Former Atlanta Braves pitcher and current baseball analyst John Smoltz believes that New York Mets pitcher Matt Harvey deserves to start for the National League in the upcoming All-Star Game that will be held in front of his home crowd at Citi Field.
"The Mets are in transition. They've had a nice rebound the last month, but he deserves to start the All-Star Game," said Smoltz during a conference call promoting the upcoming American Century Championship celebrity golf tournament. "The city deserves to see him start the All-Star Game and I guarantee [National League manager] Bruce Bochy isn't upset with him starting the All-Star Game if he does, because it helps the National League get a leg up."
New York manager Terry Collins, who will be on Bochy's All-Star staff, is doing his part to make sure Harvey gets the nod, skipping the right-hander's final scheduled start before the break on Saturday against the Pirates.
"It's a brilliant move," said Smoltz of Collins' decision.
Harvey is 7-2 with a 2.35 ERA and 0.92 WHIP in 19 starts over the first half of the season. His ERA is fourth-best in the National League and his 147 strikeouts over 130 innings are tops in the Senior Circuit.
"He's a cross between Tom Seaver and Roger Clemens," said Smoltz of Harvey. "He's got an incredible future."
Smoltz hits Edgewood Golf Course in Tahoe, NV from July 19-21 to participate in the American Century Championship. An avid golfer, Smoltz is listed at 5-1 odds to win the tournament, which can be seen on NBC Sports Network Friday, July 19 and on NBC Saturday, July 20 and Sunday, July 21.