While the Washington Nationals and Milwaukee Brewers were getting underway in the second game of their three-game set in D.C. last night on MASN, over on ESPN, the full rosters for the 2016 MLB All-Star Game were being announced.
Four Nationals made the cut with Bryce Harper voted in as part of the starting outfield while Daniel Murphy and Wilson Ramos were added as reserves and Stephen Strasburg was chosen as part of the National League's pitching staff.
It's the second time, and the first time since 2012, that Washington has sent as many as four representatives to play for the NL squad in the Midsummer Classic, which is being held in San Diego, California's Petco Park next Tuesday night.
Harper, 23, leads the majors in walks (66), intentional walks (15) and K/BB ratio (1.22), is fourth in the NL in OBP (.404) and is tied for fourth in the NL in home runs by outfielders.
Harper joins two Montreal Expos (Gary Carter, 4; and Andre Dawson, 3) as the only players in franchise history to earn at least three fan elections to the All-Star Game.
Murphy, 31, in his first year with the Nationals after signing a 3-year/$37.5M free agent deal this winter, currently leads all NL Hitters in AVG (.347), hits (108) and multi-hit games (35).
He leads all NL second baseman in doubles (22), slugging percentage (.579) and has the second-highest home run total.
Joining Murphy as a players' selection on the NL roster, is 28-year-old catcher Wilson Ramos, who is heading to the All-Star Game for the first time leading all qualified major league backstops in AVG (.340), OBP (.396), SLG (.563), RBIs (46) and home runs (tied for 1st, 13).
Ramos, the Nationals' press release on his selection noted, also has the 10th best AVG with runners in scoring position among all major league hitters (.368).
Strasburg, 27, is headed to the All-Star Game for the second time in his career as a selection by NL skipper Terry Collins. He's the first NL starter to begin a season (11-0) since Padres' right-hander Andy Hawkins started 11-0 in 1985.
Through 15 starts, Strasburg has a 2.71 ERA, a 2.91 FIP, 28 walks (2.53 BB/9) and 123 Ks (11.11 K/9) in 99 ⅔ IP.
Nationals' skipper Dusty Baker talked to reporters after last night's loss to the Brewers about the players who were selected for the 2016 ASG.
"The guys that are headed there, I think they deserve to be headed there," Baker said.
"I would have liked to have seen Max Scherzer make it and I would have liked to have seen Danny Espinosa, but Danny came on kind of late for the voting. And so, I'm sure he's on the radar in people's minds for next year."
Baker said the selection of Wilson Ramos was especially important to the catcher.
"This is really special for him," Baker told reporters.
"He doesn't say much, but his facial expression showed that he was extremely happy to be going to this All-Star Game.
"And he's come a long ways, he's worked hard. Not only has he worked hard at his hitting, but he's worked hard at his throwing and game-calling and blocking. He's worked hard and you like to see a guy rewarded for his hard work."