Despite being a Citi Field day when the weather made folks search their cell phones for topics like, “Frostbite; prevention and treatment of,” Mets ace Noah Syndergaard put in a heavy workload. He went 5 ¹/₃ innings, throwing 101 pitches. For most pitchers this early in the season, that would empty the tank.
Spoiler alert: Syndergaard is not like most pitchers.
“I feel like I didn’t even really break a sweat out there, to be honest,” Syndergaard said after his work resulted in 11 strikeouts — including eight in a row at one point — but no decision in the Mets’ 3-2 victory over the Brewers on Sunday. “I just kind of kept things calm, cool and collected. Really free and easy out there.”
To manager Mickey Callaway, Syndergaard’s strength Sunday came from attacking. To the powerful righty, it came from pitching and not worrying about mechanics.
“He just went out there and attacked. He did a really good job of that,” said Callaway, who allowed Syndergaard to hit for himself in the fifth, but then pulled him in the top of the sixth. “I didn’t see a lot of wasted pitches.”
Syndergaard likely would have gone deeper except for a tough, but scoreless, first inning. The Brewers put two on, aided by an error, and forced him to throw 29 pitches. But he escaped. Then in the second, he struck out the last two batters to start his run of eight, tying the mark (also held by Jacob deGrom) for the second most consecutive K’s in franchise history. The team — and MLB record — is 10 by Tom Seaver in 1970.
“Just kind of stopped thinking about mechanics,” Syndergaard said, indicating his plan was to “go out there and focus on executing pitches.”
Done. And done well. After those two strikeouts to end the second, Syndergaard, who worked with rookie catcher Tomas Nido, mowed down the Brewers on strikeouts in the third and fourth. Hernan Perez broke the streak with a single leading off the fifth. It was the first hit Syndergaard allowed. And he only yielded one more, a single in the sixth to Jesus Aguilar. That ended Syndergaard’s day.
“My changeup was working really nice for me,” Syndergaard, said, noting how it complemented his sinker. “I threw some really good sinkers.
The fact he could do anything without turning blue was impressive.
“I feel like the cold weather actually benefits my changeup because it kind of forces me to hold it more like an egg and allows my arm to be more whiplike and that’s really the ultimate goal when you’re trying to throw a changeup, just selling that arm speed.”
So he was whiplike into the sixth before he was done — although he wanted to go longer.
“I feel like I had plenty of stamina left,” said Syndergaard, who posted his 13th career double-digit strikeout game, second this season. “I honestly didn’t feel like it [workload] affected me very much.”
Published at Mon, 16 Apr 2018 04:08:06 +0000