Tale of the Tape: Volquez vs. Harvey, Game 5
Game 5 of the World Series will pit Edinson Volquez and Matt Harvey against each other on Sunday at Citi Field (8 p.m. ET game time on FOX), with one pitcher looking to stave off elimination and the other trying to clinch a championship.
The rematch of Game 1 starters features two hard-throwing righties, with Volquez relying mainly on a power sinker and Harvey yielding a near triple-digit four-seam fastball in his arsenal. Here's how the hurlers match up.
Against the Mets
Career (including playoffs): 10 GS, 2-5, 5.55 ERA
2015 (including playoffs): 1 GS, 0-0, 4.50 ERA
Loves to face: Curtis Granderson, .091 (1-for-11), 4 BB, 4 K's; David Wright, .125 (2-for-16).
Hates to face: Juan Lagares, .375 (3-for-8); Juan Uribe, .300 (3-for-10), 4 BB.
Why he'll win: Volquez led the Royals in wins (13), ERA (3.55) and innings pitched (200 1/3) during the regular season, and his resume features significant playoff experience. The start in Game 5 will be his seventh in the postseason, on the heels of his six-inning, three-run performance in Game 1.
Pitcher beware: Volquez relies on his sinker to be effective, preferring groundouts to flyouts when he can. But he's allowed home runs in consecutive starts after surrendering just 16 in 33 starts during the regular season. Volquez is up to 223 innings pitched this season, and fatigue could lead to more pitches being left up in the zone.
Bottom line: Volquez will be pitching with a heavy heart after the death of his father, Daniel, who passed away prior to Game 1 of this World Series. Volquez attended the funeral in the Dominican Republic this week and arrived back in New York prior to Saturday's Game 4. To give the Royals anything near his Game 1 performance, Volquez may need to compartmentalize his emotions.
Against the Royals
Career (including playoffs): 1 GS, 0-0, 4.50 ERA
Loves/hates to face: The only time Harvey faced any Kansas City hitters was during Game 1 of this World Series. Alcides Escobar hit a leadoff inside-the-park homer on Harvey's first pitch, and Mike Moustakas laced a two-run single after lining out twice. In all, the Royals went 5-for-23 with two walks against Harvey.
Why he'll win: Harvey strayed significantly from his typical agenda in Game 1, throwing just 37.5 percent fastballs against Kansas City's heater-happy lineup. Harvey threw more than 60 percent fastballs during the regular season, and vowed Saturday to pitch more to his strengths during Game 5.
Pitcher beware: Harvey is thrilled to be pitching on regular rest after sitting for nine days prior to his start in Game 1. The routine makes him more comfortable on the mound, but the numbers don't necessarily back up his mindset. Harvey pitched to a 2.51 ERA in 19 starts on extra rest this season. His ERA jumped to 3.09 when on regular rest.
Bottom line: After Mets manager Terry Collins emptied his bullpen in Game 4, Harvey needs to be the dominant force that's accumulated a 2.53 ERA in 65 career starts in order for New York to send the Series back to Kansas City.