Mets Matt Harvey gets the nod to start the All Star Game for National League

Via ESPN:

mets_rNew York Mets right-hander Matt Harvey will become the first major league pitcher in nine years to start an All-Star Game in his home ballpark.

National League manager Bruce Bochy named Harvey as the NL starter for Tuesday night’s game at Citi Field. The last pitcher to start an All-Star Game in his home ballpark was Roger Clemens with Houston in 2004.

Harvey will join Clemens as well as Esteban Loaiza (Chicago, 2003), Pedro Martinez (Boston, 1999) and Steve Rogers (Montreal, 1982) as the only pitchers to start an All-Star Game at home since expansion in 1961, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

“What a tremendous year he’s had,” Bochy said of Harvey. “It really wouldn’t have mattered what city we were playing in; with the year that he’s had, the impressive numbers that he’s put up, he would have been the starting pitcher.”

Among NL qualifiers, Harvey ranks first in strikeouts (147), second in WHIP (0.92) and third in ERA (2.35) and opponent batting average (.196). He has taken three no-hit bids into the seventh inning this season.

Harvey said he came into the season motivated to step up and fill the void created by reigning Cy Young winner R.A. Dickey‘s departure.

“It was a role I wanted to take and something I took pride in,” Harvey said. “Having this opportunity and getting the nod is one step closer. I’m very proud of it, and obviously it’s more drive to keep going and hopefully not make this my last All-Star Game.”

This is huge for Mets fans all around the country. The fact that Flushing has not hosted an All Star Game since 1964, Bruce Bochy needed to do something big for the organization and the city. He made the right decision going with the young ace. I am very excited to see #33 take the mound tomorrow and deliver in front of a packed Citi Field crowd. I expect him to be very effective and pitch a few scoreless innings while making the American League look silly striking out at the plate. The lights are now shining bright on this 24 year-old and that is just the way he wanted it to be…

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