BOSTON -- If the Mets are going to close the season with a rotation trending as one of the Majors' best, Noah Syndergaard may as well join the party.Showing no ill effects from the line drive that knocked him out of his last start, Syndergaard held MLB's top-ranked offense to
BOSTON -- If the Mets are going to close the season with a rotation trending as one of the Majors' best, Noah Syndergaard may as well join the party.
Showing no ill effects from the line drive that knocked him out of his last start, Syndergaard held MLB's top-ranked offense to just three hits in seven innings Friday in the Mets' 8-0 win over the Red Sox. Four Mets homered to back Syndergaard, with Jay Bruce driving in four runs in the club's first game at Fenway Park in nine years.
• Rats! Mets, Red Sox not alone in dugouts
"That was just a fun ballgame," Syndergaard said. "That's the best team in baseball right now."
Exiting his last start against the Phillies after Cesar Hernandez's line drive hit him in the ribs, Syndergaard rebounded to retire the first six Red Sox he faced in succession. He worked around a two-on, no-outs jam in the third inning, then did not allow another runner past first base.
All told, Syndergaard pitched seven innings with six strikeouts and three walks, dropping the Mets' rotation ERA to 2.66 since Aug. 8 -- by far the Majors' lowest. Not coincidentally, the club's 23-13 record since that time ranked third best in the National League at the end of the game.
"You go through ups and downs, but overall, they've been a real good rotation this year," Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. "It's good that they finish strong."
It helped that by the middle innings, Syndergaard was pitching with a significant lead thanks to Bruce, who doubled home a run against William Cuevas in the first inning and hit a three-run homer off Robby Scott in the third. An inning later, Jeff McNeil also went deep.
Three more runs came around in the eighth on a two-run homer by Austin Jackson, snapping his 0-for-12 skid at the plate, and a solo shot from Amed Rosario.
MOMENTS THAT MATTERED
Coming into the night with more stolen bases allowed than any other big league pitcher, Syndergaard could not stop the Red Sox from swiping three bags against him in the third inning.
The narrative changed in the seventh, when he picked Ian Kinsler off first base to kill a potential rally.
"It's huge, because that's a weakness of mine that I've been working on for the longest time," Syndergaard said. "Any other form or tactic I can [use] to get people out on the basepaths, or to make them aware that it's not a merry-go-round out there, it's a great feeling."
The Mets became just the third visiting team to hit four home runs in a game at Fenway Park this season, joining the Yankees and Rays.
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Syndergaard was the beneficiary of two diving defensive plays. Stationed deep in right field against Mookie Betts, Brandon Nimmo broke late on Betts' fly to shallow right in the fifth that forced him to sprint after the ball and make a diving catch.
Two innings later, Jackie Bradley Jr. hit a line drive into shallow right. Shifted onto the outfield grass, McNeil dove to his right to make the grab.
"Is there anything that man can't do?" Syndergaard said of McNeil.
HE SAID IT
"It was awesome. Just the overall atmosphere, the history. It's like pitching in a cathedral." -- Syndergaard, who took a tour inside the Green Monster before the game, on his first career start at Fenway
Needing a spot starter after their rain-soaked week at Citi Field, the Mets on Saturday will turn to right-hander Corey Oswalt. The rookie last pitched on Sunday, allowing two runs in three innings to the Phillies. He'll oppose right-hander Rick Porcello in the 4:05 p.m. ET game at Fenway Park.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2007. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo, Instagram and Facebook.