The Mets defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 12-2 last night and got their 20th win of the season tonight behind five tough innings from Noah Syndergaard and a lot of offense from some unlikely sources. It was the team’s first victory at Citi Field since April 18th.
A day after Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland said that Syndergaard has yet to do a lot at the Major League level, Syndergaard picked up his first win since April 9 by striking out seven and allowing two earned runs, five hits, two walks.
However, prior to the game last night, Eiland clarified those comments he made about Syndergaard to Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News.
“I think Noah would be the first to tell you there are things he needs to work on. He’s an upper echelon guy; he’s a top-shelf starting pitcher in all of baseball. He’s going to be really good. But he hasn’t been around long enough. He doesn’t have that long of a track record.”
“He hasn’t pitched long enough. He’s yet to do a whole lot. I didn’t say he hasn’t done anything. I said he hasn’t done a whole lot. Why? Because he hasn’t been here that long. He’s 25 years old.”
Nonetheless, he has spoken to the hard-throwing righty about the quotes and more to try and ease the burden on him.
“Noah and I have talked. We have had a lot of conversation, not just about my quotes. I was defending him actually. If he doesn’t go seven with one run or less, everybody is criticizing him, because he is supposed to be dominant. He’s human.”
Maybe more pivotal for the team than his pitching tonight was his bat, as he knocked in the first two Mets runs of the game with an RBI double in the 2nd and a game-tying sac fly to center in the 4th.
For a while, Syndergaard felt like he was dominating the way Mets fans became accustomed to the last few years.
“I felt great in the first inning. Felt like glimpses of the old Noah was coming out, and then after that, I lost the ability to throw front-hip sinker to lefties and backdoor to righties.”
Syndergaard started the night by striking out the side in the first. However, after the first inning, he got somewhat erratic and it looked like he stopped attacking hitters.
The 25-year old is still trying to find his groove and understands that he has not met the team’s expectations of him this season, as he admitted after the game.
“I feel like I haven’t been living up to my expectations for myself or people. It’s about going out there and grinding it out and once it clicks I’ll be looking forward to that.”
Despite his inability to go deep into games this season, the right-hander is currently 3-1 with a 3.14 ERA, 1.22 WHIP, and 61 strikeouts in 51 2/3 innings pitched.
That being said, Syndergaard has only made it into the seventh inning once this season (April 26), so that will definitely be a focus for him to improve upon as the season wears on.