New York Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard struck out 11 batters while throwing a season-high 109 pitches in New York's 3-1 win over the Milwaukee Brewers on Sunday at Citi Field.
Syndergaard (5-2) won his third straight start and became the fourth pitcher in MLB history to throw at least seven innings, throw at least 10 strikeouts and not allow an earned run or a walk in consecutive starts.
"It's huge anytime we have Noah on the mound, we know we have a pretty good shot to win," David Wright said, "and he didn't disappoint."
Manager Terry Collins and pitching coach Dan Warthen determined Syndergaard's pitch limit would be around 115 pitches by the end of the game, and they sent the 23-year-old righthander out to the mound for the seventh inning after his pitch count reached 96 after six innings.
Syndergaard pitched into and out of trouble in the seventh, allowing back-to-back singles and a wild pitchto put runners on the corners with nobody out. Then, Rene Rivera threw out Alex Presley trying to advance to second base on a ball in the dirt for the first out. Syndergaard struck out Ramon Flores then got Aaron Hill to ground out to short to end the frame.
"He was going to go over 115 if we had to because we had to get deep in the game," Collins said. "You could tell in the last inning, the velocity was good but the late life wasn't there. But he made pitches when he had to."
Syndergaard threw 40 pitches in the first two innings, including 23 in the first inning after Wright's error eventually led to the Brewers' only run of the game.
"I had a mishap in the first inning and it cost us a run, but he bears down," Wright said of Syndergaard. "He threw 20 [sic] pitches in the first, and to make it through seven innings after that start shows you why he's one of the best in the game right now."
Rivera said he and Brewers catcher Jonathan Lucroy had a conversation in the middle of the game.
"One at-bat, I went up to hit and Lucroy said, 'You got lucky. You're catching him. He's not easy to hit.'" Rivera said. "I said, 'Yeah, I know.'
"When you've got a hard thrower, as a hitter, you think fastballs," Rivera added. "With Noah, you see the curveball out of his hand breaking down, and you're kind of like frozen. And he throws the slider 92. It's not easy. It's unreal."