Noah Syndergaard gave his best effort towards being a one-man show in last night's 7-5 victory against the D-backs.
Syndergaard allowed four runs, two of which were earned, over 5 2/3 innings pitched. Although he struggled with pitch efficiency and dealt with poor defense behind him, Syndergaard looked good and was able to earn his first win since July 3.
"My arm felt great out there," Syndergaard said. "It felt like it was a step in the right direction. … These past five days, I've spent a lot of time on the mound trying to get back on track and get outside of my comfort zone, in terms of changing my mechanics a little bit and staying closed longer and using my lower half to generate a lot of force, and I think it really showed out there on the mound."
Mets manager Terry Collins would still like to see Syndergaard mix up his pitches more, but nevertheless felt he saw progress in Tuesday's start.
"I thought in the middle innings he was really throwing the ball great," Collins said. "He was moving the ball in and out. I like to see him throw a few more changeups because I think that's a good pitch for him, but he threw the ball very well tonight."
With the game tied 1-1 in the fifth inning, Syndergaard stepped up with a man on base and hit a tape-measure shot into the right-center field seats.
"I watched it a little bit on that one," Syndergaard said after the game, speaking about his home run. "I don't go up there trying to hit home runs. I do my job at the plate, and I'm just happy to run into one."
Syndergaard's home run helped spark a seven-run rally in the fifth. His third long ball of the year ties him with Tom Seaver (1972) and Walt Terrell (1983) for the most by a pitcher in a single season in franchise history.
In 23 starts this season, Syndergaard is 10-7 with a 2.76 ERA and has recorded 171 strikeouts over 140 innings pitched. At the plate, he is hitting .140 with three home runs and six RBI.
Well, whatever he was doing, it was working. This is easily the best Noah has looked in a month. Thor was back with a vengeance. His line looks less impressive because he was pulled in the sixth inning. However, part of his exit can be directly attributed to fielding errors by T.J. Rivera. Syndergaard was pitching well enough to start the sixth inning that he might have gone seven had he been able to get three clean outs. At any rate, the Mets won, he pitched well and they can all go in to his next start (against the Giants) with clear minds and confidence.
By the way, I can't wait until Syndergaard hits 10 home runs next season.