Flashing full arsenal, Thor untouchable vs. Rox

Syndergaard goes 7 scoreless, allows just 1 hit as Mets take series

June 9th, 2019

NEW YORK -- When everything is working for , his four-seam fastball is electric. That’s exactly what happened for him Sunday in the Mets’ 6-1 victory over the Rockies at Citi Field. After the game, he credited a mechanical change that helped him be more effective with the pitch.

“I trusted my four-seam fastball,” Syndergaard said. “[There was a] slight mechanical tweak that I feel like I just need to be more consistent on. And [I] had a little bit more deception … to my four-seam fastball, and the rest of my pitches were able to play off that.”

Syndergaard notched a career-high 11 swings and misses on his four-seamer, just the second time in his career he’s had a double-digit total with that pitch. He dazzled over seven innings, allowing just one hit -- a Nolan Arenado single to lead off the second inning -- and striking out seven batters.

“[He] just executed pitch after pitch. You know, the one hit they got, it could’ve gone either way. I think Hech [Adeiny Hechavarria] makes that play 75 percent of the time,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said after the game.

The one hit Syndergaard allowed was hit to Hechavarria’s left and he didn’t quite get there in time. It had a .140 expected batting average, the fourth-lowest on any hit Syndergaard has allowed this season. But ultimately, whether it was a hit or not did not matter, given how Syndergaard performed.

The four-seamer stood out, but as Syndergaard noted, his other pitches were effective, too.

“Right now I’m still working on finding that slider, but it’s forcing me to continue to develop my other pitches,” he said.

One of those pitches is his curveball, which he has been using more, throwing it three times to Trevor Story in a three-pitch plate appearance in the fourth inning.

Callaway noted that it was the first time he’d seen Syndergaard triple up on the curveball to a batter like that.

“He pitched well. He had his pitches working today,” Rockies manager Bud Black said of Syndergaard. “From the side, it looked like he was commanding his fastball pretty well -- top of the zone and down. He mixed in the breaking ball as the game went on. He really pitched.”

For Syndergaard, this outing was one to build on as he strives to replicate this success, something his manager is eager to see, too.

“I understand that consistency probably hasn’t been what he’s capable of this year, but I think in the past, when he’s been healthy and pitching, he’s a top-five pitcher in all of baseball,” Callaway said. “He’ll get it going. This guy has some time in the big leagues, but he’s still a young guy. He’s still learning his craft, still learning how to deal with certain situations. … He’s still developing. Picks guys off, he’s controlling the running game better, he’s a little quicker to home than he was in the past.”

Syndergaard, too, noted after the game that the run game has been controlled better -- he picked off Story in the first inning after a walk, with a little help from first baseman , who gave Story’s hand a slight shove off the bag.

“This isn’t a finished product, at all,” Callaway said of the overall outing. “And I think at some point, you’re going to see Noah Syndergaard do this on a more consistent basis than otherwise.”

Other than the top of the first, Syndergaard was pitching with a lead the entire game, as put the Mets up 3-0 early with a three-run home run in the bottom of the first. They tacked on three more runs, one in the fourth on a single from Carlos Gomez and two in the fifth on RBI hits by Frazier and .

“It was a great all-around game. We scored early, we tacked on runs like we need to, and kept the pressure off of us,” Callaway said.