The New York Mets had an individual game performance to remember six years ago today, as Noah Syndergaard became the last Mets pitcher to hit two home runs in a game. It is a feat that will more than likely never be repeated with the designated hitter in effect in both leagues from now on. Let’s look back at this unusual accomplishment and give the fans of old school National League baseball a chance to salivate at such an achievement.
Noah Syndergaard was always a decent hitter, part of a Mets’ staff full of good hitters
Syndergaard had a great offensive stat line in the minor leagues for a pitcher (batting .270 in the minors), and he even hit a home run in his final game before his big-league promotion in May 2015. He then proceeded to hit his first big league home run, a towering opposite field homer of Sean O’Sullivan of the Phillies later that month.
Syndergaard always had a dangerous bat, which was part of Mets pitchers that were the best collective group of hitting pitchers from 2015 until the universal DH was installed. Even a 42-year-old joined in the fun. It was just four days prior to Syndergaard’s historic night that Bartolo Colon hit the most improbable home run ever, leaving the league stunned in disbelief that, as Gary Cohen said that night “the impossible has happened!”
Then came that magical night for Syndergaard and the Mets at Dodger Stadium on May 11, 2016
With the scored tied going into the third inning in a game against the Los Angeles Dodgers and Kenta Maeda, Noah Syndergaard belted a high towering shot that barely reached the right-center field bleachers for a home run to give the Mets a 1-0 lead, his second career home run. The ball traveled an estimated 402 feet and had a 34-degree launch angle, which aided in the ball’s travel.
After giving up home runs himself to Corey Seager and Yasmani Grandal that gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead, he was up again to bat in the top of the fifth. Still down 2-1, and with runners on first and second and nobody out, and still facing Maeda, Syndergaard hit an opposite field home run, his second of the game, at 396 feet, to give the Mets a 4-2 lead.
The Mets went on to win the game 4-3. Syndergaard tossed eight innings of two run ball and hit two home runs, providing the whole offense in the victory.
In the process, Syndergaard joined Walt Terrell as the only two Met pitchers to hit two home runs in a single game. It will stay that way unless the National League disposes of the designated hitter, which seems unlikely at this point. Terrell accomplished the feat at Wrigley Field in 1983 against Hall of Fame pitcher Ferguson Jenkins.
Syndergaard hit three more home runs as a Met, including one in 2019 where he homered and pitched a complete game shutout for a 1-0 win against the Reds.
Some fans knew that there was the possibility of a universal DH at the time, so this was a moment to savor for the Mets against a team they had just defeated in the playoffs the year prior.