Harvey named starter for NLCS opener

Mets righty will face Cubs' Lester at Citi Field on Saturday

Harvey named starter for NLCS opener

NEW YORK -- Matt Harvey will start for the Mets against the Cubs in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series on Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET on TBS) at Citi Field, the club announced after Thursday's 3-2 NL Division Series-clinching win over the Dodgers.

Harvey will be on normal rest when he opposes Cubs left-hander Jon Lester.

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"We talked the other day," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He came in here yesterday, he said, 'I want to pitch tomorrow night,' and I said, 'You'll pitch if we go extra innings, but right now, you're going Game 1.' And he had a big smile on his face."

Game Date Matchup
Gm 1 Oct. 17 NYM 4, CHC 2
Gm 2 Oct. 18 NYM 4, CHC 1
Gm 3 Oct. 20 NYM 5, CHC 2
Gm 4 Oct. 21 NYM 8, CHC 3

Harvey allowed two earned runs in five innings to earn the victory in Game 3 of the NLDS, his postseason debut. He threw seven shutout innings in his only start this season against Chicago, receiving a no-decision in a 2-1 Cubs win May 13 at Wrigley Field.

Once on the mound, Harvey shouldn't be limited by the stringent pitch limits that truncated two starts late in the regular season. It remains unclear how many games Harvey will pitch in the NLCS, with his much-debated innings total now at a career-high 194 1/3, including the postseason. He could conceivably come back for Game 5, if necessary, on regular rest.

Harvey underwent Tommy John surgery on Oct. 23, 2013. He'll be toeing the rubber six days from the two-year anniversary of that procedure.

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"It's a huge honor, huge honor. I'm very excited about it. I was a little disappointed in my last start, so getting another chance to go back out there and start us out right is everything I want," Harvey said Thursday night. "It's unbelievable. This makes the rehab, the whole process, that much better, that much sweeter. This makes up for it all."

Joe Trezza is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.