Phillies starter won’t get the chance to start the 2018 All-Star Game, but that shouldn’t be taken as a knock against him this season.
Dodgers and National League All-Star Team manager Dave Roberts announced his starting lineup and starting pitcher for the All-Star Game Tuesday night. In an unsurprising news, Nationals starter Max Scherzer was selected to the start the game over Phillies starter Aaron Nola.
Nola will hopefully still get the chance to pitch even though he won’t start. His start was moved up one day to Saturday to accommodate him potentially pitching Tuesday night. A decent contingency of Philadelphia fans should be in attendance and would certainly love to see Nola pitch in his first All-Star Game.
The decision was unsurprising considering who Scherzer is. On top of being a six-time All-Star and three-time Cy Young winner, Scherzer pitches for the team that just so happens to be hosting the All-Star Game this year. To not start Scherzer in front of the home crowd would cause a huge outrage.
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Even though Scherzer starting was a foregone conclusion, he certainly still earned the honor this year. He is tied for the league lead in wins (12) and leads the league in WHIP (0.899), hits per nine innings (5.81), strikeouts (182), and innings pitched. He ranks among the leaders in more or less every pitching category.
While Nola did not get the start, he is still having quite a season of his own. Nola is tied with Scherzer with 12 wins this year. He also leads the league with just 0.4 home runs allowed per nine innings. His 5.9 wins above replacement, 2.30 ERA, 178 ERA+, 2.60 fielding-independent pitching, and 20 starts all rank second among NL pitchers.
Nola’s All-Star bid should help his Cy Young case later this season. At this point, it looks to be a three-horse race between him, Scherzer, and the Mets’ Jacob deGrom.