Should Matt Harvey Start the All-Star Game?

Matt Harvey

The All-Star rosters were announced yesterday, and two Mets will have the honor of playing on their home turf in the Midsummer Classic. David Wright was voted in by the fans, and Matt Harvey was selected to the NL club.

Now that Harvey has been selected (a no-brainer), the next question is, will he be the starting pitcher for the National League?

I’m a Mets fan, and I want Harvey to start. It would be great for our struggling franchise to showcase not only its ballpark, but also its prize ace pitcher. Like you, I’ve seen Matt Harvey pitch way more than anyone else on the All-Star roster. We know how dominant he is. NL manager Bruce Bochy has stated that, all things being equal, Harvey would get the start. But he’s not a lock, based on performance.

Let’s take a look at Harvey and his competition:

Matt Harvey NYM 18 123 27 141 7 2 4.2 0.91 2.27 0 0
Clayton Kershaw LAD 18 130.1 33 126 7 5 4.9 0.93 1.93 3 2
Jordan Zimmermann WSH 18 126 18 89 12 3 3.1 0.95 2.57 3 1
Madison Bumgarner SF 18 118 33 116 9 5 2.1 0.97 3.05 0 0
Travis Wood CHC 17 110.1 33 80 5 6 3 0.98 2.69 0 0
Cliff Lee PHI 18 131.2 21 119 10 2 4.4 0.98 2.73 1 1
Adam Wainwright STL 18 133.2 13 117 11 5 4.4 1 2.36 4 2
Patrick Corbin ARI 17 115.2 30 89 9 1 3 1.01 2.49 1 0
Jeff Locke PIT 17 102 44 69 8 1 2.6 1.15 2.12 0 0
Jose Fernandez MIA 16 92.2 33 94 5 4 2.3 1.06 2.72 0 0

Harvey leads this group in WHIP, strikeouts, and SO/9 ratio (by a lot).

Kershaw has the edge in ERA, and Adam Wainwright has the most complete games and (along with Kershaw) shutouts.

Complete games are a rare commodity these days, and Harvey has none. On the other hand, Roy Halladay has a complete game, and his ERA is 8.65. So I’m not sure how much it tells you about a pitcher. It’s one of those stats that, combined with other stats, gives you a more complete picture.

If you’re into WAR (and you know you are), Harvey is fourth behind Kershaw, Wainwright, and Lee.

As for the ever-controversial W-L record, Jordan Zimmermann is 12-3, but Harvey could have just as good a record if he had more run support. The same goes for Kershaw, Fernandez, and Bumgartner. So let’s make it a non-factor for this argument.

Every one of the pitchers above deserves to start the All-Star Game. If it weren’t for Harvey’s last start in which he allowed 5 earned runs (jumping his ERA to 2.27 – still great, of course), the start would clearly be his. Based strictly on performance, however, I would have to give Kershaw the edge.

Perhaps with one more smashing start before the ASG, Harvey could clearly make the honor his – or at least make things “more equal” for Bochy. Not that we could ask any more from this 24 year-old. But seeing one of our own on Citi Field’s hill in the Midsummer Classic would be a tremendous boost for a downtrodden organization.

Paul is a freelance writer, blogger, and broadcast technology professional residing in Denver. A New Jersey native, he is a long-suffering Mets fan, a recently-happy Giants fan, and bewildered Islanders fan. He's also a fair-weather Avalanche and Rockies supporter. In his spare time, he enjoys the three Gs: Golf, Guitars, and Games.
  1. micalpalyn July 7, 2013 at 2:54 pm
    ‘As for the ever-controversial W-L record, Jordan Zimmermann is 12-3, but Harvey could have just as good a record if he had more run support. ….’

    Actually help from the bullpen would probably be more applicable there.

    • Paul Festa July 8, 2013 at 12:11 am
      Very true!
  2. crozier July 7, 2013 at 6:35 pm
    That we could be having a debate about whether a Met pitcher should start the ASG two years running is pretty good news by itself. I’d give the nod to Kershaw, regardless of how Harvey does next time. It will be great to see him out there in whatever inning it happens.
  3. argonbunnies July 8, 2013 at 12:51 am
    Kershaw is the best pitcher in the National League. Harvey has been the most exciting NL starter of 2013. So it really just comes down to Bochy’s rationale. Do you reward 3+ years of excellence, or the wunderkind story? Kershaw has appeared in the last 2 All-Star games, but has never started one.

    Honestly, if I were Kershaw, I’d be upset if I didn’t get the start. As a Mets fan, though, of course I’m rooting for Harvey.

    One possible factor: in 19 career starts, Kershaw has gone 10-4 with a 1.33 ERA against the Giants, allowing a .174 avg. So no one knows his brilliance better than Bochy.

    As the leader of the league’s best team, Wainwright might be a wild card. I’d be very surprised if the start goes to anyone other than those 3.