It appears as if Noah Syndergaard might not be the only Mets starter with a few tricks up his sleeve for the Royals.
Bad-boy ace Matt Harvey said he and the rest of the rotation could learn a few lessons from the way Syndergaard disarmed the Royals in Game 3. Syndergaard opened the game with a high, tight fastball to Alcides Escobar that left the leadoff hitter sitting in the dirt and the Royals barking at Syndergaard from the dugout.
Harvey, who will start Game 5 on Sunday night for the Mets, came out strongly in support of Syndergaard on Saturday for setting the tone in the Mets' first win of the World Series Friday night.
"Obviously, the last thing you want in a series like this is to let guys get super-comfortable," Harvey said. "And I think Noah obviously did a good job of keeping them off-balance and finding his own personal ways of changing that. He found his own way of making them uncomfortable, and we all have to do a better job of that. I think in our second crack at it, we have a lot more confidence."
Sunday night's game will be Harvey's second crack against the Royals and final start of the season. The last time he took the mound was in Game 1, when Escobar lined his first-pitch fastball to left-centerfield and Yoenis Cespedes misplayed the drive for what was scored an inside-the-park home run.
Harvey allowed three runs in six innings, but the biggest concern was that his fastball just wasn't right. Only 37.5 percent of his pitches were fastballs, the fewest of his career and far below his previous low of 43.5 percent.
Harvey had been overpowering in the postseason, but with his fastball not working the way he wanted, the Royals consistently put the ball in play.
"I just felt like I didn't have the greatest control with my fastball and greatest life," Harvey said. "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 bit differently.''
Harvey pitched Game 1 after 10 days' rest because the Mets had a long layoff after sweeping the Cubs in the National League Championship Series. He will be on normal rest for Game 5, which he thinks will make a big difference.
"Obviously, I wasn't really excited about how the first go-round was, but I think we're all learning as a team and learning as a staff,'' he said. "Being out there, you're always going to have more experience the more you go out there. I don't feel any different than I did going into the series, but I think obviously after facing a team [once], you can figure some stuff out."