Shaun Marcum shaky in 2013 debut

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Shaun Marcum, fully recovered from a neck injury, made his debut both for the 2013 season and as a Met this afternoon in Queens against the Phillies, but it didn’t go quite as well as he had hoped. The right-hander allowed three runs in the third inning, including allowing a lead-off single to opposing pitcher Jonathan Pettibone, and he uncorked a wild pitch facing Michael Young as well. Manager Terry Collins lifted him after four innings in favor of lefty Robert Carson, who promptly allowed five runs in the fifth.

Speaking to the media after the game, Marcum wasn’t satisfied with his outing. Via ESPN’s Adam Rubin:

“It’s not what I wanted from a statistical standpoint or helping this team,” Marcum said after surrendering three runs on five hits and two walks in a 71-pitch effort over four innings. “I wasn’t very efficient with my pitches there in the second and third inning. My pitch count rose pretty quickly in those two innings.

“As far as health, everything felt pretty good.”

Marcum is a welcome addition to the Mets’ rotation as Dillon Gee and Jeremy Hefner have struggled in their first handful of starts, posting a 5.96 and 5.14 ERA, respectively.

Bryce Harper will participate in the Home Run Derby if he makes the All-Star team

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Bryce Harper has, in recent years, declined participation in the Home Run Derby, with his last go at it coming in 2013, losing to Yoenis Cespedes in the final round. With the All-Star Game taking place at Nationals Park in Washington, however, he has changed his mind, saying today that he will compete if he is selected for the All-Star team.

Harper is currently second in voting among National League outfielders, so he stands a pretty good chance of making it. Even if he falls off in the voting, you have to assume that the powers that be will nudge NL manager A.J. Hinch to select Harper as a reserve, partially because of his actual power — he does have 19 homers so far this year — but mostly for his star power.

Simply put, you know dang well that both Major League Baseball and the Nationals want a home town guy with big time star power in the Derby, even if he’s not having as good a year as he’s capable of. As such, figure to see Harper hitting long balls in D.C. on July 16.