Trea Turner was confused.
When the shortstop discovered that he, Juan Soto and Kyle Schwarber had been included on his first MLB All-Star roster Sunday, Turner’s excitement soon turned to amazement that another Nationals player wasn’t on that list.
Turner thought maybe MLB would notify pitchers who made it to the All-Star Game another day. But when that theory was proven wrong, all Turner could do was scratch his head.
After all, Max Scherzer has played at a star level all season.
“If he’s not an All-Star, something is wrong,” Turner said. “I mean, we raised his stats when we found out. I know there are a lot of good players. I understand. But, I mean, he’s in the top five in every category, and not just in the National League, but in most of MLB as well. “
Scherzer is not in the top five in all categories, but Turner was close.
His 2.10 ERA is seventh best in the majors. It ranks fourth in WHIP with 0.848. He is averaging 5,629 hits allowed per nine innings, which is the sixth fewest in baseball. He has 12,117 strikeouts per nine innings, the fifth most in the league. He averages 6,048 strikeouts for every walk, which is also the fifth-best mark.
And for Washington, Scherzer has been the constant ace needed as the team tries to work its way back up the NL East standings while enduring several key injuries.
“He has the numbers,” Turner said. “It’s Max Scherzer. And I think he deserves to be there. “
Scherzer could still appear in the All-Star Game, scheduled for July 13 in Denver, in case any of the pitchers who caused the team to drop out and MLB asks Scherzer to fill the gap.
Starting pitchers who made the National League All-Star roster are putting together impressive seasons. There’s Jacob deGrom of the Mets, whose 0.95 ERA is the lowest in the majors. San Francisco’s Kevin Gausman (1.68 ERA) and Milwaukee’s Brandon Woodruff (1.87 ERA) and Corbin Burnes (2.41 ERA) were also on the team. Like Yu Darvish of San Diego, with a 2.65 ERA and a 0.951 WHIP.
Scherzer’s numbers are better than Darvish’s, allowing fewer hits, walks and runs every nine innings while striking out more batters. But Darvish received his fourth All-Star Game nod, and his first since 2017, while Scherzer appears on the verge of missing an All-Star Game for the first time since 2012 (although there was no All-Star Game in 2020).
For Schwarber, Soto and Turner, Denver’s upcoming All-Star Game will be his first experience at the Midsummer Classic. Schwarber still plans to attend, even though a major right hamstring strain suffered during Washington’s series against the Los Angeles Dodgers will keep him out of the game.
“I’d like to go and still experience everything,” Schwarber said. “You only get one first, so I want to experience it and make the most of it. It sucks, I won’t be able to play, but you know what? It is what it is and I’m still excited to be a part of it. “
Schwarber is coming off a June in which he hit 16 home runs in 18 games. He slugged .760 with a 1,122 on-base plus slugging percentage. His 25 home runs overall rank him second in the National League. A move to the top spot in mid-June helped trigger Schwarber’s offensive eruption.
Turner has led the Nationals’ offense for much of the season, hitting .318 with 38 RBIs and 18 stolen bases. However, he is also currently dealing with an injury problem. Turner dipped a finger on a base Wednesday to complete his cycle, and he hasn’t played since. Washington manager Dave Martinez said Sunday Turner could return to the field earlier this week.
“Hopefully I can play [in the All-Star Game] in some capacity; I want to do it, ”Turner said. “As we are doing, taking it day by day, see how it feels, and I would love to play the game.”
Soto has put together a solid season, but his marks are below his 2020 production when he led the majors with a 1,185 on-base plus slugging percentage. In 2021, Soto’s average has dropped to .278, and his slugging percentage, ending at .695 in 2020, is just .431. But his .400 on-base percentage is the second-highest in the National League.
If Soto, Turner and Schwarber play at an All-Star level during the second half of the season, the Nationals’ full shift from a slow start could take place, pushing for a playoff spot rather than selling on the deadline. of changes.
“It’s going to be fun, the second half, as long as we get these guys back in the lineup and healthy,” Soto said. “When we all click together, we are warming up. I think it’s going to be fun. It will also be a challenge, because we have to keep going and keep playing baseball, try to win this East. “
For Washington to complete that comeback, the team will need more than Soto, Turner and Schwarber, provided the latter returns from injury. The Nationals will need stronger starts from Scherzer in the mix, regardless of whether he’s on the All-Star roster or not.
“I see a guy like that, who just competes and numbers every year, it’s crazy we don’t see him at the All-Star Game,” Soto said. “He’s always been there, he comes to play every day, so it’s hard to see him get out of there.”