WASHINGTON -- The Nationals made one final push to send Anthony Rendon to the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. Rendon was in third place in the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote ballot's second update Wednesday. So the club's Twitter account posted about Rendon all day Thursday, the final
WASHINGTON -- The Nationals made one final push to send Anthony Rendon to the MLB All-Star Game presented by Mastercard. Rendon was in third place in the Esurance MLB All-Star Game Final Vote ballot's second update Wednesday. So the club's Twitter account posted about Rendon all day Thursday, the final day of voting, using the "#VoteRendon" hashtag, which counted toward his vote total.
But the Nationals' efforts came up short, as Rendon finished in third place. Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner won with a record 20.8 million votes and the Cubs' Kristopher Bryant placed second.
Five other Nationals will still attend the All-Star Game in Miami, and during their news conference Thursday, those All-Stars made the case for Rendon to participate. Daniel Murphy referenced how good Rendon's stats are on FanGraphs.com. Sure enough, Rendon entered Thursday leading all NL third basemen in Wins Above Replacement (3.4), weighted runs created plus (146) and OPS (.953). He also ranked second in ultimate zone rating and third in defensive runs saved.
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Rendon entered Thursday with a slash line of .297/.398/.549, with 16 home runs. The 27-year-old notched 45 walks while striking out just 44 times. Rendon faced stiff competition, though, as Turner entered Thursday with the best batting average (.384) and on-base percentage (.473) in the Major Leagues, while defending NL MVP Award winner Bryant is one of the defending World Series champions' star players.
No Nationals player has ever won the Final Vote. Anthony Rizzo beat Rendon -- who's never been to the All-Star Game in his five-year career -- for the last spot in 2014.
Washington players and coaches have donned gray T-shirts featuring Rendon's smiling face in a Nationals cap and the words "Anthony is my favorite player" throughout the week, a shirt Trea Turner first wore to symbolize his friendship with Rendon.
The Nationals' Twitter account, which changed its name to "#VoteRendon," used the shirt's design as its cover photo. The team's main avatar was a photo of Rendon. The club also partnered with the Rangers in the American League, as both squads encouraged fans to vote for Elvis Andrus and Rendon.
In the final 24 hours of the vote, the team's Twitter account promoted a movement named "Vote 6 on the 6s," referencing Rendon's jersey number and promoting fans to vote each hour. Athletes based in the D.C. area, such as Olympic swimmer Katie Ledecky and the Washington Wizards' Bradley Beal, tweeted the Rendon hashtag, along with teams in this area such as the Washington Redskins, Washington Capitals and University of Maryland Athletics.
But Rendon will have to wait for his first All-Star Game despite enjoying the best first half of his career.
On Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. ET, 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.
Kyle Melnick is a reporter for MLB.com based in Washington.