Matt Harvey On The Mound For The Diamond Heels
CHAPEL HILL – UNC Alum turned pro-phenom Matt Harvey has been burning up the mound for the New York Mets in his first season in the major league. Outings like his efforts on Sunday against the Philadelphia Phillies, when he tossed six scoreless innings for an 8-0 shut out, have Harvey in the conversation to start for the National League in July 16 MLB All-Star Game.
If it goes his way, Harvey would be the first former Tar Heel pitcher in history to earn the honor.
Harvey’s fastball averaged a career-high 97.2 mph on Sunday, and he was praised for maintaining his velocity throughout the entire start. According to ESPN Stats & Information, Harvey threw 23 fastballs at 98 mph or faster during the game, the second most by a starter this season. The right hander has been impressive through 16 starts, on a 7-1 record, with a 2.05 ERA, 121 strikeouts, a 0.882 WHIP, 4 homers allowed and a .188 opponent batting average.
If Harvey were to get the start, it would be a historic day for several other reasons as well. Dwight Gooden was the last Met that started in an All-Star Game on the mound, all the way back in 1988. The contest is also being played in Citi Field, the home ball park for the Mets. The last pitcher to start on his home field was Roger Clemens in 2004 in Houston.
After a stand-out junior season at Carolina, Harvey was the seventh overall pick in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft. He made his major league debut on July 26, 2012, for the Mets against the Arizona Diamondbacks. He set a franchise record for a pitching debut with 11 strikeouts.
Former Tar Heels to play in the All-Star game (started indicated):
Nate Andrews – 1944 (Reserve)
Brian Roberts – 2005 (Started at 2B), 2007 (Reserve)
Snuffy Stirnweiss – 1945 (DNP) 1946 (Reserve)
B.J. Surhoff – 1999 (Reserve)
Burgess Whitehead – 1935 (Reserve), 1937 (Reserve)
Walt Weiss – 1998 (Started at SS)