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Harvey named NL starter for All-Star Game

Over the last three years Matt Harvey has become one of the biggest young starts in Major League Baseball, and on Tuesday night his career reaches yet another level when he starts for the National League at the 2013 MLB All-Star Game in his home ballpark. San Francisco Giants manager Bruce Bochy made the official announcement on Monday afternoon inside of Citi Field.
It is the second straight year that Harvey will pitch in an all-star game in front of his home crowd. The 2010 First Round pick was selected to the AAA All-Star Game at Coca-Cola Field in Buffalo last season, and was the second pitcher used by the International League in the exhibition game. Harvey was one of three Buffalo Bisons’ players selected for the game. He was named the IL MVP for the game after recording two strikeouts in two innings of work.
At this time last year Harvey was still waiting for his call-up to the New York Mets, despite dominating many of the opposing hitters in the International League. The righty struck out 112 batters in AAA over 110 innings in 2013. He was rewarded by Mets manager Terry Collins on July 26th, and has never looked back. In his Major League debut, Harvey pitched 5 and 1/3 scoreless innings against the Arizona Diamondbacks and received a winning decision.
In 2013 Harvey grabbed hold of the top rotation spot, looking to fill the void left by off-season moves. He said it drove him to be a better pitcher, and that he “came up and obviously wanted to do everything I could to fill in for R.A. Dickey, who had a tremendous season last year, and we knew him not being with us, it was going to take a lot and someone needed to step in.” The former North Carolina Tar Heel has gone 7-2 this season with a 2.53ERA in 19 starts.
Another source of pride for the right-hander is the exclusive company he joins by being named the starter for the All-Star Game. Harvey is just the third Mets pitcher all-time to start in an All-Star Game, joining Tom Seaver and Doc Gooden in the honor.
Harvey told the media assembled on Monday afternoon that Gooden has been mentoring him this season. He added that, “The support that Doc’s been giving me all year, it’s, it’s been pretty special. To be named with those guys, they’re two of the best…[I’m] hopefully making him proud and, and obviously it’s fun having him on my back and it’s a good experience.” Gooden was the 1984 NL Rookie of the Year, and 1985 Cy Young Award winner for New York, adding four All-Star selections to his resume as well.
The righty’s calm demeanor was evidenced even before the 2012 season started in Buffalo. When Harvey met with the media after being announced as the Bisons’ Opening Day starter, he was calm and collected, answering every question with a thoughtful answer. He did not show any nerves with the media assembled outside of the Buffalo clubhouse then, and that did not change today.
Harvey now has been named an all-star at all three levels of professional baseball he has pitched in. In addition to being named a Florida State League All-Star with the St. Lucie Mets in 2011, the right-hander was selected to the U.S. roster of the Futures Game in Arizona. Harvey pitched 1/3 of an inning in the game, and recorded a save, as part of the 2011 All-Star Week festivities.
- Max Scherzer was named the starting pitcher for the American League during the press conference on Monday as well. Detroit Tigers’ manager Jim Leyland tabbed one of his top starters after the righty went 13-1, with a 3.19ERA over the first half of the season.
- There are six total former Bisons’ players on the All-Star Game roster. Cliff Lee (Phillies), Marco Scutaro (Giants), and Brandon Phillips (Reds) join Harvey on the NL roster. Bartolo Colon (A’s), and Jhonny Peralta (Tigers) are representing the American league. However, Colon will not pitch in the game after starting for Oakland on Sunday. Former Bisons’ manager Terry Collins (Mets) is a coach for the NL, while ex-Bisons’ trainer Rick Jameyson (Red Sox) is on the staff for the AL.  

Twitter: @PatWGR

All photos courtesy of AP