PHILADELPHIA -- On Sunday morning, right-hander Tyler Clippard received word that he would represent the Nationals in the All-Star Game in Minnesota.
It will be the second All-Star appearance for Clippard. His first came in 2011, when the right-hander picked up the victory as the National League won, 5-1.
Clippard entered that game in the fourth inning with runners on first and second, two outs and the American League leading, 1-0. On an 0-2 fastball, Adrian Beltre singled to left field, but then-Astros outfielder Hunter Pence threw out Jose Bautista at the plate to end the inning.
As his team was coming off the field, Clippard said to Pence, "Great job. Thank you." Prince Fielder put the NL ahead in the bottom of the inning with a three-run homer.
Before Sunday, it seemed as if the Nationals would not have any representation in Minnesota. Jordan Zimmermann, who was named an All-Star for the second straight year, sustained a biceps strain and decided not to play. But before the Nationals' 10-3 victory over the Phillies, manager Matt Williams told Clippard that he was added to the NL roster.
Clippard said he was surprised to hear the news, as he was planning to spend the break in Tampa playing golf. If it was up to him, he said, teammate Drew Storen would be part of the squad, but he was pleased to get the chance to represent his club.
"I'm honored to do it. I feel like the Nationals need some representation," Clippard said. "Jordan wasn't able to be there. I was afraid we might not have anybody in uniform, so I'm just happy to go out there and just represent our team and maybe get into a game and see what happens."
Clippard leads the Nationals' relievers in wins (six), holds (19) and relief strikeouts (53). He also has a 2.03 ERA. Clippard will replace Braves right-hander Julio Teheran, who started Sunday's series finale against the Cubs. Zimmermann had already been replaced by the Marlins' Henderson Alvarez.
"We should have had more than one representative," Zimmermann said. "We have Clip going so, I'm happy for him. It's well deserved. He has one of the best changeups in the game. He is in attack mode. Right when you think you have him, he is going to throw that changeup. He is a big strikeout guy, and I'm glad he is on our team."
The final phase of All-Star Game voting will again allow fans to help choose the Ted Williams All-Star Game Most Valuable Player Award presented by Chevrolet. During the Midsummer Classic, fans will vote exclusively online at MLB.com and via Twitter in the 2014 All-Star Game MLB.com MVP Vote Sponsored by Pepsi, and their collective voice will represent 20 percent of the overall vote that determines the recipient of the Arch Ward Trophy.
MLB.TV Premium subscribers, for the first time, will be able to live stream the All-Star Game via MLB.TV through FOX's participating video providers. Access will be available across more than 400 platforms that support MLB.TV, including the award-winning MLB.com At Bat app. MLB.com will provide extensive online coverage of the All-Star Week festivities.
The 85th All-Star Game will be televised nationally by FOX, in Canada by Rogers Sportsnet and RDS, and worldwide by partners in more than 200 countries via MLB International's independent feed. ESPN Radio and ESPN Radio Deportes will provide national radio coverage of the All-Star Game. MLB Network and SiriusXM will also provide comprehensive All-Star Week coverage. For more information, please visit allstargame.com.
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, All Nats All the time. He also could be found on Twitter @WashingNats. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less