WASHINGTON -- Hosting the All-Star Game for the first time in team history will be an opportunity for the Nationals to showcase all that D.C. and Nationals Park have to offer, as well as a chance for their trio of All-Stars to showcase their talent.• VOTE Trea: 2018 Camping World
WASHINGTON -- Hosting the All-Star Game for the first time in team history will be an opportunity for the Nationals to showcase all that D.C. and Nationals Park have to offer, as well as a chance for their trio of All-Stars to showcase their talent.
• VOTE Trea: 2018 Camping World MLB Final Vote
Bryce Harper, Max Scherzer and Sean Doolittle were all named to the 2018 MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard on July 17 (7:30 p.m. ET on FOX). They could also be joined by Trea Turner, who is on the ballot for the Camping World MLB Final Vote, as the hometown team will be well-represented for the Midsummer Classic.
"I've gotten a chance to be a part of these a handful of times now, and it's always been really cool to see the hometown fans get behind the hometown All-Stars," Scherzer said. "I think some of the cool memories I've seen over the year is the fan support. And for us representing ourselves as the Nationals here in our home park, I think this will be an experience unlike any other that we've been a part of. That has us just itching to get out there and play and just go out there and compete and compete for our fans."
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Harper has been named an All-Star for the sixth time in his young career and will make his fourth consecutive start in the outfield. It will be his fifth career All-Star Game start, which breaks a tie with Gary Carter for the most All-Star starts in franchise history. While his production has been down compared to previous seasons, he owns a slash line of .218/.374/.472 while leading the NL in walks (76) and placing second in home runs (21).
With his selection to the game, he also reiterated that he plans to participate in the T-Mobile Home Run Derby. It would be his second career appearance in the event, and like the previous time when he participated at Citi Field in 2013, he plans to have his father, Ron, pitch to him.
"I'm looking forward to going out there and representing the Nationals and hopefully bring home the trophy," Harper said before mentioning how much he was looking forward to sharing that day with his father. "I think that's the coolest thing. Growing up you always play catch with your dad and enjoy those moments and I was able to do that every single day. I'm looking forward to just having the family around at the All-Star Game. Having my dad in the clubhouse, that's truly cool. Seeing all the All-Stars and being able to have conversations with a lot of guys you're not able to during the year. I know my dad gets really excited as well and I'm looking forward to it."
Scherzer gets his sixth career All-Star nod, and he enters as perhaps the favorite to serve as the starting pitcher for the NL. That's because Scherzer is putting together a season worthy of a third straight NL Cy Young Award, with a 2.33 ERA and an MLB-leading 177 strikeouts in 127 2/3 innings.
He is currently lined up perfectly to pitch the day of the All-Star Game, and although he would not admit it Sunday, he relishes the chances to start games like this.
"Whenever I get to pitch is going to be awesome," Scherzer said.
A year ago, Doolittle was not yet a member of the Nationals, or a closer at all. Those are the first thoughts he had when he learned he had been named an All-Star for the second time in his career and first time since 2014. Washington is more than happy to have him shutting down games in the ninth inning. In 35 games this year, Doolittle owns a 1.45 ERA with 49 strikeouts and just three walks in 37 1/3 innings.
"I think of where I was a year ago at this time," Doolittle said. "I hadn't even been traded over here yet. I wasn't even the closer on that team and now I get to represent this team and this city in front of these fans in the All-Star Game. It's incredible. It really hasn't sunk in yet to be honest."
Fans can cast votes for the final player on each league's roster -- on computers, tablets and smartphones -- exclusively online as part of the 2018 Camping World MLB Final Vote, as well as via the MLB At Bat and MLB Ballpark mobile apps, until Wednesday at 4 p.m. ET.
Then on Tuesday, July 17, while watching the 2018 All-Star Game presented by Mastercard live on FOX, fans can submit their choices for the Ted Williams Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet with the 2018 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote.
The 89th Midsummer Classic, at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C., will be televised nationally by FOX Sports; in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS; and worldwide by partners in more than 180 countries. FOX Deportes will provide Spanish-language coverage in the United States, while ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide exclusive national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network, MLB.com and SiriusXM also will provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage.
For more information about MLB All-Star Week and to purchase tickets, visit AllStarGame.com and follow @MLB and @AllStarGame on social media.
Jamal Collier has covered the Nationals for MLB.com since 2016. Follow him on Twitter at @jamalcollier.