The results are in, and there are no real surprises here. Major League Baseball announced the participants for the 2013 All-Star Game on Saturday, and while no Phillies were voted in by the fans, two were deemed worthy of inclusion on the National League roster.
For Cliff Lee, this is nothing new. The 2008 American League Cy Young Award winner was named an All Star for the fourth time in six seasons, the lone exceptions coming last season and in ’09. It was something of a no-brainer, as it typically is with Lee. He ranks among the best pitchers in the NL with 10 wins (t-3rd), a 0.980 WHIP (5th), and 199 119 strikeouts (4th).
Lee faces stiff competition to start the game however. The Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw leads the NL in earned run average and hits per nine innings, while young Mets’ hurler Matt Harvey is tops in WHIP and strikeouts, and has a potential home-town edge. The game is at Citi Field in New York.
For 25-year-old Domonic Brown, this is a special honor as a first-time selection – and the main attraction for Phillies fans who have been enjoying his breakout season.
Brown did not finish in the top 15 in fan voting, likely in large part due to his slow start and his relative anonymity nationally until he won back-to-back Player of the Week awards at the end of May. The numbers speak for themselves though, and it was hard to argue there were seven NL outfielders – the total on the roster – who are having better seasons.
Entering Saturday night, Brown was still second in home runs (22), as well as sixth in slugging (.549) and extra-base hits (39).
That’s not all for Brown. Jim Salisbury adds the newly-minted All-Star will participate in the home run derby if asked, which seems likely. This is a departure from roughly one month ago when in the midst of his hot streak Brown told reporters he would not do the event for fear it would alter his swing.
Phillies of note who did not make the cut include Jonathan Papelbon, who likely hurt his chances with a recent string of four blown saves in eight days, and Chase Utley who is posting very good numbers for a second baseman – arguably better than Marco Scutaro for San Francisco, who is on the team – but missed a month of the season. Giants manager Bruce Bochy is the NL manager.
There are no Phillies on the "Final Vote" ballot for fans online.
The mid-summer classic at is approaching fast, little more than a week away in fact. Will you be watching for Brown and Lee?