Mets Game Recap: Noah Syndergaard pitches gem over Diamondbacks; Mets take opener 4-2

Back in uniform after a successful 4-2 West Coast trip and a well deserved day off, the Mets are hosting the Arizona Diamondbacks this weekend in the regular season’s first-half finale prior to the All-Star break.

Noah Syndergaard climbed the hill in Friday’s opener, and was opposed by Arizona’s Chase Anderson.

The Diamondbacks struck right away, but the Mets promptly countered with back-to-back home runs in the bottom of the opening frame for an early 4-1 lead.

Jul 10, 2015; New York City, NY, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) pitches during the first inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Anthony Gruppuso-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets chased Anderson from the game in the 5th, while Syndergaard settled down after a shaky 1st inning to record 13 strikeouts through 8 brilliant innings of work.

Jeurys Familia allowed a run in the 9th, but still closed out the Mets 4-2 victory over Arizona.

Mets Starting Lineup:

1) Curtis Granderson-RF; 2) Ruben Tejada-SS; 3) Daniel Murphy-3B; 4) Wilmer Flores-2B; 5) Lucas Duda-1B; 6) Michael Cuddyer-LF; 7) Kevin Plawecki-C; 8) Noah Syndergaard-SP; 9) Juan Lagares-CF.

Game Recap:

Noah Syndergaard‘s opening pitch to lead-off hitter A.J. Pollock was a fastball, in tight for ball one.  Pollock then drove Syndergaard’s very next offering into the right/center gap for a double.  With left fielder David Peralta at the plate, Pollock stole third unchallenged.  Peralta popped out just behind second base.  First baseman Paul Goldschmidt flied out to shallow center, Pollock tagged and barely beat Juan Lagares‘ throw home.  After a single by right fielder Yasmany Tomas, Syndergaard fanned third baseman Jake Lamb to end Arizona’s first at-bat.

With one out in the bottom of the frame, Ruben Tejada got the Mets first hit off Chase Anderson.  With 2-outs, Anderson walked Wilmer FloresLucas Duda then connected on his 11th home run of the season, to straight away center field.  Next, Michael Cuddyer reached down for a low Anderson fastball, and deposited it into the waiting glove of a Mets fan positioned in the Party deck in left, giving the Mets a 4-1 lead.

Noah Syndergaard highlighted the 3rd inning with a pair of strikeouts, one coming against Paul Goldschmidt.

  • Through 3 innings pitched, Thor faced 11 batters, and threw 43 pitches with 26 (60%) going for strikes.  He allowed one earned run on 3 hits, walked none, and fanned 4 batters.

With 2-outs in the bottom of the 4th, Syndergaard, batting 8th in the order, made solid contact, reaching safely on a low liner to left.  Juan Lagares, batting 9th, reached safely on a line drive off the lower leg of pitcher Chase AndersonCurtis Granderson fanned to end the threat.

Syndergaard registered his 6th strikeout to open the top of the 5th inning, but, surrendered a clean base hit by pitcher Chase Anderson to right.  He then fanned A.J. Pollock and retired David Peralta on a grounder to first.

The Mets threatened again in the bottom of the 5th.  After Daniel Murphy‘s 1-out single, Wilmer Flores chased Anderson from the game with a single to center. With his first pitch reliever Andrew Chafin induced Lucas Duda into a 1-6-3 double play.

Paul Goldschmidt looked at an inside fastball for strike three leading off the 6th.  Syndergaard then fanned Yasmany Tomas with a curveball, and retired Jake Lamb looking at yet another fastball for the third out.

  • Through 6 innings pitched, Thor allowed one earned run on just 4 hits, he walked one and fanned 10 batters (Paul Goldschmidt twice).  He faced 22 batters, and threw 86 pitches with 55 (64%) going for strikes.  He averaged 14.3 pitches per inning.

Syndergaard retired the side in order in the 7th, picking up his 11th and 12th strikeouts of the evening.  In fact, he struck out 8 of his last 11 batters.

Juan Lagares lashed a single to right leading off the bottom of the 7th, and with Granderson at the plate, stole second.  With 1-out, Ruben Tejada advanced Lagares to third.  With 2-outs, Arizona opted for another pitching change.  Old friend Oliver Perez entered the game to face former team-mate Daniel Murphy, whom flied out deep to left.

Syndergaard started the 8th inning at 100 pitches.  With 1-out, he issued only his second walk to A.J. Pollock, but recovered to strikeout David Peralta on a check-swing.  With 2-outs, Syndergaard faced-off against Paul Goldschmidt one last time, and induced a pop foul gloved by catcher Kevin Plawecki.

  • Thor’s night ended after 8 full innings pitched.  It was his finest effort to date.  He finished throwing 116 pitches with 74 (64%) going for strikes.  He allowed just one earned run on 4 hits, walked 2 and fanned a career high 13 batters.  He exited on the winning side of a 4-1 game.

The Mets loaded the bases off reliever Josh Collmenter in the bottom of the 8th, but with 2-outs, Juan Lagares lined out sharply to left.

Jeurys Familia entered the game in the 9th in relief of Noah SyndergaardYasmany Tomas greeted him with a sure double into the right field corner, but was initially ruled out at third attempting a triple.  After a lengthy review, the call was overturned, and Yasmany was declared safe at third.

Familia then struck out Jake Lamb looking at a fastball up in the zone.  Catcher Wellington Castillo sized up a slider and lined a clean single to left scoring Tomas.  Poor base running then doomed the DBacks.  Second baseman Chris Owens bounced into a force play at second, and shortstop Nick Ahmed then tapped weakly to third, but didn’t run, thus ending the game on a put-out at first.

Jeurys Familia earned his 25th save of the season, while Noah Syndergaard improved his record to 4-4 in 11 starts.

Scoring Summary:

  • Top 9th inning – Yasmany Tomas hit a lead-off triple off Jeurys Familia.  Wellington Castillo’s single scored Tomas.

Final Score:

  • DBacks 2; METS 4

Highlights:

  • Noah Syndergaard evened his record at 4-4 against the National League’s top scoring team.  He entered the game with a 3.38 ERA and lowered it to a 3.11 mark.  He got off to a rough start in the first inning, then pitched brilliantly, improving his control the deeper into the game he pitched.  Noah fanned 10 batters through 6 innings, 12 through 7 innings, and 13 batters through 8 innings, setting a new career high.  This was the 3rd time in his short career he fanned double-digit batters.  He featured a fastball at 97mph, a hard slider, an effective curve, and mixed in an occasional change-up in what can only be described as a dominating performance.  He is 4-1 with a 1.74 ERA at Citi Field.
  • Syndergaard, 1 for 3, entered the game sporting the line-up’s 4th highest average.  Daniel Murphy was tops, entering with a .274 average.
  • Third baseman Daniel Murphy made a brilliant diving play to his left off the bat of A.J. Pollock in the top of the 3rd inning.
  • Kevin Plawecki did a fine job receiving, particularly digging out Noah Syndergaard’s breaking pitches in the dirt.

Next:

7/11 – Saturday, 4:10pm

D-Backs @ METS

Patrick Corbin vs. Matt Harvey