Syndergaard Brings the Lightning, Strikes Out 10

The skies were gray all afternoon at Citi Field for the Mets home opener. But the only flashes of lightning in New York were coming from Noah Syndergaard on the mound.

He hit 99 mph on his fastball with little-to-no effort. Ending the top of the first with just seven pitches. Striking out his first batter of the year Dexter Fowler, followed by two easy come-backers to the mound.

Thor started the top of the second by striking out Marcel Ozuna. Showing off what can only be referred to as his “razorblade slider.” A pitch so nasty it’s nearly impossible to hit.

However two batter’s later Syndergaard gave up a homer to Met killer Yadier Molina. The last homer that Thor gave up before this? September 2016 to Freddie Freeman.

It’s no secret that Dave Eiland has been encouraging this pitching staff to throw inside. Molina just happened to catch up to Thor’s inside fastball.

Syndergaard didn’t let that homer get the best of him though. He came out in the top of the third and struck out the side. Which I think is important to note too for such a young pitcher. It’s easy for frustrations to build and ruin what could have been a spectacular start.

Not for Thor. Who brushes off trouble the way he brushes those long blonde locks behind his ear. Stumbling again in the fourth but still racking up strikeouts with ease. By the top of the, he’s already struck out eight batters. The Mets offense explodes in the bottom half of the inning to give Syndergaard the healthy lead he needs (deserves) put him in place to get the win for the afternoon.

Syndergaard is only the second Mets pitcher to strike out 10 or more on Opening Day. The last guy to do that? Pedro Martinez in 2005.

In fact, the only man in the Cardinal’s lineup who seemed to do any kind of damage to him all day was Jose Martinez. Who went 3 for 3 against Syndergaard with a home run.

Home runs aside, it was a good outing for Syndergaard’s 2018 debut. Six innings, six hits, 10 strikeouts, two homers, four earned runs. And a very encouraging start to what could be an electric season for Thor.