The Astros stole four bases Friday with Mets RHP Noah Syndergaard on the mound and Travis d'Arnaud behind the plate.
Astros center fielder Derek Fisher, who averaged a stolen base every three games during his minor-league career, swiped three bags against Syndergaard and d'Arnaud.
In the second inning, with two outs and Reid Brignac at the plate, Fisher stole third base.
"That kind of tells me (Fisher) doesn't have a whole lot of confidence in (Brignac)," Syndergaard said after the game, according to the Bergen Record.
D'Arnaud also failed to throw a runner out in the fifth inning on a pitch out, sailing the ball to the shortstop side of second base.
Rene Rivera could be paired with Syndergaard on Opening Day instead of d'Arnaud, Mets manager Terry Collins said after the game.
In 2016, the opposition stole a league-most 135 bases against the Mets, who won 87 games and got to the Wild Card game. Similarly, the Cubs allowed 133 stolen bases, won 103 games and a their first World Championship in forever... So, I'm not sure how big of a deal it is that the Mets and Cubs could not keep guys from taking extra bases.
It's also worth noting that most modern front offices, especially the younger, statistically-inclined executives, all believe stolen bases are overrated and not worth worrying about, which is probably supported by how the Mets and Cubs did in the standings last season.
The point is, while this is frustrating, and seemingly something that should be a problem, it may not be. I mean, obviously, I'd rather guys not take the extra base. But when you have pitchers striking out batters at a rate like the Mets (reducing the number of times the ball is in play), it's probably not as big of a deal as me and other old schoolers likely think it is...
Rene Rivera and Syndergaard meet at the mound during a game in 2016 (Credit: USA Today Images)
That said, despite all the work being done between d'Arnaud and coach Glenn Sherlock this spring, d'Arnaud's throwing doesn't look like it has improved at all... and, in some cases, like today, it actually looks to be at an all-time low.
I bet Rene Rivera essentially becomes Syndergaard's personal catcher again, which is what happened last season. The two developed a terrific in-game relationship. I don't know if it was because Rene is a better defender and thrower, or because he calls a better game, or because they are in one another's heads more than when d'Arnaud is behind the plate, but it was impossible to ignore. It was real and I bet we see it again sooner than later...