It’s probably best to look away from your television screen. In Saturday’s Game 4 between the Philadelphia Phillies and Atlanta Braves, the ball falls into the hands of Noah Syndergaard. Imagine waking up from a coma after the 2015 World Series and being a New York Mets fan only to read that last line.
Mets fans who check in on this game will have some funny feelings. Not the kinds of feelings you get around the age of 13. This feeling is one rarely experienced.
With Syndergaard on the mound representing Philadelphia, he has a chance to finish off a Braves squad that was an irritant all 2022-season-long. The Phillies took care of Spencer Strider yesterday. Now it’s Syndergaard’s chance to redeem himself from an underwhelming couple of starts for the Phillies in the regular season.
Mets fans don’t have to decide on who they want to win this game
If it was any other pitcher on the mound for the Phillies, those Mets fans who decided to root against Atlanta might have an easier time with this one. But because it is Syndergaard, a guy who spent a large part of the 2022 campaign dissing or dodging the Mets, it’s not so easy.
We can let it become water under the bridge. After all, there’s no chance for the Mets to come out from the stands with a steal chair and take the series. This isn’t professional wrestling. Although, if MLB ever did want to spice things up and add a little more excitement—nah, let’s not go there.
Until Jacob deGrom won Game 2 for the Mets against the San Diego Padres in their NLWC Series loss, it was Syndergaard who had last won a playoff game for the team. Syndergaard also had the distinction of being the most recent Mets pitcher to start a game. That came in the 2016 NLWC loss to the San Francisco Giants when Madison Bumgarner basically did exactly what Joe Musgrove and the Padres did in Game 3.
It’s never easy to find a team to root for in the postseason once yours is eliminate. Unless you have ties to a city or organization, we all become observers with strong opinions or none at all.
In the case of Syndergaard and the Phillies against the Braves, there’s a lot of opinion to have. The most common of all: can both lose?