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Mets: Noah Syndergaard puts hammer down on worries about arm

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Jul 19, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch during the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports
Jul 19, 2016; Chicago, IL, USA; New York Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard (34) delivers a pitch during the second inning against the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field. Mandatory Credit: Caylor Arnold-USA TODAY Sports /
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Big game aside, all eyes for the Mets were on Noah Syndergaard‘s first start after his early exit from his last start

Syndergaard’s last game was a nightmare for the Mets and their fans as he left the game with arm fatigue, Yoenis Cespedes left the game with an injured quad the same day Matt Harvey opted for season-ending surgery. Last but not least, the Mets lost the game to the first place Nationals.

Early on during Tuesday’s start — his first time pitching since — his fastball was between 98 and 100 MPH after ending his last start throwing only 91 mph.

His command wasn’t at his finest, though.  It was a hard-working night as Syndergaard only retired the side once in 5.2 innings as he constantly was working with men on base.  His outfield defense hurt him early, which contributed to his higher pitch count.

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The game started with a Tommy La Stella hit on a ball Curtis Granderson made a bad read on in his first game in center field this year.  Kris Bryant followed with a generously ruled hit before Anthony Rizzo struck out for the first out. Ben Zobrist flew out and was unable to get the run home after a wild pitch advanced runners to second and third.  Willson Contreras then grounded out to end the inning.

The first two batters reached in the second inning, putting runners on second and third with no out. Syndergaard again showed resiliency, which was the theme on Tuesday, as he escaped the jam with a little help from Jason Heyward‘s poor base-running.

It looked like the third inning was going to be the first 1-2-3 inning of the night but Contreras hit a two-out double. The only run Syndergaard and the Mets would give up all night was an unearned one as Contreras took off on a wild pitch and Rene Rivera threw the ball into the left field as he was trying to advance.

A two-out double in the fourth inning by Jake Arrieta prevented a perfect inning and it took a throw from Michael Conforto in his first game in right field to keep Arrieta from scoring on a play that had to be overturned.

Syndergaard finally retired the side in order in the fifth inning and was hitting 98 MPH on his 90th pitch, which was a great sign.

He issued a leadoff walk in the sixth but struck out his last two batters of night before Jerry Blevins finished the inning by retiring Miguel Montero.

Overall, Syndergaard tossed 5.2 innings while allowing seven hits, two walks, one unearned run and striking out eight.

Although his start will be overshadowed by a wild ninth inning and the Mets ultimately prevailing with an important 2-1 win, this was a very encouraging start.

Possibly the best sign was that Syndergaard’s velocity lasted throughout his 105 pitches. His command wasn’t his sharpest, but that could have possibly been from the 11 days off.

As mentioned earlier, he showed great resiliency battling through all the jams to only allow the one unearned run.

Next: Mets Twitter reacts to Familia's great escape

I was encouraged by this start as it  should help put to bed the worries over the dead arm and hopefully help springboard Syndergaard and the Mets to a strong second half.

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