Monday, May 18, 2015

Spit And Polish

I'd batted around getting my act together and going out to Citi Field yesterday for Noah Syndergaard's home debut. The last time I rearranged myself and went to Flushing for the first home start of a Hotshot Pitching Prospect's career was two years ago when Zack Wheeler first said Hello to the Mets Faithful. That game went about as badly as any game could possibly have gone, ever. I should have known better. The Mets were playing the Nationals, and the Nationals lit Wheeler on fire to the tune of 8 Home Runs and 37 Extra Base Hits and inflicted a beating so badly on the Mets that Anthony Recker had to take his lumps and pitch an inning.

Noah Syndergaard's home debut did not go quite as poorly. I stayed home, but for no other reason than I was tired and wanted to do little more than park myself in front of the TV and watch the game, and so watching Syndergaard up close will have to wait for another day. If the results from his first two starts are any particular indication, that day should come sooner rather than later.

Syndergaard is another one of these prospects that will probably end up a little more Wheeler and a little less Matt Harvey, which isn't a knock on Syndergaard at all. Noah might have better stuff than Wheeler, but let's face it. Matt Harvey is his own beeast. Because Wheeler and Syndergaard have both been lumped in with him as this sort of holy triumvirate of Mets Pitchers, it's easy for a faction of fans to feel let down when he doesn't take the mound, snarl in fury and strike out 14 batters a game. Most pitchers don't arrive in the Major Leagues with that sort of polish. That being said, Syndergaard's first two starts have certainly been as good as advertised, even if the results haven't necessarily worked out in his favor. Tuesday in Chicago, he got rooked by Daniel Murphy's general Murphiness in the 3rd inning, had to throw about 20 more pitches than he should have to finish the inning, and the result was that he ran out of gas in the 6th and the Cubs got to him for 3 runs when he probably should have been out of the game. Yesterday, against the Brewers, he had no such troubles. His teammates got him some runs and he basically cruised from there. He didn't allow a hit until 2 outs in the 4th inning, and the Brewers scraped out a run in the 6th after Syndergaard beaned Carlos Gomez, something that clearly rattled him a bit, and he followed that up by giving up an RBI single to Ryan Braun, but nothing beyond that. Thanks to the offense picking up where they left off on Saturday and peppering 5 runs over the early innings, they were able to pick up a relatively easy victory and a series win from the Brews.

So, after two starts, I think it's pretty obvious that Syndergaard belongs here and this appearance should be more than simply a cup of coffee in Dillon Gee's stead. He needs to be here and be able to build off of a pair of starts that have been just fine from where I've been sitting. After all, this is the year that the future was supposed to ascend for the Mets,

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