Mets opt to line up Thor for start vs. Nationals

Collins wants to give righty extra rest, which also allows him to start Monday against rival

June 21st, 2016

NEW YORK -- Motivated at least in part to line up their best pitchers against the Nationals next week, the Mets made a last-minute switch to their rotation. Noah Syndergaard, who was originally scheduled to start Tuesday against the Royals at Citi Field, will instead pitch Wednesday. Bartolo Colon moved up one day to start in his place.

That allows Syndergaard to start the Mets' opener of a three-game series in Washington on Monday, followed by Matt Harvey and Steven Matz. But Mets manager Terry Collins insisted that the motivation was centered more around giving Syndergaard extra rest after he threw a season-high 115 pitches his last time out, lasting into the ninth inning.

"I thought we'd give him a little extra time," Collins said. "Bartolo comes back a little bit easier. We looked at it, we said if we bring [Colon] back, we can move Noah back a day, give him an extra day with all the pitches he threw, and that will allow him to pitch in Washington also."

Both the Mets and Nationals altered their rotation at times last summer in advance of key series against one another. But the Mets entered Tuesday already 5 1/2 games behind the Nationals, larger than any deficit they faced last season.

Syndergaard, 23, has been by far New York's best pitcher, going 7-2 with a 1.91 ERA over 13 starts and one relief appearance. He won his only game against Washington, striking out 10 over seven scoreless innings on May 17.