It was a long time coming — nearly two months to be exact — but Noah Syndergaard returned to a Major League mound Friday night and picked up right where he left off.
While he was on a limited pitch count, Syndergaard still handed in five strong innings of one run ball and struck out three Nationals en route to a Mets 4-2 victory.
“It was a step in the right direction. It’s encouraging, and I came out of it healthy,” Syndergaard said. “That’s all that matters.”
New York staked Syndergaard to an early lead in the first, as they plated three runs.
In the second, the red hot Amed Rosario tripled to lead off the frame, and Syndergaard then helped his own cause by shooting a single into right field to give New York an early 4-0 lead.
The lone blemish against Syndergaard came in the third when Roark tripled himself, and was promptly driven in by a double from Wilmer Difo.
After being removed, Seth Lugo came on in the sixth and fired two scoreless innings to lower his ERA to 2.65 on the year. Robert Gsellman allowed one run to score after, but was able to hold the Nationals and secured his fourth save of the year.
Since last year, Syndergaard has missed an extended amount of time. Last April, he tore his lat and missed nearly the entire season. This year, he missed nearly two months with a strained ligament in his right index finger.
Mets manager Mickey Callaway said those were kind of “anomalies,” and believes Syndergaard will remain healthy now.
“Working on the right things — and not just working hard — is essential for him to have success and stay healthy because of who he is, how hard he throws, the weapons that he has,” Callaway said.
Syndergaard’s name has been tossed around in trade talks the last couple months. Sources familiar with the Mets thinking believe they ultimately won’t trade him, but regardless, the right-hander realizes whatever happens is out of his control.
“If they want to trade me tomorrow, I really have no say in what they do,” Syndergaard said. “What I can say is I’ve loved my time being a New York Met. I love the city. I’ve loved embracing them, and I think they’ve loved embracing me and for right now, I’m a Met. I’m just going to continue to play baseball.”
When asked if he wants to stay here, Syndergaard said: “I said last year I want to be a Met my entire career. It’s outside my control.”
The next time Syndergaard will pitch will be after the All-Star break. He will go into his next start with a 5-1 record and a 2.97 ERA.
Syndergaard Quick Hits
- Has pitched at least 5.0 innings while not allowing more than three runs in each of his last 10 starts, posting a 2.56 ERA (17 earned runs/59.2 innings) in that span. Has allowed three runs or fewer in 11-straight starts, tied with Ryne Stanek for the second-longest active streak in the majors (trails Jacob deGrom, 16-straight).
- The Mets are 6-2 in his eight home starts this season. Has allowed three earned runs or fewer in 27 of his last 30 home starts. Owns a 2.67 ERA (73 earned runs/246.2 innings) in 41 games (40 starts) at Citi Field.
- Went 1-2 at the plate and drove in his third run of the season with an RBI single in the second inning, his first run driven in since his two-run double vs. Toronto on May 15.