The New York Mets' Matt Harvey is hoping to start the All-Star game in front of his home crowd at Citi Field next week.
Delivering a strong showing in front of NL manager Bruce Bochy would surely help his chances.
Harvey has an opportunity to impress Bochy and add to the San Francisco Giants' recent woes Monday night in the opener of a four-game series.
In his first full season, Harvey (7-2, 2.27 ERA) has the third-lowest ERA in baseball and a league-leading 141 strikeouts. The 24-year-old, along with third baseman David Wright, will represent the Mets in the Midsummer Classic.
"It hasn't quite hit home yet," Harvey told MLB's official website. "It's definitely a huge honor, and I couldn't be more excited that it's in New York."
While Harvey certainly wants to start for the NL, he knows the choice lies in Bochy's hands.
"It's one thing I can't decide," Harvey said. "I've got two more starts left, and I have to go out there obviously and put up zeros, and do everything I can to help the Mets."
Shaky performances such as Wednesday's won't aid his cause or his team's, as he yielded a season-high five runs and nine hits in six-plus innings of a 5-3 loss to Arizona.
"He's all fired up about the All-Star thing, the situation," manager Terry Collins said afterward. "(This) week, he's going to pitch against the Giants, and it's going to be a nice, cool evening. It's going to be in front of Bruce, so I'm sure he's going to be all fired up."
In his only appearance against San Francisco (40-47), the right-hander allowed three runs in six innings of a 4-1 road loss July 31.
Harvey would appear to have a favorable matchup against a Giants team that's gone a major league-worst 5-16 since June 15. San Francisco fell 4-1 to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday after Sergio Romo gave up a three-run double with two outs in the ninth inning.
"There's no question this is a tough loss," Bochy said. "These guys are resilient and are handling this as well as they can."
The Giants have gone 8 for 74 (.108) with runners in scoring position during a 2-11 stretch. Hunter Pence is mired in a 2-for-37 slump and is hitless in his last 22 at_bats. Pablo Sandoval has gone 3 for his last 41.
"Slumps are going to happen to any team," Sunday's starter Chad Gaudin said. "It's how you come out of it that matters."
San Francisco will try to get back on track behind Tim Lincecum (4-9, 4.66), who has compiled a 0.79 ERA in winning five consecutive starts versus New York (37-48). Wright is 2 for 20 with 12 strikeouts in their matchups, while Eric Young and Ike Davis are a combined 6 for 33.
Lincecum, though, has gone 1-7 with a 5.23 ERA in his last nine outings. The right-hander suffered a season-high fourth consecutive loss in a 3-0 defeat at Cincinnati on Tuesday, allowing three runs in 5 1-3 innings.
"I need to attack the (strike) zone better," Lincecum said.
The Mets won 2-1 at Milwaukee on Sunday. Jeremy Hefner threw seven strong innings and Josh Satin, making his first appearance since Ike Davis was recalled Friday, went 3 for 4 with two doubles and an RBI.
"It's been a good run," said Satin, batting .409 during an 11-game hitting streak. "I would love to get used to it."
The Associated Press News Service
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved