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Mets’ Harvey to Start All-Star Game

The New York Mets' Matt Harvey will start for the National League team in Tuesday's All-Star Game at Citi Field.

The New York Mets’ Matt Harvey will start for the National League team in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

Tuesday night will be another “Harvey Night” in Queens.

National League manager Bruce Bochy announced Monday that New York Mets’ phenom Matt Harvey will take to the Citi Field mound on Tuesday to start the 84th Major League Baseball All-Star Game.

Harvey will face Detroit Tigers ace Max Scherzer (13-1, 3.19 ERA), who has dominated the American League this season. Scherzer’s first loss of the season came just last week against the Texas Rangers.

Harvey has been a rare bright spot in the Mets’ lineup, capturing the imagination of fans, players and critics alike. His start will be raucously welcomed by a partisan crowd at Citi Field Tuesday.

“It’s a huge honor,” Harvey told reporters. “Obviously, it’s New York and the fans have been great all season. Hopefully, I can make them proud.”

In 20 starts this season, Harvey has produced a 7-2 record while the Mets have gone 11-9. He leads the National League with 147 strikeouts, is second in WHIP (0.92) and third in both ERA (.235) and opponents’ batting average (.196).

Los Angeles Dodgers’ starting pitcher Clayton Kershaw, who was considered the other possible choice for starter, is reported to have been curt when asked about Harvey starting the game. Kershaw (8-6, 1.98 ERA) leads the league in ERA and WHIP (0.91).

Kershaw may be the only person not excited to see Harvey take the mound.

“I can tell you he wanted this very bad. He wanted this desperately,” said Mets manager Terry Collins. “He deserves to be out there. People who haven’t seen him, they are going to see something special. This isn’t going to be an exhibition game for Matt Harvey. You can believe that.”

Collins held Harvey out of Saturday’s 4-2 loss against the Pittsburgh Pirates in PNC Park, citing a blister on the young pitcher’s right index finger and a growing innings count. Harvey is expected to throw 200 innings this season before being shut down à la Stephen Strasburg last year. He has already thrown 130 full innings.


Doc Gooden has been vocal in his support of Harvey.

Harvey, 24, will be the youngest player to start the game since 1988, when another New York Met, Dwight ‘Doc’ Gooden, took to mound at 23-years-old.

The two have been closely linked all season, a result of Harvey’s strong arm – his average velocity on a fastball is 97.5 M.P.H. – and dominant style being somewhat reminiscent of Doc during the 1980s. Gooden has been tweeting Harvey’s strikeout count each time he takes to the mound, something that has buoyed the young starter.

“The support Doc has given me all year has been pretty special. Hopefully I can make him proud.”

Alongside Harvey and Gooden, Tom Seaver is the only other New York Met to have started an All-Star Game, having pitched in 1970, a game the National League won. Gooden started in both 1986 and 1988, both AL wins.

Harvey is only the fourth New York Mets pitcher to make the All-Star Game in his first full season in the league, joining Seaver (1967), Jerry Koosman (1968) and Gooden (1984). Harvey’s first game in the majors was back on July 26, 2012; 355 days ago.

Harvey – who has only failed to make it through six innings twice this season and has flirted with three no-hitters – will also be the first pitcher to start an All-Star Game at his home ballpark since Roger Clemens of the Houston Astros took to the Minute Maid Park hill in 2004.

According to ESPN and the Elias Sports Bureau, since 1961 only four pitchers have started in their home ballpark: Steve Rogers of Montreal Expos at Olympic Stadium in 1982; Pedro Martinez of the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park in 1999; Esteban Loaiza of the Chicago White Sox at New Comiskey Park in 2003; and Clemens in 2004. Only the 2004 game was won by the visiting side, which is good news for Harvey and the NL All-Stars.

David Wright will hit cleanup on Tuesday.

David Wright will hit cleanup on Tuesday.

Bochy also revealed that Harvey’s teammate David Wright will hit in the cleanup spot on Tuesday, behind the NL Central triumvirate of Brandon Phillips, Carlos Beltran and Joey Votto. Wright captained the National League team in Monday’s Home Run Derby, which was won 53-50 by the American League. Yoenis Cespedes of the Oakland Athletics narrowly defeated Bryce Harper of the Washington Nationals in the final round to become the first player to win the Derby title without being selected to the All-Star Game proper.

The New York Mets are hosting the All-Star Game for only the second time in franchise history. The clubs lasted hosted the game in 1964, the year Shea Stadium opened. The club had hoped to host the game during the final season at Shea (2008), but lost out to the New York Yankees, who were also playing their final season at the Old Yankee Stadium.

For those looking to run the gauntlet of betting on the All-Star Game, the National League (-122) is favored over the American League (+112) with the over/under at 8. These odds come from Bovada, who are also offering a variety of player and teams prop bets to keep you involved.

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