When the San Francisco Giants were in last year’s World Series, there was hand-wringing aplenty over manager Bruce Bochy’s decision to limit his ace Madison Bumgarner to two starts. But his decision was validated when Bumgarner won Games 1 and 5, then pitched five scoreless innings in relief in Game 7 to seal the championship.
Matt Harvey may not be able to pitch 21 innings in this kind of time frame, like Bumgarner did, but Harvey is already saying that he wants to pitch in relief in Game 7. “I’ll be ready,” was Harvey’s response on Saturday when asked about relieving after potentially starting in Game 5.
But he doesn’t expect to have to carry his team like Bumgarner did last year.
“I think anybody wants to do what [Bumgarner] did,” Harvey told reporters on Monday, “[but] we have Bartolo Colon in the bullpen and Jon Niese. We have a lot of different weapons and obviously I’m here to do everything I can and those guys are too.”
Harvey understands that the Royals present a different challenge than the Cubs did, and he informed the media on Monday that he’s working on a slightly different gameplan because of that.
“For us, it’s mixing our pitches and not relying on our effective velocity,” he said, “Going out there, going over the scouting reports, finding out what works against this team specifically. Obviously we knew going into the Cubs series what they were about. We’ve done our homework here and we know what Kansas City is about.”
Harvey’s chance to enter himself into baseball lore begins with Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday night at 8 p.m. on FOX.