Thor after loss: Ramos 'called really good game'

Notable pairing could be key down stretch as Mets fall back in WC

September 14th, 2019

NEW YORK -- For the better part of a quarter hour on Friday afternoon, Mickey Callaway soliloquized about . He lauded the right-hander’s work ethic and drive. He made note of Syndergaard’s stoicism on the mound. He called him one of the top five pitchers in baseball.

Callaway’s agenda, as peacemaker between Syndergaard and , was obvious.

“I think that Noah is going to go compete no matter who’s catching him,” Callaway said. “If we can get the [pitch] distribution where we want it, get the pitches where we want it, it doesn’t matter who catches him. And we’ve seen that.”

Whether the four runs Syndergaard allowed in a 9-2 loss to the Dodgers were more on him, or on Ramos, is a matter of at least some debate. It was Ramos who called for a full-count curveball to Gavin Lux with two men on base in the fourth inning. It was Syndergaard who hung it, chest-high, in a perfect spot for Lux to crush it off Citi Field’s center-field fence. The ball cleared the orange home run line for a go-ahead, three-run shot, and the Dodgers never trailed again in a game that dropped the Mets three games behind the Cubs in the National League Wild Card race.

“I thought Wilson called a really good game,” Syndergaard said. “I felt like we were really meshing out there. I just wish I had that one pitch back.”

The pairing of Syndergaard and Ramos became notable last weekend, when Syndergaard approached Callaway and Mets general manager Brodie Van Wagenen to request an assignment throwing to anyone else. In those meetings, Syndergaard cited the fact that he owned a 2.22 ERA pitching to backups Tomas Nido and Rene Rivera, but a 5.09 mark working with Ramos. The Mets countered with the fact that Ramos was the National League’s leading hitter since Aug. 1.

It was an argument that Syndergaard said he understood, even if his views still don’t entirely align with those of the Mets. Although Syndergaard said he did not “want to go out there and throw any of my teammates under the bus, or be critical of them,” he did not apologize to Ramos between starts. Most of Syndergaard’s remorse revolved around the fact that what he thought was a private conversation with Callaway, Van Wagenen and other Mets officials became public.

“I didn’t really think I had to [apologize] because of the situation that happened,” Syndergaard said. “I wasn’t really anticipating leaked information getting out.”

Ramos, who declined comment on the situation earlier this week, left the clubhouse again on Friday without addressing the issue. But he will be back. The Mets have made it clear they want to start Ramos, the only Met to reach base twice against Dodgers starter Clayton Kershaw, as often as he is physically capable of starting down the stretch. That likely means that unless the Mets shift their catching schedule specifically to accommodate Syndergaard, Ramos will pair with him again next week.

Considering how chaotic the National League has been, the Mets’ entire season could depend on the result.

“Really, it’s just me getting comfortable out there on the mound, which I think I did a pretty decent job at, and we were really meshing and flowing out there,” Syndergaard said. “It was a step in the right direction, and that’s building a strong relationship. I look forward to more outings with him.”