Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard gave up two hits, while striking out 10 of 25 batters, through seven scoreless innings during Wednesday's 3-0 loss to the Giants.
"I've got to rank this one tonight as good as any under the circumstances," Terry Collins said of Syndergaard, who took a no-hitter in to the sixth inning. "He stepped up when we needed him. He stepped up last year when we needed him. He's grown so much, even though he's still very, very young, he's grown so much and matured so much as a pitcher. He's going to be really, really good."
Syndergaard threw 25 pitches in the fourth inning, 19 in the sixth inning and 18 in the seventh, finishing his night with 108 pitches thrown. Bumgarner, by contrast, threw just 21 pitches through the first three innings.
"Baseball has a way of ripping your your out, stabbing it, putting it back in your chest, then healing itself just in time for Spring Training," Syndergaard tweeted to his 248,000 followers after the game.
In a season when the Mets lost Matt Harvey, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz, Syndergaard ranked second on the team with 183 2/3 innings pitched and led the Mets with a 2.60 ERA and 218 strikeouts.
"It stings a little bit," he told reporters after the game, when asked about the loss. "But, I couldn't be more proud of this group of guys after everything we've been through."
Syndergaard, 24, became the youngest pitcher to strike out 10 batters in a winner-take-all playoff game. He has a 2.42 ERA in five playoff games during his career.
"He's going to be very special," Collins said, "because you can't be a lot better when you're challenged in these situations, and he did a great job."
Syndergaard is a total badass, and he's only going to get better. It wasn't until midway through the seventh inning, when getting close to 100 pitches, that he started to look hittable. Frankly, he may have had an even better night had the home plate umpire not been so picky. It was an incredible outing.
According to Inside Edge, Syndergaard threw 42 pitches over 98 mph, which is more than the Phillies threw as a team all season.
The thing is, he's got to figure out how to get easier outs earlier in the game, so he can keep his pitch count down and decrease his work load and stay on field longer than he does. At the very least, I expected him to start the eighth inning last night, despite being at 108 pitches.
Instead, Collins went to Addison Reed -- who was due up four spots later in the order, by the way. Reed struggled, but escaped the jam. For what it's worth, had Noah done the same, Reed could have been used in the ninth inning. He would have faced Conor Gillaspie, not Jeurys Familia, who could have then been used in the 10th inning. Who knows, maybe it doesn't matter, or maybe a different mix to Familia could have resulted in a different outcome?
We'll never know, though, because Syndergaard eclipsed 100 pitches and -- like on autopilot, as if there was another start coming in five days -- Terry gave him the hook. In other words, had Noah been 'more efficient,' as they say, and still looking strong, he may have been sent back out.
At any rate, again, when he was on the mound, Noah was powerful and brilliant and he seemingly mystified the Giants. He rose to the occasion and should be proud of his 2016 season.