WASHINGTON — After the millions of ballots from fans around the country were tabulated, Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy missed out on being the National League’s starter in the All-Star Game by a mere 88 votes.
The final tally was 3,013,407 for Chicago’s Ben Zobrist and 3,013,319 for Murphy, the NL batting average leader.
Murphy insisted he wasn’t disappointed. Rather, he was thankful to be headed to the All-Star Game for a second time.
“Being an All-Star is humbling. I’m excited for it,” Murphy said Tuesday night. “Ben Zobrist is the starter. It sounds like he’s having a fantastic year and is well deserving.”
Murphy signed a three-year deal in January with Washington after starring for the rival New York Mets in the 2015 playoffs. He is batting .349 with 14 homers and 56 RBIs for the NL East-leading Nationals.
He will be joined in San Diego next week by teammates Stephen Strasburg, Wilson Ramos and Bryce Harper.
Strasburg, a manager’s selection, is 11-0 with a 2.71 ERA, a 1.03 WHIP and 123 strikeouts in 99.2 innings. Ramos is fourth in MLB in batting average at .335, and he’s added 13 home runs, 16 doubles, 23 walks and just 35 strikeouts in 71 games. Harper, who has struggled for much of the first half of the season after a dominant start, is batting .258/.402/.487 with 17 home runs, 48 RBIs, 47 runs, 66 walks and 11 stolen bases.
“It should be a lot of fun,” Murphy said. “Hopefully we can get home-field advantage in the World Series.”
Murphy made the NL squad in 2014 and got one at-bat. That’s not what he remembers most about the event.
“My biggest takeaway was there were a lot of good players there,” he said. “The thing I want to take away the most this time is that it’s an opportunity with four days off away from baseball to pour back into my family. Because once we get done with this, we hopefully go through October.”
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