"When you've got hitters who come to first and say how unbelievable he is, you know he's nasty," Pujols said. "Garrett has been outstanding. Look at the numbers. Look at what he's done, not just in the last three weeks but all season. The guy is electric. He throws 97, 98 mph with a nasty slider. The guy's amazing."
Richards, 26, threw another gem Sunday, giving up one run and six hits in 71/3 innings, striking out 11, a career high, and walking one to lead the Angels to a 6-1 victory that completed a four-game sweep of the
Richards improved to 10-2 with a 2.71 earned-run average and 119 strikeouts in 1161/3 innings, and he has held opponents to an
But when teams were announced Sunday for the July 15
Richards was one of five pitchers put on the "final five" ballot, which gives fans the chance to vote for the last player on the team.
The others are Chicago's
Richards could be added to the team if a pitcher drops out because of injury or is unable to participate because he pitches next Sunday. Richards is scheduled to pitch Friday, so he would be in line to pitch in the All-Star game.
"It's a little disapointing, but there's still a chance," Richards said. "I've had a pretty good first half, but more importantly, we're playing good baseball as a team. I'm more concerned with the team's overall record than myself. I'll take a
Aybar, who was edged out by Chicago's
The switch-hitter was batting .175 on April 21, but after making a slight adjustment in his stance, he is hitting .303 (81 for 268) in his last 68 games, including a single, stolen base and a run in Sunday's victory. In his ninth year, Aybar has not made an All-Star team.
"I'm pretty disappointed," said Pujols, a nine-time All-Star. "I think Aybar should be an All-Star."
There was no denying Trout, who received the most votes in player balloting. The AL most-valuable-player runner-up in 2012 and 2013, Trout has put together an MVP-caliber first half, hitting .308 with a team-leading 20 home runs, 63 RBIs, 58 runs and a 1.005 on-base-plus slugging percentage.
But the 22-year-old slugger decided to turn down an invitation from Toronto's