Friday, July 12, 2013

Matt Harvey and the All Star Game dilemma

By Kenny Bowe (@kbowe114)

In the time since Matt Harvey's last start, in which the Mets eventually won a 16 inning marathon on Monday night in San Francisco, the debate around New York is over whether or not Mets manager Terry Collins made the correct move in skipping Harvey's final scheduled start of the first half, and whether or not Harvey should pitch in the All Star Game at his home ballpark this upcoming Tuesday night.

Of course, there are a number of factors in play here over the debate. Harvey's next scheduled start would have been on Saturday in Pittsburgh against the upstart Pirates, but it was discovered that Harvey has a blister on his right index finger, which is one of the reasons for Collins deciding to sit Harvey, as the rest would allow him to recover. 

Another consideration taken into account for Collins and the Mets is that although there has not been a definitive limit announced to the public at least, the Mets have Harvey under an innings limit for his first full season in the Major Leagues, and skipping this start would help to keep his innings down and prevent the team from shutting Harvey down in September as was the case last season.

However, the debate has now emerged over whether or not Harvey should pitch in the All Star Game at Citi Field on Tuesday night. On one hand, if his start is getting skipped in order to allow him to recover from the blister and to keep his innings down, why should he be pitching in an exhibition game? Why should Harvey be kept out of a regular season game that gives the Mets a better chance to win yet pitch in an exhibition game? If Harvey's blisters are not completely healed by the time the All Star Game rolls around, an appearance by him in the game could prevent the blisters from healing and potentially risk him losing another start after the break. 

On the other hand though, what better way would there be for Harvey to cap off his incredible first half of the season by pitching in and potentially starting Tuesday's All Star Game in front of a nationwide television audience at his home ballpark? Chances are that this will be the only All Star Game that the Mets will host while Harvey is on the team, and for Mets fans to see their young phenom possibly start the All Star Game in front of his hometown fans would be a very special moment not only for the franchise and the fan base, but for Harvey himself. Finally, although Harvey starting obviously gives the ball club a greater chance to win games, but not many people predict the Mets to make a serious run at the playoffs, so in the eyes of many fans, Harvey appearing in the All Star Game and missing his next start should not make a serious impact on the final outcome of the Mets' season. 

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