He took control of the first big National League East matchup of the season, and he didn't let go. He took on Max Scherzer. He took on Bryce Harper.
He carried a five-hit shutout through seven innings, and he sent the Mets to a 2-0 win over the Nationals on Tuesday night.
"He's special, man," catcher Kevin Plawecki said. "No stage is too big. No moment is too big. It only gets better."
The stage Tuesday was Citi Field, with a lively crowd attracted by a great pitching matchup and the first 2016 game of an emerging rivalry. The moment was a game the Mets really wanted after a 4-7 trip out west, but a game they had to play without David Wright or Lucas Duda.
Scherzer was coming off his 20-strikeout game from last week, and he was also facing the Mets for the first time since his Oct. 3 no-hitter. He wasn't at his spectacular best Tuesday, but he was very good.
Syndergaard was better. In seven innings, he struck out 10 and didn't walk a batter. He allowed just one Nationals runner past first base, and he quickly thwarted the only scoring chance with a 99-mph fastball that turned into a double play.