- GOP hopes taking shutdown off the table with budget deal will pay dividends
- Chinese Death Star: The moon cited as the perfect launch pad for ballistic missiles
- Help wanted: Homeland Security plagued by vacancies at the top
- We are not amused: Queen’s protection officers warned to keep ‘sticky fingers’ off the royal cashews
- Unleash the crossbows: Gov. Scott Walker creates new hunting season
- Bubonic plague kills 20 in Madagascar
- G-20 diplomats fell for hacker attack promising nude photos of former French first lady Carla Bruni
- Minnesota guardsman charged with stealing private soldier data for fake IDs
- Florida appeals court rules universities can’t regulate guns
- Vladimir Putin defends Russian conservative values
Harvey to start All-Star game; Rivera to finish?
NEW YORK (AP) - The first and last pitch of the All-Star game could well be “New York, New York.”
Young ace Matt Harvey of the Mets will start for the National League on his home mound. Mariano Rivera, in his final season, may well finish for the AL.
“Having the opportunity to take the ball is something I’ll never forget,” Harvey said Monday.
On July 16 last year, Harvey was pitching for Triple-A Buffalo against Toledo before 5,885 fans at Coca-Cola Field. On Tuesday night, he’ll be starting against Detroit’s Max Scherzer in front of a sellout crowd at Citi Field and a worldwide television audience.
At 24, Harvey is the youngest All-Star starting pitcher since the Mets’ Dwight Gooden in 1988, when he was 23. Harvey will be the first pitcher from the host team to start an All-Star game since Houston’s Roger Clemens in 2004 and just the 11th overall.
“It really wouldn’t have mattered what city we were playing in with the year that he’s had, the impressive numbers that he’s put up,” said San Francisco’s Bruce Bochy,” the NL manager. “He would have been the starting pitcher.”
Harvey, 7-2 with a 2.35 ERA and an NL-high 147 strikeouts, has made 29 major league starts _ the fewest for an All-Star starter since Hideo Nomo with 13 in 1995. Big league hitters can’t stop talking about his heater.
His fastball velocity of 95.2 mph is 0.1 mph behind Washington’s Stephen Strasburg, the major league leader this year, according to fangraphs.com.
“He’s a power guy that attacks hitters,” said Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer, a two-time AL batting champion. “He has four above-average pitches.”
Harvey throws the hardest slider and curve in the majors, and he ranks second in swinging strikes at 12.7 percent, just behind Texas’ Yu Darvish (13.3) and ahead of Scherzer (12.3).
“I don’t even know what he’s throwing. He throws everything,” Washington’s Bryce Harper said.
Scherzer, 28, had the most dominant first half in a quarter-century, in terms of wins. His 13-0 record before Saturday’s loss to Texas was the most wins in a perfect start since Clemens won his first 14 decisions in 1986.
Detroit’s Justin Verlander was the AL starter and loser last year. Scherzer (13-1, 3.10 ERA) joins him to become the first pitchers from the same club to start consecutive All-Star games since Arizona’s Randy Johnson (2000-01) and Curt Schilling (2002).
“We go throughout the season and we see guys who absolutely deal, and for skipper to give me the nod over those guys just means so much to me,” Scherzer said as he sat next to Tigers manager Jim Leyland, who will pilot the American League squad.
Rivera, at 43 the oldest All-Star this year, sat in Jackie Robinson Rotunda in front of a large blue sculpture of Robinson’s “42” _ fitting given that the number was retired for all teams in 1997 on the 50th anniversary of the day Robinson broke baseball’s color barrier. Rivera, grandfathered in, will be the last major leaguer to have that number on his back.
- Obama's Afghanistan experts stumped on U.S. death toll, war costs during hearing
- NAPOLITANO: A conspiracy so vast
- House pushes through two-year Ryan-Murray budget deal
- Comma on!: Twitter erupts over Obama-Castro 'marriage'
- Biden guarantees victory on immigration reform
- Obama takes 'selfie' at Mandela's funeral service
- U.S. pilot scares off Iranians with 'Top Gun'-worthy stunt: 'You really ought to go home'
- CARSON: Why did the founders give us the Second Amendment?
- VEGAS RULES: Harry Reid pushed feds to change ruling for casino's big-money foreigners
- All-out war breaks out in GOP over budget pact
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Born in 1930 in rural Missouri, Charles Vandegriffe, Sr., brings his time and place to the Communities.
Columns from Voices around the World talking about the events, people, politics and social issues that concern us wherever, and whoever, we are.
Chef Mary Moran discusses the food we eat, where it comes from and what it does for us.
An informed and often humorous take on the world of advertising, public relations and social media. 100% Pure. Not from concentrate.
Extraordinary day at Redskins Park
White House pets gone wild!
Let it snow