Former UNC star Harvey leads NL pitchers to take first all-star spot

Former UNC standout could become starter

Associated PressJuly 6, 2013 

Cardinals Mets Baseball

New York Mets starting pitcher Matt Harvey delivers in the first inning of a baseball game against the St. Louis Cardinals in New York, Thursday, June 13, 2013. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

KATHY WILLENS — AP

  • All-Star Rosters July 16, Citi Field, New York AMERICAN LEAGUE STARTERS Catcher: Joe Mauer, Minnesota First Base: Chris Davis, Baltimore Second Base: Robinson Cano, New York Third Base: Miguel Cabrera, Detroit Shortstop: J.J. Hardy, Baltimore Outfielders: Mike Trout, Los Angeles; Adam Jones, Baltimore; Jose Bautista, Toronto Designated Hitter: David Ortiz, Boston RESERVES Catcher: Jason Castro, Houston; Salvador Perez, Kansas City Infielders: Prince Fielder, 1b, Detroit; Jason Kipnis, 2b, Cleveland; Manny Machado, 3b, Baltimore; Dustin Pedroia, 2b, Boston; Jhonny Peralta, ss, Cleveland; Ben Zobrist, 2b, Tampa Bay Outfielders: Nelson Cruz, Texas; Alex Gordon, Kansas City, Torrii Hunter, Detroit Designated Hitter: Edwin Encarnacion, Toronto PITCHERS y-Clay Buccholz, Boston; Brett Cecil, Toronto; x-Bartolo Colon, Oakland; y-Jesse Crain, Chicago; Yu Darvish, Texas; Felix Hernandez, Seattle; Hisashi Iwakuma, Seattle; Justin Masterson, Cleveland; Joe Nathan, Texas; x-Glen Perkins, Minnesota; Mariano Rivera, New York; Chris Sale, Chicago; Max Scherzer, Detroit; Justin Verlander, Detroit NATIONAL LEAGUE STARTERS Catcher: Yadier Molina, St. Louis First Base: Joey Votto, Cincinnati Second Base: Brandon Phillips, Cincinnati Third Base: David Wright, New York Shortstop: Troy Tulowitzki, Colorado Outfielders: Carlos Beltran, St. Louis; Carlos Gonzalez, Colorado; Bryce Harper, Washington RESERVES Catcher: Buster Posey, San Francisco Infielders: Pedro Alvarez, 3b, Pittsburgh; Everth Cabrera, ss, San Diego; Matt Carpenter, 2b, St. Louis; Allen Craig, 1b, St. Louis; Paul Goldschmidt, 1b, Arizona; Marco Scutaro, 2b, San Francisco; Jean Segura, ss, Milwaukee Outfielders: Domonic Brown, Philadelphia; Michael Cuddyer, Colorado; Carlos Gomez, Milwaukee; Andrew McCutchen, Pittsburgh PITCHERS Madison Bumgarner, San Francisco; Aroldis Chapman, Cincinnati; Patrick Corbin, Arizona; Jose Fernandez, Miami; Jason Grilli, Pittsburgh; Matt Harvey, New York; Clayton Kershaw, Los Angeles; Craig Kimbrel, Atlanta; Cliff Lee, Philadelphia; Jeff Locke, Pittsburgh; Adam Wainwright, St. Louis; Travis Wood, Chicago; Jordan Zimmermann, Washington. (x-injured, will not play; y-injury replacement)

— Matt Harvey is only in his second major league season, but it didn’t take him long to grab a first.

Harvey received the most votes in the All-Star game balloting among NL pitchers, outpacing the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw. The former Tar Heel ace has become a dominant force during his sophomore season with the Mets, compiling a 7-2 record and 2.27 earned run average with 141 strikeouts.

“I thought Matt would pitch good; I didn’t realize he’d pitch this good,” Mets manager Terry Collins told the New York Times. “From what I saw last year in the second half, you say, ‘Wow, the sky’s the limit here.’ But to come as fast as he’s come to where he’s at right now, that’s pretty impressive.”

The decision on whether Harvey will start the game will be made by Bruce Bochy, the San Francisco Giants’ manager, who will lead the NL team. The Mets travel to San Francisco for a three-game series this week, and Mets manager Terry Collins said he planned to speak with Bochy about his plans for Harvey and about whether he might need to adjust the Mets’ pitching rotation to accommodate them.

Harvey will be joined by teammate David Wright in the 84th All-Star game, which will be played at their own Citi Field on July 16.

Raleigh native Brandon Phillips of the Reds will be the starter at second base.

Baltimore slugger Chris Davis powered past Detroit Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera in the final week to claim the most fan votes in All-Star game balloting, and Washington outfielder Bryce Harper used a final surge to win a spot in the National League’s starting lineup.

Right-hander Max Scherzer was one of a major league-best six Tigers chosen. St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina led the NL fan vote announced Saturday night. He is one of the Cardinals’ five All-Stars, tops in the NL.

“I think any time you are getting that recognition not only from your fan base but from everybody across the nation I think it feels good to know that people are watching,” Davis said.

Mets young ace Matt Harvey and third baseman David Wright will represent the host team in the 84th All-Star game. Harvey received the most votes among NL pitchers in the player balloting, outpacing the Dodgers’ Clayton Kershaw.

Cuban defector Yasiel Puig wasn’t picked – not yet, at least. The Los Angeles Dodgers outfielder with just one breathless month in the big leagues is among five candidates for the final NL spot, with fans able to vote online through Thursday.

Puig is joined in the final NL five by shortstop Ian Desmond of Washington, first basemen Freddie Freeman of Atlanta, Adrian Gonzalez of the Los Angeles Dodgers, and outfielder Hunter Pence of San Francisco.

The American League’s five are all relievers: Detroit’s Joaquin Benoit, Toronto’s Steve Delabar, the Yankees’ David Robertson, Texas’ Tanner Scheppers, and Boston’s Koji Uehara.

New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera was one of the 68 players selected. The 43-year-old career saves leader will hop across town as part of his retirement tour for a 13th All-Star appearance, second most by a pitcher behind Hall of Famer Warren Spahn, who made 17 teams.

“The fact that I went through all the adversity and I’m standing here talking about the All-Star game … it’s a privilege,” said Rivera, who has 29 saves this year after missing nearly all of last season with a torn knee ligament.

Davis finished with 8,272,243 fan votes to edge Cabrera’s 8,013,874, for his first All-Star selection. Davis has 33 homers, seventh best before the break in big league history.

Davis is the second first-time All-Star to lead the voting, joining Seattle outfielder Ichiro Suzuki (2001).

Third base was a talent-laden position, and one player to be left off the AL roster was Oakland’s Josh Donaldson. The Athletics’ one selection was 40-year-old pitcher Bartolo Colon.

Colon is an All-Star for the first time since 2005, when he won the AL Cy Young Award with the Angels. At 11-3 with a 2.73 ERA, Colon is making his third All-Star team. This one comes, though, after he began the season finishing a 50-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.

The 20-year-old Harper trailed Justin Upton by several thousand votes, but he homered in his return from the DL this week and moved into the lead

Overall, 30 players will be making their first All-Star appearance.

The Pirates landed four players on the squad.

New York Times News Service writer Andrew Keh contributed to this article.

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