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Collin McHugh to debut in majors, but he's pitched in big-league park

Johan Santana watches from the dugout a baseball

Johan Santana watches from the dugout a baseball game in New York. (Aug. 10, 2012) (Credit: AP)

Collin McHugh will make his major-league debut for the Mets Thursday against the Rockies. But it will be the righthander’s third time pitching in a big-league ballpark.

McHugh, who was called up to replace the shut-down Johan Santana, has twice pitched at Fenway Park.

He threw seven shutout innings there on Saturday for Buffalo against Pawtucket as the Red Sox opened the historic ballpark to their Triple-A affiliate. A year ago, McHugh threw six shutout innings for Binghamton against the Red Sox’s Double-A team.

“When I went there last year I was a little in awe,” said McHugh, 25. “I was warming up next to the [Green] Monster and stuff. This year I got to go and it felt like you had been there before. Obviously, it’s not a big-league game, but it is a pretty storied big-league ballpark. It was a lot of fun.”

McHugh was 2-4 with a 3.39 ERA in 12 starts with Buffalo and 5-5, 2.41 at Binghamton this year. He was the Mets’ 18th-round pick in the 2008 draft.

Mets manager Terry Collins said Buffalo manager Wally Backman gave McHugh a “raving recommendation that he’s the guy that should pitch. Throws strikes with all of his pitches. Plus curveball. Click above-average fastball. Changeup. But the big thing was he knows how to pitch. It was a very good recommendation.”

Tags: Collin McHugh , Fenway Park , Mets , Terry Collins

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