Home runs, especially the no-doubters and especially at Chase Field during the summer, are easy to recognize. The thwacking noise that echoed throughout the downtown stadium was the first clue on Tuesday night. The thump of the ball bouncing off the back wall in the bullpen in left field was the second.
Yasmany Tomas' home run in the fourth inning came on a mistake pitch, and it gave the D-backs an early 1-0 lead. It left Syndergaard yelling at himself after the third out on the way to the dugout. But it was far from the most memorable home run in the Mets' 7-5 victory.
With the game tied at 1 and Alejandro De Aza on second base in the fifth, Syndergaard crushed a 3-2 fastball from D-backs starter Braden Shipley and deposited it 415 feet from home plate into the bleachers in right field. The two-run home run came off the bat at 108.2 mph -- the third-hardest-hit homer by a pitcher in the Statcast™ Era -- and it pushed the Mets ahead, 3-1.
"I don't go up there and try to hit home runs," Syndergaard said. "I try to do my job at the plate and just happen to run into one. It was a 3-2 count, and I tried to put a good swing on it."
The home run was Syndergaard's third of the season and tied a club record for home runs by a pitcher. He now shares the mark with Walt Terrell, who hit three home runs in 1983, and Tom Seaver, who accomplished the feat in 1972.
"They did a good job the second, third time through the order, just recognizing what I was throwing for strikes and picking a pitch to sit on," Shipley said. "The home run to Syndergaard, I'm just going to challenge him right there, didn't want to walk him. He did a nice job with it."
How hard was Syndergaard's homer? Giants ace Madison Bumgarner has the only two harder-hit homers by a pitcher in the Statcast™ Era, at 111 and 109.4 mph.
"Last year, our pitchers did a tremendous job offensively," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "You could hit-and-run with those guys, you didn't have to bunt and they kept the defense on their toes. We are not swinging quite as well this year, but Noah is dangerous. He's got huge power. He got one, and the way the game turned out, we needed it."
The Mets tacked on another run in the fifth and added three more runs in the sixth to extend the lead to 7-1. Syndergaard struck out Tomas for the first out of the sixth -- his eighth strikeout of the night -- but payback would be short-lived.
The next batter, catcher Welington Castillo, singled to move Jake Lamb, who had reached on the first of two errors in the inning by T.J. Rivera, to third base. Mitch Haniger's two-run triple cut the Mets' lead to 7-3. Haniger scored on Rivera's second error to shrink the lead to 7-4.
Jean Segura's infield single -- he was originally called out before the play was overturned after review -- marked the end of Syndergaard's night. He was charged with four runs (two earned) on seven hits in 5 2/3 innings. He threw 106 pitches.
"I felt like in terms of my mechanics, I had a lot better rhythm going," Syndergaard said. "I just kind of just turned my mind off as opposed to thinking too much out there. I felt like I was loose and fluid."