For the first time since 2012 -- excluding the pandemic-shortened 2020 season which didn't feature a Midsummer Classic -- Nationals ace Max Scherzer was not named an All-Star, something his manager was quite surprised about.
"Max has had an incredible first half and I was really shocked he didn't make it," Davey Martinez said Monday ahead of Washington's game against the Padres. "He's done really well for us."
Major League Baseball announced the rest of the All-Star rosters on Sunday evening and it's likely Martinez is far from the only one surprised that the three-time Cy Young winner was left off the roster.
Through 16 starts in 2021, Scherzer has posted a dominant 2.10 ERA, which if holds will be his lowest single-season total in his decorated career. The right-hander also career-low WHIP (0.85) and is tied for the fifth-most strikeouts among NL pitchers.
"There's a lot of pitchers out there that have done well so far. But when you look at his numbers, for me, he definitely should have been picked," Martinez said. "I know he's gone so many times now, but he's one of those pitchers in this league that brings it every year. He hasn't changed and he's done it again this year."
While Scherzer was snubbed, the Nationals did have three players earn first-time All-Star selections in Juan Soto, Trea Turner and Kyle Schwarber. All three were announced as National League reserves on Sunday. Unfortunately for Schwarber, he won't be able to play in the game after suffering a significant hamstring injury last week.
When Martinez heard the news that Washington would have three All-Star representatives, he pulled the entire team together in the clubhouse to deliver the exciting news.
"It means a lot more if I announced it in front of everybody," Martinez said. "It's an unbelievable honor and an incredible accomplishment. So, I told everybody in front of the team for Trea, for Soto, for Schwarber. I'm proud of those guys.
For Martinez, though, he made it clear while there's plenty to celebrate for Soto, Turner and Schwarber making their first All-Star games, this is just the start for all three of them.
"I [told] them there's still plenty of work to be done, even when they get back," Martinez said. "For me, it's trying to make that second All-Star team at the end of the year. But like I said, I'm very proud of what they've done. It's an incredible honor."