The world-champion San Francisco Giants will have at least three representatives at the 2013 All-Star Game at Citi Field in New York.
To the victors go the spoils--the old saying rings true in this year's Midsummer Classic. The defending world champions are six games below .500, and are in fourth place in the National League West, but have the most All-Star representatives among National League teams below .500.
Buster Posey, Madison Bumgarner, and Marco Scutaro are the trio of Giants that will be at the 2013 All-Star game in the Big Apple.
St. Louis Cardinal's catcher Yadier Molina beat out Posey in the voting. Although Posey has more home runs and RBIs, Molina leads baseball with a .346 batting average and may be the best defensive catcher in the game.
Bumgarner probably got his spot because--well--Bruce Bochy is the National League manager, and the 23-year-old right-hander has been the most consistent pitcher for the Giants. After his masterful seven-inning, two-run performance Saturday against the Los Angeles Dodgers, Bumgarner has a 3.05 ERA and the fourth-lowest WHIP (walks and hit per innings pitched) in the league at 0.97.
Scutaro is having a solid season following his career year in 2012. He is hitting .311 with a .346 on-base percentage.
Aside from the recent road trip, he continues to be a spark plug at the top of the Giants lineup.
Scutaro is honored Bochy selected him.
"I spend 10 years in the big leagues and have never been there," Scutaro told the San Jose Mercury News. "I'm kind of at the end of my career and to be able to live that experience, it's special."
This is Scutaro's first All-Star appearance in his 11-season big-league career.
And the Giants could have one more--but that's unlikely. Right-fielder Hunter Pence is in the final vote between five All-Star hopefuls, but he has the worst numbers among the quintet.
He is also mired in a slump. He is 2-for-23 in his last seven games (.087 average) and has to compete with Dodgers' rookie sensation Yasiel Puig--who is batting .407 with eight home runs in his first month as a big-leaguer.
But one cannot underestimate the passion and support Giants fans have for their players. Last year, fans voted Pablo Sandoval over David Wright as the starting third baseman in the 2012 All-Star game, even though Wright was hitting 50 points better than Sandoval, with more home runs and RBIs at the time.
Sandoval was leading in the polls a few weeks ago, but his recent 3-for-28 road trip shrunk his batting average from .293 down to .269. Wright is hitting .304 and has five more home runs that Sandoval (with 13)--and has a .393 on-base percentage.
The fans got it right in 2013 by voting in Wright as the NL's starting third baseman.
Giants' manager Bruce Bochy will be managing this year's NL All-Star team, so he may try to sneak in another one of his players if there is a need for an injured reserve.
Closer Sergio Romo is a possibility. He has a 2.25 ERA, with 20 saves and a 0.97 WHIP.
And striking out Puig and Adrian Gonzalez in the bottom of the ninth inning of yesterday's game against the Dodgers doesn't hurt his cause either.
Full All-Star game rosters can be found here.
Photos by By Eltiempo10 (Own work) [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons, SD Dirk, and Michael Marconi.
Stats from ESPN.com.
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