New York Mets: 5 reasons for optimism – Part 2 Starting Pitching

Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)
Jacob deGrom, Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images) /
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New York Mets.
New York Mets. Noah Syndergaard (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images) /

Noah Syndergaard

Should deGrom seriously falter, the Mets have another “Ace” quality pitcher ready to lead their starting staff. With his long flowing blond locks and an arm that can bring the thunder, Noah Syndergaard would be the best pitcher on many Major League teams.

In 2018, injuries and a bad virus limited “Thor” to only 154.1 innings pitched. He received much more run support than deGrom and finished with a 13-4 record and 155 strikeouts. In parts of four seasons, he has thrown just 518.1 innings. The is plenty of mileage left in his 25-year-old right arm.

Speaking of his right arm, it’s electric, to say the least. When they nicknamed him after the Norse “God of Thunder” it wasn’t all hype. Looking at the average velocity rates his four-seam fastball averaged 97.5 mph. The two-seem version averages 97.3.

That’s not a big difference in speed but a huge difference in optics. A four-seam fastball doesn’t break much and if anything creates the optical illusion that it rises. Meanwhile, a two-seam fastball drops. To make it unfair for hitters, Syndergaard’s sinker also averages 97.3 mph.

Why is it unfair? Think about it for a second, he’s got three different pitches with similar high velocities, that come from virtually the same release point, and have three different breaks. That has to drive hitters nuts. If his heater isn’t working on a given night, Syndergaard can still mix in a 90 mph changeup and an aggressive slider.

When Thor is on his game, he is as dangerous as any starter in the game.