ST. LOUIS -- Carlos Martinez and Yadier Molina had their pregame preparations interrupted by manager Mike Matheny on Sunday. Before they were to face an All-Star, they learned that they had been named ones, too.
Martinez and Molina will be All-Star teammates for the second time in three years after both earned a spot on the National League roster through the player ballot. Molina received the second-most player votes among all NL catchers, while Martinez ranked fifth among pitchers.
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This marks the second consecutive season that the Cardinals have placed two players on the All-Star team.
"Carlos obviously has the respect of his peers in this league because they understand just how good he is and believe that he's worthy of representing this National League," manager Mike Matheny said. "He's taken those steps forward to look like a very elite pitcher. And Yadi continues to be one of the benchmarks of the catching position of what it should look like."
Molina made the All-Star team for seven consecutive seasons before having that streak broken last year. This season, he's pushed his way back onto the squad by being a threat both at the plate and behind it. Molina leads all NL catchers with 67 starts and 589 innings caught. He also ranks among the top four in total hits (69), home runs (nine) and RBIs (35).
Molina, who is slashing .268/.303/.412 on the season, has had two 16-game hitting streaks this year, the most recent of which ended on Sunday. Nevertheless, he described himself as "surprised" upon learning about his selection.
"Too many good catchers in the league," Molina said. "To be part of the All-Star group is a great honor. It means a lot."
Martinez is a second-time All-Star, though he'll be looking for his first appearance when he travels to Miami. Martinez did not pitch in the All-Star Game two summers ago after winning a spot on the roster through the Final Vote competition. This year, Martinez let his pitching do all the lobbying.
Martinez entered Sunday's showdown against Max Scherzer ranked fourth in the NL in ERA (2.88), second in opponents' batting average (.199), fourth in WHIP (1.07) and sixth in strikeouts per nine innings (10.24). He didn't match up well against Scherzer in Sunday's 7-2 loss, but will be featured on the same NL staff the next time they meet.
"I feel really thankful and honored to be able to have the privilege to go and that other players see me in this light," Martinez said, speaking through a translator. "I'm going to do my best to continue doing what I've been doing the entire season. I'm really happy and thankful to be given an opportunity to go to the All-Star Game."
Fans can cast ballots for the 2017 Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote on MLB.com, Club sites and their mobile devices until 3 p.m. 3T on Thursday. The winners, as chosen exclusively by online fan voting totals, will then be announced during "MLB Tonight" live on MLB Network and MLB.com at 6 p.m. Extensive coverage throughout the Final Vote will be provided by MLB Network and MLB.com, including interviews with the candidates, frequent updates, heat maps indicating where votes are being cast for each candidate, news on player and club campaigns, and a running countdown clock leading up to the announcement.
Now in its 16th season, with more than 680 million votes cast, the Final Vote again will include social votes on the last day of balloting, as Twitter support for the 10 candidates over the final six hours of balloting will count toward their vote totals. From 9 a.m.- 3 p.m. CT on Thursday, any tweet that includes a designated player hashtag will be tabulated as part of the official vote total used to determine the winners.
On Tuesday, July 11, at 6:30 p.m. CT, tune in to the 2017 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, and during the game visit MLB.com to submit your choice for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet via the 2017 MLB All-Star Game MVP Vote. The 88th All-Star Game, in Miami, will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 160 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB.com, MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.