Nearly a quarter-century after Twins pitcher Jack Morris somewhere between lobbied and threatened in order to stay in Game 7 of the 1991 World Series against the Braves, Mets pitcher Matt Harvey did the same Sunday — with, of course, far different results. If you pull it off, you’re a legend in history. If you don’t, you’re an unfortunate footnote. With that in mind, here’s a look at the similarities and differences in those moments.
1991: With the score tied 0-0 going into the 10th inning of Game 7, Morris stayed in to pitch. He retired the Braves in order, and the Twins went on to win the game and Series in the bottom of the 10th. Morris was named Series MVP and is revered.
2015: With the Mets trailing the World Series in games 3-1 but leading Game 5 2-0 going into the ninth, Harvey stayed in to pitch. He gave up a walk and a double, helping the Royals tie the score. Kansas City won in extra innings to take the series.
1991: Given Morris was pitching in a tie game and in a Game 7, I’d say he had more of it.
2015: Harvey had a lead, but he was pitching in an elimination game for his own team.
1991: Morris was a noted workhorse who had thrown 164 complete games in the regular season heading into the 1991 World Series. He was conditioned to go deep in games.
2015: Harvey missed all of 2014 after undergoing Tommy John surgery, and his innings in 2015 were monitored closely. He has thrown one career complete game and is not conditioned to go the distance.
Pitcher postgame quote
Morris: “Tom [Kelly] told me I was out of the game after the ninth. I told him I had a lot left.”
Harvey: “I felt great. In this situation I wanted the ball. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out.”
Tom Kelly: “What more can you want? What more can you ask for? The guy poured his guts out. I told him nine was enough. Jack said he was fine, [pitching coach] Dick Such said he was fine. What the heck? It’s just a game.”
Terry Collins: “Obviously, I let my heart get in the way of my gut. I love my players. And I trust them. ... And it didn’t work. It was my fault.”