Posted tagged ‘National League’

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

July 15, 2013

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…

Home Run Derby: National League lineup is set

July 7, 2011

Via ESPN:

 

(Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images North America)

Milwaukee Brewers slugger Prince Fielder selected teammate Rickie Weeks, the Los Angeles DodgersMatt Kemp and St. Louis CardinalsMatt Hollidayto represent the National League in Monday night’s Home Run Derby.

“It was very tough, I wanted everybody to be in it. I definitely wanted someone from the Diamondbacks to be in it, but these guys, I know these guys really well, and these are my picks, no hard feelings,” Fielder said Tuesday.

Arizona hosts the All-Star Game on Tuesday and Diamondbacks right fielder Justin Upton had said he was interested in representing the NL.

“I wish I could invite everyone I knew. That was the only part that was a little tough, trying to narrow it down,” Fielder said.

Kemp came into play on Tuesday with an NL-best 22 home runs. Fielder has 21, Weeks has 15 and Holliday has the fewest with 10 but has hit in the contest two previous times. Weeks said he’s not concerned about messing up his swing by trying to hit home runs because they try to outhit each other in batting practice.

“We mess around with it all the time in BP,” Weeks said. “It’s one of those things where if you’re confident in yourself and your swing; some people have different swings, of course, and they might have to create more lift or something like that. Maybe that might mess them up, possibly. Some people have long homers and some people have hard homers — you just want to stay with what got you here and go hard and have fun, really.”

Brewers manager Ron Roenicke said he’s already talked to Weeks about not altering his swing and said he’s comfortable with two of his best hitters being part of the festivities.

“Rickie said he’s going to be fine,” Roenicke said. “I think he can turn it on and off when he wants to.”

Fielder says he’ll use Triple-A hitting coach Sandy Guerrero as his pitcher in the derby, the same person who threw to him when he won the contest in 2009. Weeks said he wasn’t sure who he’d pick, either Guerrero or Brewers hitting coach Dale Sveum. Fielder did have a little advice for his teammate on preparing for the contest.

“It’s kind of intense, it’s not as easygoing as you might think it is,” Fielder said. “You get serious because of course you want to win.”

The new format this year pits the NL against the AL for charity, and the American League hitters include 2010 derby champ David Ortiz of the Boston Red Sox along with his teammate Adrian Gonzalez, Robinson Cano of the New York Yankees and Jose Bautista of the Toronto Blue Jays. Bautista leads the majors with 27 homers.

With that potent lineup, Fielder decided not to make any guarantees on who would win the competition.

“I’m not going to do that,” Fielder said. “I guarantee I’ll swing hard, though.”

This lineup is more random than the American League but it does have a dynamic duo just like Papi and Gonzo. In Milwaukee, I have seen Weeks and Fielder battle it out in batting practice and I have to say that they will definitely put on a show and Weeks can shock some people. He has tons of power and instead of hitting those towering home runs, he is going to hit some lasers to left field. It will be highly amusing to see what Fielder and Weeks do in comparison to the Boston Brigade. As for Kemp and Holliday, they deserve to be on the roster and I think Kemp deserved a bid to the All Star team and is a snub. I am glad he is able to get a chance to compete in something and he is a great raw talent. Finally, I think Holliday is a good choice as he has been on a tear lately and his swing will perfectly fit the home run derby and the dimensions of Chase Field. I can’t believe it’s July in the baseball season! Bring on the long balls…

The 2010 MLB All Star Game

July 19, 2010

The All Star game is a game that the National League never looks forward to every year. It is because they had lost 13 in a row up until this one July 13th night. On the night that George Steinbrenner died, baseball lived on and it was a great game. 

Before the game started, this year is titled, “The year of the pitcher.” With all the pitchers throwing over 95 mph along with the league throwing 2 perfect games (nearly three) and 3 no hit bids, MLB pitching has been phenomenal. 

The National League's Brian McCann, of the Atlanta Braves, hits a three-run double in the seventh inning of the All-Star baseball game Tuesday, July 13, 2010, in Anaheim, Calif. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)

 

In the game there were 18 total strikeouts in the game and was it was a 1-1 tie in the 7th when Catcher Brian McCann stepped up to the plate and hit a two-out, three run double to give the lead to the NL 3-1. The bullpen pulled away in the 9th and the NL won their first all-star game in 13 years. After the game, McCann was awarded the MVP of the game and he deserved it. 

Here is a great quote from the 5 time Atlanta Braves Catcher: 

“You dream of moments like this as a kid. It was amazing.” 

…Unlucky 13? I don’t think so. For the NL this is a complete lucky number. They got the clutch hit when they needed it and it all started with Scott Rolen. He got on base with a single and then went first to third on a Matt Holliday single. Because of his hustle, he was able to win the game for the NL to represent the home team in the World Series…” 

…I will admit this wasn’t the best game to watch ever. But if you like pitching then this game was for you. To me, the best All Star game ever was the 2008 All Star game in New York. I’m not saying this cause I am from New York I am saying this because of the Josh Hamilton Home run display, the 3 errors by Dan Uggla, the three throw outs at home plate, and Aaron Cook getting out of a bases loaded 0 out jam in the 10th inning. Nothing beats that game. If you never watched it, shame on you cause it was the best All Star game of the modern era. Tivo it, download it, something, just watch it if you didn’t… 

…In the end, congrats to the National League and the hope the battles in the second half get close so we can start bringing out the races… 

Full Box Score of the game and highlights check out ESPN.com and MLB.com for more all-star recap.