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October Confidential: Mets

Rival players offer inside look at facing NL Wild Card
September 28, 2016

How do you beat the Mets? asked rival players from around Major League Baseball to offer an inside look at how best to face the first NL Wild Card.Noah Syndergaard "There aren't a lot of other guys who throw 96-100 who command the ball down. When you command down

How do you beat the Mets? asked rival players from around Major League Baseball to offer an inside look at how best to face the first NL Wild Card.
Noah Syndergaard
"There aren't a lot of other guys who throw 96-100 who command the ball down. When you command down at the knees and then elevate without pitching so much at the belt, it's such a big difference because you can get foul balls early at the quad and then elevate. He has the unique ability to maintain that low plane and then command all four quadrants with a plus fastball. He also has the ability to throw his curveball for strikes. I think that is what makes him so unique. He repeats his delivery so well and he's always attacking. He pitches 96-100 like he's throwing 87-89 with his command. It's incredible."
-- NL East outfielder

Bartolo Colon
"As a left-handed hitter, I always try to look in because he's got that nasty sinker where if you look away and try to hit it, you're just going to hit a ground ball or a weak fly ball. So I think the best way to go attack is to maintain the mindset that any pitch that is on the inner third of the plate is going to be a good strike to hit."
-- NL East outfielder
:: NL Wild Card: Giants vs. Mets coverage ::
Seth Lugo
"He has the ability to attack you both inside and outside while controlling his offspeed pitches very well. He'll throw his curveball, slider or changeup to you at any time. Because he is somewhat unpredictable, you should take a plan of attack that suits your strengths because you are going to see every pitch in his arsenal. He's going to come inside more for effect and try to get strikes away with his fastball. So you're looking to attack fastball away from Pitch 1 because if you give him a strike, he'll take it and then go to work with all of the other stuff."
-- NL East infielder
Robert Gsellman
"I'm surprised he doesn't throw his sinker exclusively because he gets great action on that pitch. He's got a couple of decent breaking balls and the changeup is pretty good. I think he's a guy that could use his changeup a little more to keep guys off-balance and get some ground balls early in the count."
-- NL East infielder

Jeurys Familia
"When you face him, you want to see everything up because anything down in the zone is going to be tough to hit. If you're looking up and he elevates that sinker, you're going to have a chance to hit it hard and also have the ability to adjust to his offspeed pitches."
-- NL East infielder
Addison Reed
"For the most part, he'll attack you down and away with his fastball. He's not going to use his offspeed very much until late in the count and when he does, it is rarely going to be for a strike. So you want to look out and away, not necessarily for something elevated, but just above the knees a little bit, because he spots that fastball down and it's tough to hit. His fastball is very straight, but you don't want to try to do too much with it. You definitely need to look away because you're not going to be able to pull him."
-- NL East outfielder
Yoenis Céspedes
"He's very patient. If he gets four at-bats in a game, he'll only swing at the first pitch once. You don't know when that's going to be. It could be the first at-bat or it could be the last. That keeps you on your toes. He's a big-time mistake hitter. He hits offspeed really well for power, and surprisingly, he's got a good reach for the fastball away. He stands a long way off the plate, but he can still get to that pitch away, so you've got to get it down."
-- NL East pitcher

Curtis Granderson
"He's actually been a little more aggressive this year, but you can still sink him away early. He's not going to do any damage with that pitch, especially if you keep the pitch down. Fastballs inside will never be a good pitch. For a right-hander, once you get him cheating on that fastball inside, then the changeup becomes a better pitch and then the back-foot or backdoor sliders are also a good pitch."
-- NL East pitcher
Jay Bruce
"Even though he's struggled since the trade, you always respect that power and know he might be just one swing away from getting back to what we've seen in the past. You don't want to make any soft mistakes out over the plate. You try to get ahead and then expand the zone, while knowing you don't want to allow him to get extended. When he's feeling good, he covers the inside part of the plate better than some other big power guys."
-- NL East catcher
Asdrúbal Cabrera
"You've got to pitch or sink him away early because he's very aggressive. Even in his first at-bat, you've got to expect he's going to swing at the first pitch. You can probably go after him late inside. A changeup is not a good pitch to him because he's capable of staying back and flicking it the other way with some pop. He hits curveballs in the zone OK, but he's susceptible to curveballs that start in the zone and finish out of it."
-- NL East pitcher

Michael Conforto
"He's not pull-conscious, but he'll pick his spots to deter you from pitching him inside too much. Still, you want to try to pound inside because if you stay out over the middle of the plate, he can drive some gaps and hit some balls out of the park. He does a nice job with offspeed, so in order to get him to chase some of those pitches out of the zone, you have to make him fastball-conscious while respecting his ability to hit the ball either way with power."
-- NL East catcher