3) Noah Syndergaard
Syndergaard came to the Mets from the Toronto Blue Jays in the trade R.A. Dickey following his Cy Young Award-winning season. But Syndergaard wasn’t even the main player the Mets coveted…that was Travis d’Arnaud.
Syndergaard was thought of as an afterthought but was soon looked upon a super hero. “Thor” burst onto the scene and was big, and threw hard. He made his presence known as a rookie in Game 3 of the 2015 World Series when he threw a pitch way up and in to Royals lead-off batter Alicides Escobar. And then afterwards Syndergaard made some brash statements about “settling things” on the mound. Mets fans love the brash talk.
In his six seasons with the Mets, Syndergaard went 47-30 with a 3.32 ERA, while striking out nearly 10 batters per nine innings. He was bothered by injuries in 2017 which limited him to seven starts. And then in 2018, he had some nagging health issues which took him out of action, but he still managed to start 25 games and finish at 13-4 and a 3.03 ERA.
Mets fans were still clamoring for the dominance promised by Thor. But while Jacob deGrom was clearly establishing himself as the ace, and himself being quite the dominant pitcher, Thor was proving a mere mortal and, thus, frustrating fans.
In 2019, Syndergaard went 10-8 with a 4.28 ERA. His strikeouts were down and his walks were up. And he led the National League in earned runs allowed. That’s not how the role of a super hero plays out. And no matter what Syndergaard could have done, nothing less than complete and utter dominance would be acceptable to Mets fans. And they let him know it.
Mets fans beg for management to sign players who have had careers with lesser stats and skill sets than Syndergaard produced during his Mets tenure. Doesn’t matter. You want to be viewed upon as a super hero, carry yourself as a super hero, then you better produce as a super hero.
And things would only get worse from there. Syndergaard would be diagnosed with an ulnar collateral ligament injury and would lose the entire short season of 2020 as well as 2021, with the exception of one single game at the end of the season. That would be all she wrote for story of Thor in a Mets uniform.