As expected, Matt Harvey of the New York Mets and Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers have been selected as the starting pitchers for the 2013 All-Star Game. Both guys are having remarkable seasons and have fully earned the right to start the game Tuesday night at Citi Field in New York.
Harvey will be just the 11th pitcher to start the All-Star Game in his home park. National League manager Bruce Bochy tabbed Harvey and praised the impressive numbers the 24-year-old has posted. Bochy had the following to say about the man who will toe the slab for the NL:
“It really wouldn’t have mattered what city we were playing in with the year that he’s had, the impressive numbers he’s put up. He would have been the starting pitcher.”
Harvey is 7-2 with a 2.35 ERA, 0.92 WHIP and an NL-best 147 strikeouts. He has made just 29 career starts, which is the lowest total for an All-Star starter since Hideo Nomo (who had 13) in 1995. His average fastball velocity of 95.2 mph is just 0.1 mph behind Washington Nationals ace Stephen Strasburg. He also throws the hardest slider and curveball in the majors.
In terms of wins, Scherzer has had the best first half in years. He started the season 13-0, which was the best start to a season baseball had seen since Roger Clemens opened the 1986 season 14-0. The 28-year-old Scherzer finally suffered a loss against the Texas Rangers on Saturday.
So far this season, Scherzer is 13-1 with a 3.19 ERA, 0.98 WHIP and 152 strikeouts, which rank second in all of baseball. Tigers manager Jim Leyland is managing the American League team and he picked his own guy for his start, but really, he didn’t have a tough decision to make.
Tigers ace Justin Verlander started the 2012 All-Star Game, making he and Scherzer the first teammates to start back-to-back All-Star games since Randy Johnson (2000 and 2001) and Curt Schilling (2002) did it for the Arizona Diamondbacks.