New York Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard enjoyed himself a nice little afternoon in his fourth start of the spring and the Mets 2-1 win over the Houston Astros on Wednesday afternoon. In his five innings of work, Syndergaard kept his pitch count under control. He also looked stronger and stronger as the afternoon went along.
He led off the game by using back-to-back front door two-seam fastballs to strikeout outfielder Tony Kemp looking. Aledyms Diaz and Alex Bregman then reached on a single and a walk respectively, but Syndergaard was able to work his way out of the inning unscathed.
He then tossed an effortless top of the second, as he struck out AJ Reed to end a perfect inning. In the top of the third, Syndergaard retired the first two batters in order before Diaz drew a two out walk. After he stole second, Syndergaard battled to strike out Bregman swinging, stranding the runner in scoring position.
The righty then jumped into a groove, as he tossed back-to-back perfect innings in the fourth and the fifth, retiring seven hitters in a row.
In his last inning of work, Syndergaard got Kemp to ground out before allowing a one out single to Diaz. He then ended his day by getting Bregman to chase a curveball out of the zone for the second out of the inning, and his fifth strike out of the afternoon.
Lefty Ryan O’Rourke came on in relief of Syndergaard, and retired Michael Brantley to end the sixth, thus closing the book on Syndergaard’s afternoon.
Postgame, the righty told reporters that right now it’s all about “trying to get comfortable on the mound.”
“Sometimes I go into the game too strong, and I try to hold back a little bit and gain more control, but that’s the opposite of what happens. I just have to be able to go out and give it 100% so opposed to 95 just to try to throw a strike,” Syndergaard said.
In total, Syndergaard threw 77 pitches over 5.2 shutout innings of work while allowing two hits, issuing a pair of walks, and striking out five. With just two starts left, Syndergaard now has a 1.88 ERA this spring.
As for his comfort level with new catcher Wilson Ramos, Syndergaard told reporters he is getting more and more comfortable around the veteran backstop each day. “I’m going to give him a chance to control the running game,” he said.