Conway's Jeff Locke ‘honored’ by NL All-Star selection
Pittsburgh Pirates pitcher Jeff Locke, of Conway, N.H., was caught off guard by the announcement that he had made the National League All-Star team.
“Cutch (Andrew McCutchen) was pretty much a guarantee and (closer Jason) Grilli was up there, too, but I didn’t really think I was going to get in,” he said. “I really didn’t, because a lot of it’s a popularity contest and guys who’ve been there before. It’s tough to let a new guy in, but I’m honored.”
Fellow Pirates Grilli, Pedro Alvarez and McCutchen were voted in by the players. Locke was selected by National League manager Bruce Bochy.
“I don’t even know what it means but everyone says it’s a good thing,” said Locke, 25, who entered the season holding onto the fifth and final spot in the rotation and has the second-best ERA (2.12) in the NL. He is also tied with Francisco Liriano for the team lead in wins with eight.
After losing his first start of the season, Locke has gone undefeated in his past 16 starts, a team record. This is the first All-Star selection for Locke, who had one career win before this season began.
The All-Star Game is Tuesday, July 16 at Citi Field in New York.
“This is the third year in a row we’ve had multiple guys go, and it’s been a long time since that’s happened,” Pirates manager Clint Hurdle said. “We’re not the team that gets the one guy, the token guy.”
The previous time the Pirates had four players selected to the game was 1981. A club-record eight Pirates played in the 1960 game.