Oct. 31 Matt Harvey pregame interview
Q. No matter what, tomorrow's game represents your last start of the year. So does that give you any kind of extra confidence to air it out, to let it fly, to get rid of all those innings and pitches, limitations that have been talked about for months and months?
MATT HARVEY: I think you still have to stay with the game plan, and regarding the innings stuff, I think that's kind of all taken care of. And obviously completely thrown out of the window.
So as far as tomorrow goes, I know obviously I'm excited about that it's a normal day's rest. And tonight is still a very important game for us. And obviously in a series of seven you don't want to go down 3-1. So tying this thing up and going into tomorrow is our main focus right now. But regarding tomorrow I think I'm most happy about the normal rest and doing everything I can to help this team.
Q. Just speaking to that big picture, though, obviously to strike that balance between what you're doing this year and thinking long term was a difficult one for you and the team as well. How significant is it? And have you thought about the fact that you've kind of maxed out what this year could be, by getting to pitch in Game 5 the second time in the World Series?
MATT HARVEY: No, I think it's great. As a starting pitcher and being a younger guy, I think getting to that 200-innings limit is something you always look for. You kind of want to be a horse and go out there, and you look at guys who have thrown 230 innings year after year after year, that's kind of somebody who I've always wanted to be. I think obviously after this start I'll probably be hopefully around 215 innings or so, and that's a good mark for me. Definitely happy about that.
The biggest thing is going out, and like I said, doing everything I can to help this team and try to get us another win.
Q. You threw your fastball a lower percentage than you usually do. Is that a function of your stuff or the Royals or what was it? Just discuss it.
MATT HARVEY: Yeah, I think it was just kind of how the game was worked out and how things felt. I felt like I didn't really have the greatest control with my fastball and greatest life. So with a team who's known to hit the fastball well, I think when you lose a little bit of confidence in that, you kind of have to try to pitch a little bit differently.
I don't know if that was the ten days off or not or just a matter of feel. But I'm definitely not worried about going tomorrow.
Q. You know firsthand from Game 1 how dangerous Escobar is, swinging at that first pitch. How much of a challenge is that for a pitcher when you know a guy is going to swing at the first pitch? And what did you think of the way Noah handled it yesterday?
MATT HARVEY: Obviously the last thing you want in a series like this is to let guys get super comfortable. And I think Noah obviously did a good job of keeping them off balance and finding his own personal ways of changing that.
You've got to make a pitch and that's the biggest thing. It could be a first-pitch out, which is always nice to have, or you can make a mistake and he's going to make you pay for it. In my mind it's about making a quality pitch and making a good pitch from pitch one.
Q. Back to your struggles or perception of in the first game, they swung and missed at your pitches only six times, deGrom three, but Noah last night as he mixed things up late it was 16. What do you learn from that? And what adjustments do you make going into this game to get them to swing at more pitches and miss them?
MATT HARVEY: I think they're a good team at making adjustments, like you said, and throughout the game it seems from at-bat to at-bat they're able to adjust and kind of make different changes. It seems like early in their count they're taking a chance to kind of go big fly, and then later as the game goes on they adjust. So as the starting pitcher you've got to be able to adjust with them and kind of pick up on that.
Noah obviously did a great job of that last night, and me and Jake are going to have another shot at going back out there against these guys. We're going to have to make our adjustments, just like Noah did, and kind of watch what he did and build off of what he did. I know we're definitely both excited about getting back out there.
Q. One of the challenges of the World Series is you face lineups that you really haven't faced. You had a chance to see their entire lineup, and they're a unique lineup in a lot of ways, as well. Does that experience in Game 1, I don't want you to give away your game plan, but does that experience in Game 1 kind of alter your game plan going into Game 5 or tweak it in any way?
MATT HARVEY: Like I said, this is a game about adjustments, and they're doing a great job of adjusting to us and how we pitch. And we have to do a better job of doing that. And obviously Noah showed that they are a team that can swing and miss. He's got great stuff, it's not a knock on him whatsoever, but I think he did a great job of like I said, keeping them off balance. He found his own way of making them a little uncomfortable, and we have to all do a better job of that. And I think our second crack at it is we have a lot more confidence.
Q. How much does this postseason experience help you? And can it help you as quickly as tomorrow?
MATT HARVEY: Yeah, I think just watching and being a part of it. Obviously I wasn't real excited how the first go-around was, but I think we're all learning as a team and learning as a staff. Being out there you're always going to have more experience the more you're here and the more you go out there.
So I don't feel necessarily any different than I did going into the series, but I think obviously after facing a team for the second time, you can figure some things out. Obviously having normal rest makes a big difference, as well.
Q. What strengths does Terry Collins have as a manager in your eyes? What are his strengths? And then secondly, when the innings/pitch-limit thing blew up late summer with you, did he offer any guidance or some help kind of behind the scenes, did he help you get through that?
MATT HARVEY: Yeah, I think obviously it was a situation that I certainly didn't want to drag into the position that it was. I felt he did a great job of sticking behind me. We did have our conversations which were behind closed doors, and will remain behind closed doors. He did a great job of staying with me and offering guidance towards basically my teammates. They always knew that I wanted to be out there. It was a tough situation with how it came about but I think the most important thing was his support and my team's support. They made it a lot easier.
Q. From what you know about Noah, were you surprised to hear his comments from last night and kind of talking so strongly about setting a tone and, "If they have a problem with me, here I am, 60 feet, six inches away"? For a pitcher that's pretty strong language.
MATT HARVEY: Yeah, I think obviously everybody kind of saw a different side of him. Usually he's a little bit more reserved and calm. But I think it's a lot of the situation, too. I think he's pretty fired up. He was fired up about the win last night. He went out there and did his job. And we're all proud of him for that.
I think obviously being at home he got a lot of adrenaline and probably carried that into his press conference after. He does like to work out and spend a lot of time in the workout room. His comments are, I think for us, kind of taken with a grain of salt, but we're obviously happy about what he did.
Q. Do you think even more now than two or three years ago, when you first came up, hitters take more offense when you try to pitch inside?
MATT HARVEY: I think the game's definitely changed. I think obviously you watch guys growing up, Roger Clemens, and Pedro Martinez, all those epic battles that they had, and I think the time has changed. But this is part of baseball. As a power pitcher you've got to keep guys uncomfortable and off balance. When there's a time to do it, there's a time to do it, and they're trying to do as much damage as you want to prevent. So being able to prevent that is part of baseball.
Q. When you pitch tomorrow it's one of two scenarios: Trying to stave off elimination or give your team the series lead. For you and your personality, when the stakes are that high, how does that play in? How do you manage that? Does that make it better? Do you enjoy it?
MATT HARVEY: Yeah, I think going back to just being on normal rest and kind of having that normal routine is good enough. Obviously I love pitching here at Citi Field. They give me great energy. For me I think it's a lot of excitement, but yet it's still a baseball game and I still have to go out and do my job.
As excited and fired up as me and the rest of the team will be, we still have to play baseball and play our game. I have to go out and pitch my game and do everything I can to keep them off base.
Q. For those of us who don't spend much time around the team on a daily basis, a word or two about Steven Matz's personality. He seems to fly pretty low under the radar. Give us your view of him.
MATT HARVEY: He's here to learn. He's here to win. He's done a great job of really asking questions, being around the guys. He hasn't obviously thrown what, but seven, eight games in the Big Leagues, and now here he is pitching Game 4 of the World Series. I think for him and the way that he kind of came about this team, I think he's done a great job of learning and keeping his ears open as much as he can.
He's on his way. It's been an exciting year to watch him and his progress. Like I said, Noah's progress, the best is yet to come and it's been an honor being with these guys, and especially seeing what Steven Matz has done.