New York Mets: What to Make of Noah Syndergaard’s Debut


In 2012, the New York Mets acquired Noah Syndergaard from the Toronto Blue Jays, and three years later, we finally get to see what all the talk has been about.

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Syndergaard, who goes by the nickname Thor, is ranked as the 11th best prospect in baseball according to, and is the second overall pitcher. Mets and baseball fans have waited patiently to see 22-year-old in the big leagues, and from the first inning on, it was clear why he is such a highly touted prospect.

His first inning was impressive. He struck out his first batter on four pitches and retired the side on seven pitches total. The adrenaline was flowing through his veins and it showed on the radar gun, hitting 98 and even 99 MPH in the first. His fastball usually sits around 93-97.

The second and third innings were not as smooth, but it’s hard to throw seven-pitch innings all the time. What was impressive, however, was his ability to mix up his pitches no matter the count.

After retiring the first two batters in the third, fellow rookie Kris Bryant stepped up to the plate to face Syndergaard. He hit a routine ground ball to Daniel Murphy who dilly-dallied the play, resulting in an hustle base hit for Bryant. Syndergaard had to pick up his teammate at that point, but he didn’t make it look easy. Next up was lefty Anthony Rizzo, who walked on four pitches. Next up was another lefty in Miguel Montero.

After the count got to 3-1, Montero sat on a fastball and guessed wrong. He swung early on a changeup, but then drew a walk on the next pitch to load the bases. What is important to note about that is that in the minors this season, Syndergaard has faced 69 right handed batters and has walked just one. Against lefties, he has faced 44 and walked seven. The next batter was a right hander in Jorge Soler, who also worked the count to 3-2, but eventually flied out to right field. The Murphy blunder cost Syndergaard an extra 18 pitches.

He followed that inning up with an efficient fourth inning and then ran into some trouble in the fifth. With two outs, it was Bryant again who would have another hustle play with a triple to the right field corner. Rizzo walked again, this time on five pitches, and up next was Montero. Syndergaard fell behind on him, 2-0, and he could have just given up and faced Soler like in the third. Instead, he through a 2-0 slider for a strike, and then through two straight fastballs that Montero couldn’t hit for an inning ending and fist pump inducing strikeout.

In the sixth, things were not so pretty. Solar led it off with a hard hit single to center, and then Starlin Castro drove him in with a double into the left field corner. Up next was Chris Coghlan who crushed a home run to the empty right field seats. The pitch was a 96 MPH fastball in the heart of the plate on a 2-1 count. He would strikeout Jake Arrieta and was promptly taken out of the game after that.

Overall, he threw 5.1 innings while giving up three runs, six hits, four walks, and six strikeouts. He left the game having thrown 103 pitches, 56 of them for strikes.

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Personally, I think he had a great debut. Could he have located better? Sure. Of the 26 men he faced, he threw a first pitch ball to 14 of them. If you take out the Murphy mistake, I think he has a better start and goes a bit deeper into the contest. His stuff was superb, and he reminded me of his teammate, Matt Harvey.

His fastball has so much life, when you mix in his slider, curve, and changeup, it can be just unfair at times. I would even go as far to say that if he can locate his pitches better, he could potentially be the best pitcher on the Mets staff. It sounds crazy, but when you hit 97 consistently for five plus innings, the sky is the limit. He has a lot to learn facing big league hitters, but his debut start justified all the hype surrounding him ever since he was acquired in the R.A. Dickey trade.

Next: Where are the Mets in our Power Rankings?

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