Backman Says Tempo Was Issue During Syndergaard’s Start

Noah Syndergaard

1:30 PM

Just a quick update on this as Noah Syndergaard and manager Wally Backman both commented to the Las Vegas Review-Journal about last night’s performance.


Wally Backman:

“His tempo was way too slow tonight, especially early in the game. He got better as the game went on but there were times he was 20-plus seconds in between pitches. His stuff was there, but everything you hear about in baseball is rhythm and timing and it wasn’t there tonight for him.”

Noah Syndergaard:

“I could’ve sped my tempo up a little bit better. It’s something that’s kind of hard to pick up for myself. It’s something I kind of have to be told. I felt like I did pretty well. I feel like the stat line really doesn’t do it justice. I felt I made some pretty good pitches. They just got the barrel on the ball and got them over the infielder’s head. … My arm felt a lot better and my body felt better than my first start, but my results weren’t near as good.”

7:00 AM

All things considered, it wasn’t an awful performance for Noah Syndergaard, who made his start for the Las Vegas 51s on Wednesday night.

Over five innings, Syndergaard gave up six hits, four runs (three earned), walked two, and struck out two while throwing 91 pitches – 61 of them for strikes. The ground outs to fly outs ratio was a nice sight at 8:3 and he was able to limit the damage stranding 11 River Cats.

When Syndergaard struggled, it looked like he struggled pretty hard. He began the game giving up a leadoff double which he later allowed to score on a single with two outs. The following inning, a Wilmer Flores error at SS was sandwiched between two walks. The run would soon come into score on a double play started by Flores.

Thor didn’t get into trouble again until his 5th and final inning (which he went into with 74 pitches).  After the 51s tied up the game on a Bobby Abreu single and an Eric Campbell homer, Syndergaard promptly surrendered the lead again. He started the 5th inning giving up a single and double before getting an out, and then gave up back-to-back singles to put the River Cats ahead by two again. The bleeding was stopped after Syndergaard induced a double play.

It definitely wasn’t Syndergaard’s best showing, and it was almost made a little more unsettling after Rafael Montero‘s “mortal” five inning effort the day before. Obviously, there were a ton of things that Montero couldn’t personally control about last night, and the same goes for Syndergaard in this game.

While Flores’ glove and range had a significant negative impact during Montero’s outing last night, it didn’t really have much bearing on Syndergaard’s start. It was only one run. The two batters Syndergaard walked, were well earned. He couldn’t find the plate and his second walk was on four pitches. Clearly, control was a bit of an issue in the 2nd inning.

Personally, it could just be a catching issue. I’m not sure I’m a fan of Taylor Teagarden behind the plate. Anyway, while Thor’s performance was far from horrible, it’s probably going to worry some fans regardless.

But keep in mind that even the best pitchers in the game can have a rough outing or days when they don’t have their best stuff – it’s how they rebound from those starts that makes them so good.

I look forward to watching how Thor responds the next time he’s on the hill, and I’d bet that he comes thundering back – hammer in hand.

(Photo: Howard Simmons/NY Daily News)

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