Q. With what you've been through since 2013, I guess it was this month you had the surgery, was there a point where you didn't think you'd get back to this point?
MATT HARVEY: No, I think the biggest worry was when I was deciding if I was going to have surgery or not. And I think for me I wanted to take some time. Obviously it took about two months to finding out I had a slight tear to actually going in and having surgery. So I think in those two months there was probably a lot of things that went through my head, if I was going to be the same player or same pitcher or even close to coming back.
And once I decided I wanted to have surgery, all those doubts and thoughts and especially negative thoughts definitely went out the window. I knew I was going to go see the best surgeon in the world and have the best staff behind me and training program. From then on it was kind of a no-doubter that I knew I'd be back.
Q. With all the talk about velocity in this World Series, I'm curious, do you remember when you hit 90 on the radar gun for the first time. How much of a difference does this make on the results when you're at 98 as opposed to 94?
MATT HARVEY: I think for me I'm not even a sophomore in high school, going into my sophomore year in high school when I first got excited about hitting 90 miles per hour. And from then on as soon as I hit 90 I think the velocity kind of took off pretty quickly. Obviously as a young kid, being in high school, and going to all these tournaments that velocity is so important. It was pretty exciting to kind of be up at the top of the list.
I think the biggest thing that I've learned, especially this year, is pitching and mixing different pitches and different locations, whereas before I've gotten away with just blowing it out, throwing 97, 98. I think maybe between the long year and having surgery I think I might have lost a little bit of the -- I don't know how they say it -- but effective velocity, I think kind of went down a little bit. So I really had to learn how to pitch a little bit more and kind of go out there and be a little more crafty than normal.
Q. With all the success the Royals have hitting that upper 90s, how much has that changed how much you approach that lineup?
MATT HARVEY: I think I've been a little fortunate I think the last -- obviously the last four starters that we've had. I think I'm kind of topping out at the least number right now. So for me behind Noah, who is throwing 150 million miles per hour and Jake who throws it up in the high 90s, I've been happy with pitching at 94, 95, and really mixing in a lot of different pitches.
Q. Whether it was the first Spring Training against Detroit, you were lights out. Started the season lights out. Last game against the Cubs, lights out. And yet there were speed bumps along the way. In the midst of that was there any one start that you've made, even if it was the last one or all the way back to the first one against the Tigers in the spring, that you said, I've got this, I'm back, or are you still striving for that?
MATT HARVEY: No, I think the last one against the Cubs. I think for me finding out that maybe the life on my fastball, I can still ramp it up there to 98 miles per hour. But right now I'm not worried about the life coming back from the Tommy John surgery, I think that's the last thing to come. I started to realize that I think that was the biggest difference, some games where I went out and for instance against the Pirates I went out and threw probably the hardest I threw all year, and they were having no issues putting up some crooked numbers.
For me the Cubs outing definitely made me think a lot and really know that I can be successful at 94, 95 and really just work on hitting spots and mixing my pitches in.
Q. Aside from your surgery, how meaningful has it been to complete your season wire to wire, and Postseason on top of that?
MATT HARVEY: I think leading into the season you don't know what to expect. Obviously going from zero innings, to I think 202 now, I couldn't be happier. And obviously that number is still going to creep up. I think the best thing and the most positive thing is how I feel after the 200-inning mark, and quite honestly, it's probably better than I did at the 100 mark.
For me the season was obviously an extreme success, just being healthy, playing, going out there every fifth day or whenever it was and being healthy and being where we are now. I don't think anybody's happier at that than I am.
Q. Did you watch Bumgarner in the last World Series?
MATT HARVEY: The fact that they won, I think anybody wants to do what he did, and getting his team where they did. We obviously have Jacob DeGrom, Noah and Steven Matz, and better yet we have Bartolo Colon in the bullpen and Jon Niese. We have a lot of weapons, and I'm here to do everything I can and those guys are, too.
Q. You also played on a team with Mike Moustakas and Colon. What do you remember about that time and how did that help you?
MATT HARVEY: I think it's fun. Obviously I've worked out with Mous a couple of different off seasons in Newport at BSTI. But I think the bond and the relationship that we all have as baseball players is what makes this so much fun. And being able to watch those guys last year in the World Series and being able to play with them now, it's pretty surreal and pretty exciting.
Obviously we all knew that we had a gift and were talented at what we did, but to be playing against each other in the World Series, I don't think at the time we ever really thought about it.
Q. The Cubs, obviously great offense, but they do strike out a lot, the Royals don't. As a power pitcher, what are the challenges of going up against an extreme contact-hitting team?
MATT HARVEY: I think for us it's mixing our pitches and not relying on our effective velocity, but going out there and going over the scouting reports, finding out what works, and what works against this team, specifically.
Obviously we knew going into the Cubs series what they were about. And we've done our homework here, and we know what Kansas City is about. For us, I think going forward it's being able to pitch, which obviously all of us are able to do. So we're going to definitely pitch them effectively and to our game plan and stick with that.
Q. Is there a specific day that you remember before the playoffs started where you went in to Terry and said, Listen, I'm fine, just give me the baseball for as long and as hard, I need to go with it? Was there a day just before the playoffs started or a conversation you had specifically with him to tell him that?
MATT HARVEY: I think during all of the stuff that was going on I think between him and David Wright and the team, I wanted to make it clear that I wanted to pitch and I wanted to be there. The last thing I ever wanted to do is put the ball down. But obviously I knew as a player and as a person in general that any player in this game wants to play this game for a long time and be healthy. It brought up a concern. As a human being, besides being an athlete, your career and your health is always a natural thing to worry about.
I think there was some people that threw me under the bus a little bit about what was going on. But for me being out here with my teammates is all I want and I couldn't be happier to be with them here now.
Q. What's it mean for you to get the ball in Game 1? What do you think it's going to be like tomorrow night, starting Game 1 of the World Series?
MATT HARVEY: I think for all of us, we're kind of sitting around the locker room all talking to each other, and I don't think anything has really set in for us yet, which in our minds I think is a positive.
We still realize that it's a baseball game. And for me this is another start. Obviously it's a start on a different level. It's still baseball, and we have to go out and do our jobs, 1 through 9 in the lineup. And I think going into the clubhouse, going through our workouts, I think this group is very confident, very dedicated and very focused on our task at hand.
Q. You talk about how important the rest of your career is in balancing that with this year. Does having an insurance policy give you the peace of mind to go out this year and pitch like you want to as potentially having any second thoughts about it?
MATT HARVEY: I don't think there was really any doubts in the first place, if there were they were brief and something -- you've got to understand as an athlete, there's always risk and there's always that concern for not being able to play anymore.
But I think for what has come out I think it does help your mind a little bit in the future. But regardless of that, regardless of any of the talks for me being with my teammates and playing at this stage and this level and where we're at, it's all I ever wanted.
Q. Do you, Jake and Noah and Steven realize the opportunity that you have to be thought of as the great Braves' rotation, the great A's rotations, great Orioles' rotations, do you think of yourselves as that type of rotation right now, or do you have to accomplish more to be thought of like that?
MATT HARVEY: I think that goes along with where we're at as a team. I think none of us have really sat back and realized where exactly we are. And I think after yesterday's workout, all looking at each other, realizing that this is the World Series, I don't think it still has hit home for us.
But along with that I think the four of us are so dedicated and so excited to be out here and be playing, I don't think any of us have really sat back and kind of realized what we can accomplish as a group. We're more excited to be out there and compete and do everything we can for our team that all that outside success or speculation, right now, it's about our team and about winning.
Q. Even with the long 17 months of rehab with the Tommy John, in a short amount of time in your career you have pitched the All-Star Game, the NLDS game, one of the NLCS, you're going to start the World Series. Do you ever stop and think what's happened in a short amount of time?
MATT HARVEY: I don't think I have. I think my mother definitely has. She's the No. 1 supporter of kind of saying two words together that bring shock to her mind about the success that her little boy has had. My sisters are a couple years older than I am. I basically grew up with three mothers, and they all couldn't be more proud. I leave it to them. They do enough of that sitting back and realizing what I've been able to accomplish and how thankful I am.