Mets pitching coach Dave Eiland said Tuesday that his comments about Noah Syndergaard having "yet to do a whole lot" at the big league level wasn't a dig at the right-hander. Instead, it was a defense of him. And the outsized expectations that have followed him.
"Noah and I have talked," Eiland told reporters. "We have had a lot of conversation, not just about my quotes. I was defending him actually. If he doesn't go seven with one run or less, everybody is criticizing him, because he is supposed to be dominant. He's human."
Syndergaard struck out the side in the first inning on Tuesday night before cooling off. He allowed two runs on five hits while striking out seven and throwing 103 pitches in 5.0 innings.
He has a 3.14 ERA (2.73 FIP) and 1.22 WHIP while striking out 10.63 batters per 9.0 innings in 51.2 innings (nine starts) this season.
Syndergaard said recently that he has been "mediocre" this season. And Eiland noted that there are things Syndergaard needs to clean up.
"I think Noah would be the first to tell you there are things he needs to work on," Eiland said. "He's an upper echelon guy; he's a top shelf starting pitcher in all of baseball. He's going to be really good. But he hasn't been around long enough. He doesn't have that long of a track record."
Since entering the league in 2015, the 25-year-old Syndergaard's 2.91 ERA is the third-best in baseball among active starting pitchers who have made at least 60 starts -- trailing only teammate Jacob deGrom (2.90) and Dodgers LHP Clayton Kershaw (2.37).