Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard says he's tried everything to help his trademark slider this season, but things just haven't come around. Now he's even casually mentioning maybe famed therapist and talk show host, Dr. Phil, can help.
Syndergaard was pleased his teammates bailed him out on Wednesday with a 7-4 comeback win in the ninth against the Colorado Rockies. He only tossed 5.2 innings while striking out six, but he allowed four runs on 10 hits and two walks in the outing, one he called "pretty disappointing." Seth Lugo picked up the win in relief.
The reason he pointed to for his struggles was the slider, a pitch he hasn't had confidence in this season, at times. That's where he's requesting Dr. Phillip McGraw's help came into play.
"I threw 93 mph sliders in my bullpen, right now there's just a mental block when I get into the game," Syndergaard said. "It's been the same issue the entire year. I don't know what it is, I need Dr. Phil or something to help me out with that."
The righty said he can sense batters are starting to expect him to lean onto his fastball and it's hurting him.
"I still had to throw my sliders in counts, I just had to make sure they didn't just sit on my fast ball," Syndergaard said. "When I'm running into a difficult situation, like when bases loaded, there's a good chance I'm going to go straight to my fastball.... And I got hurt with it."
While Syndergaard was hard on himself for the outing, manager Mickey Callaway was not.
"He battled. I know we say that often, but he truly battled today. One out away from throwing a quality start in a tough ballpark. This was the first time he's pitched here, so he wasn't quite sure what his pitches were going to do," Callaway said. "I thought he threw alright, they have a pretty good lineup out there."
In addition, Syndergaard said his catcher concerns didn't play a part in this one. Rene Rivera caught for Syndergaard amid his now public complaints that he would rather Wilson Ramos not be behind the plate for him.
When asked if having his wish granted put more pressure on him to preform, Syndergaard said no.
"Not at all," Syndergaard said. "Just didn't get the results I wanted."
Both Syndergaard and the Mets will have Thursday off to recoup before starting a three-game set against the Reds in Cincinnati on Friday.