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Mets Exit Interview: Noah Syndergaard’s 2019 raises more questions

WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 02: Noah Syndergaard #34 of the New York Mets pitches against Anthony Rendon of the Washington Nationals in the fourth inning at Nationals Park on September 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - SEPTEMBER 02: Noah Syndergaard #34 of the New York Mets pitches against Anthony Rendon of the Washington Nationals in the fourth inning at Nationals Park on September 2, 2019 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Greg Fiume/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NEW YORK – SEPTEMBER 24: Noah Syndergaard #34 of the New York Mets sits in the dugout in the bottom of the first inning against the Miami Marlins at Citi Field on September 24, 2019 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)

What Went Wrong

While his play did improve as the season went on, Syndergaard ended the year with a disappointing 4.28 ERA and a 10-8 record. His 24 home runs allowed were also a career high. While some of these struggles can be attributed to the “juiced baseballs” this season. The 6,776 home runs hit in 2019 shattered the previous mark by 671 blasts, leaving pitchers all across the league with inflated statistics.

However, it would be unfair to imply that his number was simply the results of the power spike. Syndergaard was clearly inconsistent throughout the season. The low point in the season came during a two-month stretch in March and April where he posted an abysmal 6.35 ERA.

Syndergaard also experienced a season long controversy surrounding his catchers. The pitcher reportedly asked the team to allow him to exclusively work with Tomas Nido instead of everyday starter Wilson Ramos.

The statistics showed that the ace pitched must better with Nido as his catcher. In 12 games with Nido, he posted a 2.88 ERA and allowed only five home runs. However, in 16 starts with Ramos, his ERA exploded to 5.20 and he allowed 15 homers.

While these numbers suggest that Syndergaard may have been justified in his request for a personal catcher, it also revealed a larger issue. The pitcher’s inability to work with the team’s best catcher often left one of these most dangerous bats on the bench.

Ramos had the best offensive season the Mets have had from the catcher’s position in years. He finished the year with a .288 batting average, 73 RBI, and 14 home runs over 524 plate appearances. He also recorded a 2.0 WAR. Nido, on the other hand, finished the year with a -0.7 WAR. In a limited 144 plate appearances, he was able to muster only a .191 average with 14 RBI and 4 homers.

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