Team Record: 7 All-Stars on Philadelphia Team with 4 Picks – NBC Sports Philadelphia

Team Record: 7 All-Stars on Philadelphia Team with 4 Picks – NBC Sports Philadelphia

ATLANTA — Four Philadelphia 76ers will join their three starters in Arlington, Texas, for a team-record seven all-stars.

Zack Wheeler, Ranger Suarez, Jeff Hoffman and Matt Strahum were selected by a combination of player and commissioner’s office votes to represent the National League in the July 16 All-Star Game.

Wheeler is likely to be replaced as he will start on Tuesday and Sunday, the last games before the break.

The other three will join Bryce Harper, Trea Turner and Alec Bohm in the Midsummer Classic.

“I’m really proud of this group,” said head coach Rob Thompson. “The front office has built a really good roster. I’m proud of the seven guys and I told them that if they get the guys that I think are worthy of leaving our club, they’re going to have to have 40 guys on the All-Star roster. It’s the largest All-Star roster in Philadelphia history at 94 All-Star Games. That means something.”

Philadelphia had six players who deserved to win: the four who got the win, Aaron Nola and Christopher Sanchez. Suarez, Wheeler and Sanchez ranked first, third and fifth in the National League in earned run average. Nola went 10-4 with a 3.48 earned run average, tied for third in the majors in wins.

Hoffman has made a lot of money over the past two seasons by becoming one of the most reliable right-handed relievers in baseball after his 30th birthday with his fifth different organization. He has eight saves and a 1.21 earned run average with 47 strikeouts and eight runs scored in 37⅓ innings. Hoffman’s 92-game average with Philadelphia is 1.91. He is their only significant free agent after the season and bringing him back is expected to be a priority, though it could cost $11-12 million per year.

Philadelphia found out which of its players were selected to the All-Star team during a pregame meeting led by Thompson.

“I was shaking so much, it took me a while to calm down, actually,” Hoffman said. “I called my wife, and everyone was really happy that we canceled our plans to go to the All-Star Game and went out to play baseball instead.”

“You never know how many times these things might happen. That’s why I try to live in the moment as much as possible, and try to enjoy it. And I’m happy that my four children and my wife will be there with me and enjoy it as a family.”

This is the first selection to the All-Star team for Suarez, Hoffman and Strahum. It’s the second for Wheeler, who was the last National League selection to the 2021 All-Star team.

“It’s great to see these guys get their first win,” Wheeler said. “Huff has come a long way, Strahum has been working hard and getting better, and Ranger continues to work hard. It’s great to see all these guys getting better along the way.”

Strahum was nearly as dominant as Hoffman, with a 1.59 ERA, 45 strikeouts and four runs scored in 34 innings. He pitched in 36 games, 32 of them without allowing an earned run. The Braves scored twice on him on Opening Day, and his ERA has been 1.07 since.

Hoffman and Hoffman are pitching partners, so neither will have to look for another pitcher during warmups.

“I was probably the only one there with my real fishing partner,” Hoffman said. “That was cool. I think they announced Strahme’s name first, and that took a lot of the pressure off me than hearing my own name. I know the kind of work and time and effort he puts in. I’m really happy that we get to enjoy it together.”

Like Hoffman, Strahum has chosen a winding career path that makes this moment seem all the sweeter.

He arrived in Philadelphia before 2023 as an effective player when healthy, but he only played 72 innings from 2020 to 2022. He tore his left patellar tendon in 2017, and from then until he signed with Philadelphia, he spent every winter working on strengthening his knee rather than rigorously preparing for the upcoming season.

He’s reached a whole new level with the Phillies.

“It’s Philadelphia. The energy,” he said. “Winning every day is everything… I haven’t gotten it yet.”

Suarez’s performance rating has risen from 1.83 to 2.58 over his last two games, and he joked: “After these two games, I don’t think so,” when asked on Saturday evening if he thought he would still be in the team.

He knew he would be there, though, because the previous work had been so amazing.

“I wasn’t serious about it, I wasn’t worried either. This is what you work for during the season and outside the season, you work to reach this goal,” Suarez said.

Suarez will be joined by his wife, six-year-old daughter and three-year-old son, who saw him in person at Citizens Bank Park for the first time over Father’s Day weekend. The trip from Venezuela to the United States is no easy feat, and they’ve only seen Ranger — the league’s top player — on TV from afar.

“It was all part of my plan,” he joked. “They came this year because they knew I was going to be an All-Star. Everything is going according to plan.

“No, I’m very happy to have them here for my first All-Star selection and I’m sure we’ll do our best to get the best result.”

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