Washington Nationals - All-Star History: (reprinted from previous seasons)
In 2005, for Detroit's All-Star Game, there were two Washington Nationals selected as reserves, DC's Flat-Brimmed Closer Chad Cordero (who entered the Break in '05 with a (2-1) record and 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 baseball fans, (and baseball fans everywhere, who voted him a starter), sent reluctant DC outfielder Alfonso Soriano to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania's PNC Park as the Nationals' (at that point) lone "elected" All-Star representative. In the first "half" of the '06 season, Soriano had collected 99 hits in 64 at bats, for a .272/.338/.549 slash line, with 20 doubles, 27 HR's, 56 RBI's, 20 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, Young was hitting .339, with a .390 OBP, .512 SLG and 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 NL in the ASG. The Guzzzz led the NL in hits with 119 at the time of his selection, a total good enough for second overall in the Majors, with Guzman's .313 BA tied for 6th best in the NL. Guzman led the Nationals in runs, with 54, doubles, with 26, triples, (tied with Elijah Dukes and Willie Harris at 2), and he was then third on the team in RBI's, having collected 300 in 93 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 as host of the mid-summer classic. With a .286/.365/.526 slash, 22 doubles, 14 HR's and 52 RBI's after 79 games in '09, Zimmerman, the Nats' Face of the Franchise, 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 as the Nats' rep for the '09 ASG.
In 2010, Nats' closer Matt Capps got the (somewhat controversial - Not Dunn, Zim or Stras?) nod and the trip to Anaheim, California to represent the Nationals following a first-half which has saw 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. Capps came to DC after the Pittsburgh Pirates (who had drafted Capps) non-tendered him after deciding to avoid going to arbitration. The Nats took a chance on Capps having a bounce-back campaign and he did. D.C. GM Mike Rizzo then flipped Capps at the trade deadline, acquiring highly-regarded catching prospect Wilson Ramos from the Minnesota Twins along with left-handed reliever Joe Testa.
ASG Results: Chad Cordero struck out the only batter he faced in the '05 ASG (Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez). 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 (to Brian Roberts and Ichiro Suzuki) and a walk in 1.0 inning of work for the NL squad. Alfonso Soriano was 1 for 2 with a single off Roy Halladay in the '06 All-Star game, and DY was 1 for 1 with a single off J.J. Putz 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.
Matt Capps came on with two down in the sixth last year, when NL Skipper Charlie Manuel, of the National League Champion Philadelphia Phillies, pulled his own ace Roy Halladay from the mound after he'd allowed a two-out single to Josh Hamilton in the bottom of the 6th with the AL ahead 1-0 on the strength of 5.0 scoreless from the Rays' David Price, Yankees' Andy Pettite, the Rangers' Cliff Lee, the Tigers' Justin Verlander, Red Sox' Jon Lester and an unforced error by LA Dodgers' pitcher Hong-Chi Kuo in the fifth.
Mr. Manuel went to the bullpen for the Washington Nationals' lone All-Star, closer Matt Capps, who came on to face Boston's left-handed slugger David Ortiz. Capps started the Red Sox' first baseman/DH with two fastballs way outside, then threw a 94mph fastball on the outside edge for a called strike and 2-1 count. Ortiz fouled off a fastball a little further outside than the 2-0 strike and then, after Capps shook off three pitches called for by Braves' catcher Brian McCann, he threw a Livan-Hernandez-esque two-seam fastball inside for a called strike three and the end of the sixth.
• 2011?: If you had to pick now, which Nat should represent the Washington Nationals in the 2011 All-Star Game in Arizona? Jason Marquis? The 32-year-old right-hander whose 2010 season was a wash due to elbow surgery has bounced back and arguably been the Nats' best starter through his first nine starts, winning five and losing one with Washington 8-2 in games he starts. Marquis has walked 13 (2.04 BB/9) and struck out 33 (5.18 K/9) over 57.1 IP over which he's posted a 4.08 ERA and a 3.22 FIP. Drew Storen? Storen's (3-1) and 9 for 9 in save opportunities, with a 0.38 ERA (2.61 FIP), 5 walks (1.90 BB/9) and 19 K's (7.23 K/9) in 21 games and 23.2 IP...Can the second-year right-handed represent the Nats?
Wilson Ramos, the Nats' part-time future backstop with the .272/.347/.447 slash, seven doubles and three HR's at the plate and the 50% CS%? Laynce Nix? Is he the best the Nats have to offer offensively? Nix has a .300/.333/.540 slash, with 6 doubles and 6 HR's. Tyler Clippard has a 1.69 ERA, 3.09 FIP, 10.08 K/9 and 3.38 BB/9 in 26.2 IP. They do like relievers as reserves...Storen, Clippard, Marquis? There's another month in the first half of the 2011 campaign, we already know Jim Riggleman's been named an All-Star coach, which National will join him in Arizona? Can the Federal Baseball readers correctly predict the Nats' 2011 All-Star?