Matt Harvey's Career-High Strikeout Game Inching Him Closer to Being the Best

Chris Stephens@@chris_stephens6Correspondent IIJune 18, 2013

ATLANTA, GA - JUNE 18: Matt Harvey #33 of the New York Mets is congratulated by teammates after being removed from the game against the Atlanta Braves at Turner Field on June 18, 2013 in Atlanta, Georgia. Game 1 of a day-night doubleheader. (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

Matt Harvey had the game of his life for seven innings on Tuesday. His 13-strikeout performance inches him closer to being the best in the National League.

The New York Mets ace threw seven frames, giving up three hits and three runs as New York beat the Atlanta Braves, 4-3.

I'm not ready to hand over the title "best" to Harvey just yet, as I think Adam Wainwright and Clayton Kershaw have something to say about that.

However, Harvey is continuing to show why Mets fans can't get enough of him.

He's 6-1 with a league-leading 115 strikeouts and a 2.16 ERA. Kershaw (1.84) and Shelby Miller (2.08) are the only ones with a better ERA than him.

There's a lot to be excited about for New York fans, especially considering the possibility of Harvey starting the All-Star Game.


All-Star Start

With the All-Star Game being at Citi Field, Mets fans are hoping that manager Bruce Bochy will pick Harvey to start the game.

Bruce Bochy: Matt Harvey being a Met would "play a part in his decision" for who starts the AS game at Citi #Mets #MLB @MLBNetworkRadio

— Casey Stern (@CaseyStern) June 18, 2013

For New York fans, that would be something to look forward to amid what has been a disappointing season thus far.

Harvey has managed to single-handedly pique the interest of the Mets faithful. An All-Star start would be the cherry on top.

And it's not as if he hasn't earned it.

The only thing Harvey is lacking in is wins, but then again, so is Kershaw, who only has five.

Patrick Corbin and Jordan Zimmermann could also make a claim for the starting spot, but at the rate the other three are pitching, it's highly unlikely.


Still Much to Learn

Harvey is no doubt having a great season, but it's way too early in his career to call him the best.

Hundreds of pitchers have begun their careers with excellent first years only to fall by the wayside.

The fact remains that Harvey has just started 25 games in his career. Over those starts, he's 9-6 with a 2.37 ERA and 185 strikeouts.

For him to become one of the best, he's going to have to continue to dominate in 2013 and beyond.

I'm not saying he won't, but I will continue to have reservations until there's more than one season's worth of starts on which he can be evaluated.

He could be the next Nolan Ryan, but he could also be the next Kerry Wood.