New York Mets flamethrower Noah Syndergaard came into Wednesday night’s game in Philadelphia with a 1.99 earned-run average in September (three starts) but had been dealing with an uncharacteristic bout of control issues.
Those issues continued to plague Syndergaard last night, with Thor making it through just four innings, tied for his shortest start of the season (April 4, vs. Phillies). Over those four innings, the 26-year-old allowed four hits, three earned runs and walked three batters, taking his fourth loss of the season (12-4).
Despite striking out three Phillies in the first, the last of which came against Wilson Ramos on a nasty 91 MPH slider, slugger Rhys Hoskins put the Phils on the board with his 32nd home run of the year, a solo shot to left-center.
He retired is counterpart Zach Eflin and budding Met-killer Cesar Hernandez to start things off in the third. Hoskins got to Syndergaard again with a softly hit, two-out double followed by a Roman Quinn walk, but Thor was able to set down Carlos Santana to escape the jam.
Unfortunately, Syndergaard could not avoid harm in the fourth. Wilson Ramos led off the frame with a single, then Herrera slammed his 22nd homer of the year into the right-field seats, extending Philadelphia’s lead to 3-0.
Syndergaard is still working on a fixing a small mechanical issue that is making it easier for the hitters to pick up his fastball, “It’s something that’s been ingrained in my mind for the longest time,” Syndergaard said after the game. “It’s just trying to break down those motor units and start over.”
Thor bounced back to get out of the fourth, but after going seven strong, shutout innings against the best offense in baseball aka the Red Sox this past weekend, getting pulled after just 89 pitches (54 strikes) against a team that’s free-falling out of the NL East race has to stick in his craw just a bit.
Hopefully, this will act as a catalyst in propelling Noah Syndergaard to a strong finish. His 3.36 earned-run average is solid, especially considering he missed practically all of the 2017 season (lateral muscle tear), but Thor’s ceiling is dramatically higher than that, in this writer’s opinion.