NEW YORK — Matt Harvey of the New York Mets and Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers are first-time All-Stars this season.
They'll also be the first pitchers to take the mound for their respective squads when the All-Star Game begins Tuesday night at Citi Field. The announcement was made Monday afternoon and really came as no surprise given the way both men have pitched in the first half. It also didn't hurt that both men had a little extra boost over their competition given that Harvey will be starting in front of the home crowd and the American League team is being led by Scherzer's regular skipper, Jim Leyland.
Both men are the first pitchers to get a start in their All-Star debut since David Price and Ubaldo Jimenez got the nod for the 2010 game in Anaheim.
Harvey has given Mets fans some hope for the future in his first full season in the big leagues. The 24-year-old has a 7-2 record at the break, sporting a 2.35 ERA and a league-high 147 strikeouts. He's the first All-Star pitcher tabbed to start in his home ballpark since Roger Clemens started for the Houston Astros at Minute Maid Park in 2004.
"It really wouldn't have mattered what city we were playing in," National League manager Bruce Bochy said. "With the year he's been having, he'd be our starting pitcher."
The Mets skipped Harvey's final scheduled start of the first half on Saturday and will skip his first scheduled start of the second half to help limit his innings count.
Scherzer leads all of baseball with a 13-1 record. The 28-year-old has posted a 3.19 ERA, a 0.979 WHIP and 152 strikeouts, which ranks just behind Yu Darvish's league-leading total of 157. He last pitched on Saturday when he suffered his first defeat of the season in a 13-1 loss to the Texas Rangers.
"It means so much," Scherzer said. "Especially with it being my first All-Star game."