Syndergaard drops hammer, earns 1st MLB win
NEW YORK -- Noah Syndergaard dreamed about the moment for months and then dazzled in his home debut Sunday, tossing six innings of one-run ball to earn his first Major League victory as the Mets topped the Brewers, 5-1, to earn a series win.
The Mets' No.1 prospect struck out five against one walk, surrendered just three hits and again showcased the powerful repertoire that made him the youngest Mets starting pitcher to debut since Jon Niese in 2008. Syndergaard came out firing, striking out three of the first four Brewers, including Ryan Braun on a 97-mph fastball. He threw 20 of his first 24 pitches for strikes and exited after 95 total.
"How [did] a guy like that get traded [from the Blue Jays to the Mets in 2012]?" said Brewers center fielder Carlos Gomez, who left the game in the sixth inning after being struck in the head by a 97-mph Syndergaard fastball, but was nonetheless impressed. "He's really good. He's going to be one of the guys you want to see him pitch every time. I'm excited to face him again."
After faltering in the sixth inning in his Major League debut earlier this week, he hiccuped in that frame again Sunday, allowing a hit and hitting a batter before Braun's RBI single. But Syndergaard limited the damage this time by inducing two flyouts to end his day on a high note.
"It was a dream come true," said Syndergaard. "I would love to stay. Nobody wants to be pitching at Triple-A. The ultimate goal is to be pitching in the big leagues."
Offensively, the Mets picked up where they left off after Saturday night's 16-hit barrage, scoring early and often against Brewers starter Wily Peralta. Curtis Granderson hit his fifth home run leading off the first inning, Eric Campbell and Lucas Duda both collected two hits and an RBI, and Michael Cuddyer's two-run single gave the outfielder his second consecutive multiple RBI game.
"Coming off the win last night, you don't want to have the quote, unquote hangover after scoring all those runs," said Cuddyer. "It's nice to have the luxury of all the pitching we have, because you can forget about yesterday and focus on today."
Peralta allowed nine hits and five earned runs over five-plus innings and took his fifth loss, as Milwaukee lost its ninth series in 12 tries this season.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Granderson goes deep: Granderson sent Peralta's second pitch of the day into the Pepsi Porch in right field for his second leadoff homer of the season and 30th of his career. It was also Granderson's second homer in as many at-bats after going deep in the seventh inning of Saturday's 14-1 win.
Deep trouble: Granderson perpetuated the biggest problem facing Milwaukee's pitching staff, which has surrendered a Major League-leading 55 home runs in 38 games. That's on pace for 234 home runs in 162 games, which would set a franchise record (the Brewers served up 219 home runs in 2003) and challenge the Major League record held by the '96 Tigers, who allowed 241 home runs.
"They're killing us. Every mistake we make, it's a homer," Peralta said. "They don't roll over or hit a single. Just homers."
Another feverish fourth: After plating a whopping 10 runs in the fourth inning Saturday, the Mets pieced together another fourth-inning rally Sunday. This time New York scored three runs on three hits in the frame, with Campbell and Cuddyer offering run-scoring singles.
A scare, then a strike: Gomez walked off the field under his own power after being struck in the head by a 97-mph Syndergaard fastball -- a scary moment amid Milwaukee's only rally of the game. When Gerardo Parra took first base in Gomez's place, the Brewers had two runners aboard against Syndergaard for the first time, and Braun cashed in two batters later with an RBI single to cut the deficit to 5-1. More >
Syndergaard confirmed the expected postgame, saying there was no intent behind the plunking.
"I just want to start by saying I hope Gomez is OK and that I hope he doesn't miss any playing time," Syndergaard said. "I just tried to go in there and lost control of it."
"He's a name you're familiar with, for sure. He's been high on everybody's radar, for sure. I think prospects of this level are always discussed, so I'm interested to see him pitch. He's got to take the jump to the next level, and we'll try to make his learning process a little longer."
-- Manager Craig Counsell, who previously worked in the Brewers' front office, when asked whether Syndergaard had been discussed in Milwaukee's "war room"
"It was really cool looking up in the stands and seeing people dressed up as Thor, shouting Thor and my name as well. That was pretty cool."
SOUND SMART WITH YOUR FRIENDS
Gomez endured the Brewers' third beaning in only 38 games this season. Shortstop Jean Segura has been hit in the head twice, on April 7 against the Rockies and May 3 against the Cubs. Segura was able to play the day after the April event, and missed only one game after being hit the second time.
Brewers: Milwaukee will travel to Detroit for the first time since 2009, when the club was swept in a three-game series. Mike Fiers starts Monday's 6:08 p.m. CT opener against Tigers left-hander Kyle Lobstein.
Mets: New York hosts St. Louis on Monday at 7:10 p.m. ET for the start of what should be a pitching-rich four-game series. The Mets and Cardinals own the two lowest team ERAs in baseball. New York's leader in that category, Matt Harvey, will look for his sixth win.
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