The New York Mets are definitely facing the Los Angeles Dodgers this week. There is no doubt about it. On Wednesday, the pitching matchup would be worth staying up past our bedtimes for if it wasn’t a day game. Scheduled for 3:10pm EST, Max Scherzer faces his former Dodgers brethren. Opposing him will be Noah Syndergaard.
Syndergaard managed to dodge the Mets twice in 2022. First it was with the Los Angeles Angels then as a member of the Philadelphia Phillies. This time around, there can’t be an excuse. Syndergaard needs to give the baseball world what it wants: drama.
The Mets get their first chance to clobber Noah Syndergaard unless he finds a fly in his soup
Syndergaard’s year with the Dodgers hasn’t started off well. After three starts he’s 0-2 with a 5.63 ERA. The numbers are a little deceptive, though. His first start included 6 innings of one-run ball. He followed it up with a 4 innings performance with 6 runs across. Those first two came against the Arizona Diamondbacks and went down as Dodgers losses. In his most recent outing, the Chicago Cubs scored 3 times in his 6 innings of work.
April is hardly the time for anyone to panic about a pitcher’s performance. Even Scherzer has started off somewhat slowly. This year, in particular, allows some leeway to pitchers. They’re adjusting to the pitch clock.
Syndergaard gets those excuses. What he doesn’t get a pass on from any Mets fan is if he finds any reason not to pitch.
The early years of Syndergaard were some of the best in recent Mets history. He was brass and bold as a rookie. There was an intimidation factory. There did eventually come a point where it looked like the emperor didn’t have any clothes. He could talk a big game. Unfortunately, he failed to deliver on a regular basis.
From 2019-2023, Syndergaard has made 61 starts and a relief appearance. He’s 20-21 with a 4.24 ERA over that period. It’s much different from his first four seasons that include 86 starts and a trip out of the bullpen. Syndergaard was 37-22 with a 2.93 ERA during that stretch.
The big shame with Syndergaard is that many Mets fans want to really like him. Dodging them twice in 2022 didn’t help nor did his mockery of the no-hitter started by Tylor Megill. This led to one of the best storylines away from the field of 2022. There aren’t too many of his former Mets teammates still on the roster, but the ones who did once share a locker room won’t hesitate to face him.