In his first start after the All-Star break, Noah Syndergaard came through with a gutty performance despite showing a little rust. More importantly, he exhibited no ill effects despite getting 11 days off and leaving his previous outing with an arm fatigue.
He struck out eight batters, allowed seven hits, two walks and one unearned run in 5.2 innings against the Cubs.
“The fatigued arm obviously is gone,” Terry Collins said after the game. “But I’ll tell you what he had to do: He had to work hard. He had to work very, very hard. His command wasn’t like we normally see it. He had to work. And I like it. ”
While Syndergaard didn’t make it past the 6th inning, he threw a total of 105 pitches and told reporters after the game that he got stronger as the night went on. (Adam Rubin, ESPN NY)
This comes as excellent news to Collins and the coaching staff since they were concerned how Syndergaard would pitch deep into the game. Syndergaard left his last start after his velocity dropped when he came out for the 5th inning.
“I think it’s going to be deeper in the game as we saw last time. He was still throwing 98, 97 for four innings last time out and all of a sudden it went away so I think we got a little deeper into the game,” Collins said. and I told Dan today it will be interesting to see after pitch 75 where he’s at and how’s he doing.” (Kristie Ackert, NY Daily News)
In addition to hopefully putting his injury concerns to rest, Syndergaard also reached a career milestone. He struck out his 300th career batter, and he is third fastest among active starters to reach that bark behind only Yu Darvish and Jose Fernandez.
“To be able to compete in games like that when you go out there and you don’t necessarily have your best command, they’re fun to be able to compete in, because it really shows your true colors and your competitiveness,” Syndergaard said. “Overall, it was a great team win.”
It’s truly been a remarkable beginning to Syndergaard’s career. In just two seasons, he’s established himself as a clutch postseason performer, an All-Star and one of the elite starters in the MLB.
In 111 innings pitched this season, he has an excellent 2.43 ERA with 136 strikeouts and nine wins. Syndergaard will look continue this dominance in the second half as the Mets look to fight for a playoff spot.