Commodities: Matt Harvey to Start Game 1 of World Series for Mets

By Jared Diamond 
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Seven weeks ago, it seemed possible Matt Harvey wouldn’t pitch for the New York Mets at all in the postseason.

His agent, Scott Boras, declared that his client shouldn’t throw more than 180 innings this season, his first year back from elbow surgery. At first, Harvey didn’t protest, igniting a controversy surrounding his commitment to his teammates and desire to win that transformed him from hero to villain overnight.

But now, with Harvey at 202 innings on the year and counting, those concerns now feel like a distant memory.

Manager Terry Collins said Saturday that Harvey will start Game 1 of the World Series on Tuesday against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium (8:07 p.m. ET, Fox). Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard and Steven Matz will follow Harvey, setting up Syndergaard, a 23-year-old rookie, for a potential Game 7.

When Collins summoned Harvey into his office to inform him of the Mets’ decision, he asked him, “You ready for it?”

Harvey responded, “Damn right.”

The Mets chose Harvey for the crucial Game 1 start because of his relatively light workload of late. He last pitched Oct. 17, throwing just 97 pitches in 7 2/3 innings in a victory over the Chicago Cubs in Game 1 of the National League Championship Series. In two postseason outings, he has thrown a total of 194 pitches.

DeGrom, meanwhile, already has thrown 326 pitches in three playoff starts, and the Mets believe he has shown signs of fatigue. As a result, they will hold him back until Wednesday’s Game 2 and open up their first World Series appearance since 2000 with Harvey on the mound.

“We think we’ll run two pretty good pitchers at them and hopefully get one, if not two,” Collins said. “We just thought it set up good that way. We just thought the extra rest for Jake would help, even though it’s only one day.”

Collins added that he doesn’t plan on using any of his pitchers on short rest, meaning Harvey would next pitch in Game 5 at Citi Field. Should the series last seven games, the Mets would consider using him a third time out of the bullpen.

Write to Jared Diamond at jared.diamond-wsj.com