CHICAGO -- Given how bright Wrigley Field's newfangled LED boards shine in right- and left-center field, and how packed they are with information, it is no longer difficult to gauge how hard pitchers are throwing on Chicago's North Side. The 102-year-old park's infrastructure now makes it easy to see when
CHICAGO -- Given how bright Wrigley Field's newfangled LED boards shine in right- and left-center field, and how packed they are with information, it is no longer difficult to gauge how hard pitchers are throwing on Chicago's North Side. The 102-year-old park's infrastructure now makes it easy to see when someone such as Noah Syndergaard is hitting triple digits, a feat that on Tuesday night seemed more important than usual.
Making his first start since departing an outing early due to arm fatigue on July 8, Syndergaard showcased all his usual velocity in the Mets' 2-1 win over the Cubs, putting to rest any lingering doubts over the health of his arm.
"He looked great," catcher René Rivera said. "His fastball was there. His breaking ball was there. He was feeling good."
Despite Syndergaard's previous proclamations of health -- "I feel like I have a new arm," he said after throwing off a mound last weekend -- the Mets were understandably worried about their 23-year-old ace. Already dealing with a small bone spur in the back of his right elbow, Syndergaard exited his last start in the fifth inning due to what the Mets called a tired arm. Syndergaard himself referenced it as shoulder fatigue, choosing to skip his first career All-Star Game.
All the while, Syndergaard and the Mets insisted there was no reason to worry. But doubt lingered, at least until Syndergaard hit 100 mph in the first inning at Wrigley.
"My arm felt really loose and fluid, even later in the game," Syndergaard said.
The result was hardly Syndergaard's best start of the season, and certainly not his most efficient; he needed 105 pitches to record 17 outs in a no-decision. But Syndergaard held the Cubs to an unearned run over 5 2/3 innings, striking out eight. His velocity was on point. His arm felt fine. And with an extra day of rest before Syndergaard's next start, the Mets once again feel comfortable pitching him every five games.
"He had to work, and I like to see that," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "I like to see a guy like that work that hard to get us to where he got us. He didn't throw his arms up and say, 'Not tonight.' He really worked hard, and I thought it was a really good outing for him."
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast.