WASHINGTON, D.C.: Washington Nationals’ manager Davey Martinez was asked earlier this week which pitcher should be the National League’s starter in the 2018 MLB All-Star Game.
“I don’t want to be biased,” Martinez said, “but Max Scherzer, yeah, of course.
“Knowing him, he’ll probably want to pitch the whole game, but that’s not going to happen. I can assure you of that, but I really feel like he deserves to pitch and start the game.”
It is the Nationals Park All-Star Game, of course, and Scherzer, 33, did finish the first half of the 2018 campaign (12-5) in 20 starts with a 2.41 ERA, a 2.80 FIP, 34 walks (2.27 BB/9), 182 Ks (12.6 K/9), and a .179/.244/.341 line against in 134 2⁄3 IP, after winning the second of back-to-back NL Cy Young awards in 2017.
Dodgers’ manager Dave Roberts, who selected Martinez as one of his coaches for tomorrow night’s game, apparently agreed, because he brought Scherzer with him to the podium in the manager’s press conference for the 89th Midsummer Classic and introduced the Nats’ ace as the National League’s starting pitcher.
“I’m honored to announce Max Scherzer as the National League starting pitcher,” Roberts said. “This is the third time he’s going to be making an All-Star start, and it’s well-deserved.
“It’s his city. It’s his ballpark. In my opinion, he’s one of the top pitchers and I’ve got a guy on my staff, but to give the ball to Max, it’s an honor for me to watch him do his thing, and as A.J. [Hinch] said there’s a lot of great candidates.
“Jacob deGrom has had a great first-half, but for me I think that I’ve always tried to make things bigger than me and the club, and I think that Max, for the game of baseball, for our country, that he’s the right guy to take the baseball.”
“When Dave told me that I was -- that he was going to give me the nod, so many emotions when you know that you’re pitching in your home park,” Scherzer said.
“This is such an honor for the All-Star Game to be here.
“In previous experiences of being in the All-Star Games, you know, seeing the hometown players and how the fans get behind the hometown players, it’s always been a special moment just watching that from afar and being on the other side.
“So I can only imagine what it’s going to be like to have the Nats fans here supporting all of us, Bryce [Harper] and [Sean] Doolittle, as well. It’s just an honor to be able to have that recognition and go out there and start this thing again, because this is just a dream come true.”