 2007, Washington first baseman Dmitri Young was a surprising selection when he was added as a reserve on the NL squad for San Francisco's turn as the ASG host city. DY had been written off by many after he'd flamed out in Detroit and he'd had actually been released by the Tigers a year earlier, but then Da Meat Hook hooked up with Washington and former DC GM Jim Bowden (one of the good things Bowden did during his tenure and there were a few), and almost immediately, DY set about rejuvenating his Major League career. At the time of his selection, DY was hitting .339, with 96 hits in 283 at bats over 81 games, in which he'd collected 23 doubles, 1 triple, 8 HR's and 43 RBI's.
2008 saw Nats' shortstop Cristian Guzman get the call to represent the Nats and the National League. The Guzzzz led the NL in hits with 119 at the time of his selection, a total which ranked Guzman second overall in the Majors, with his .313 BA tied for 6th best in the NL, and tied for 12th best in all of Major League Baseball (as of 7/10/08). Guzman led the Nationals in runs, with 50, doubles, with 25, triples, (tied with Elijah Dukes and Willie Harris at 2), and he was then third on the team in RBI's, having collected 29 in 87 games.
It took a 30-game hit-streak for Ryan Zimmerman to get noticed and added to the All-Star roster in 2009 for St. Louis' turn to host the mid-summer classic. With a .295 AVG, 22 doubles, 13 HR's, 46 RBI's, a .365 OBP, .486 SLG, and an .851 OPS at the time he was named to the roster in the 2009, Zimmerman had (arguably) put together his best first-half in the majors, and in spite of some concerns about the statistical decline that followed his headline grabbing hitting streak, Ryan Zimmerman was added to the NL roster for the '09 ASG.
This year, it's Nats' closer Matt Capps who gets the (somewhat controversial - Not Dunn, Zim or Stras?) nod and the trip to Anaheim, California to represent DC baseball, following a first-half of 2010 which has seen the right-handed 26-year-old first-year-National save 23 games while striking out 33 (7.49 K/9) and walking just 7 (1.59 K/9) in 41 games and 39.2 IP so far this season. Capps came to DC after the Pittsburgh Pirates (who had drafted Capps) non-tendered him this winter after deciding that he wasn't worth what the team might have had to pay him in arbitration, but with his selection as the Nats' lone representative this year, he may well have positioned himself to be moved out of DC as one of a few chips the Nats have and could potentially replace should they decided to improve their roster before the July 31st non-waiver deadline comes around...but for tonight, Capps is the nation's capital's representative in Anaheim. LET'S GO CAPPS!!! LET'S GO CAPPS!!!
ASG Results: Chad Cordero struck out the only batter he faced in the '05 ASG. Earlier in that game, Livan Hernandez, (who had been selected in '04 as an Expo, but did not pitch), gave up 2 runs on 2 hits and a walk in 1.0 inning of work for the NL squad. Alfonso Soriano was 1 for 2 with a single in the '06 All-Star game, and DY was 1 for 1 in his only at bat in '07. In 2008, Cristian Guzman, representing Washington in NY, was called upon to pinch run in the ninth, much to the delight of the DC Faithful, and then to our horror he was caught stealing on a strike'em out, throw'em out, but he stayed in the game, (for six innings), playing third (by neccessity, for the first time in his career) and going 0 for 3...Ryan Zimmerman came on as a defensive replacement in the fifth inning of last year's All-Star Game, but was 0-2 in 2 AB's as the National League lost again...What Will Matt Capps Do?
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