Noah Syndergaard

From BR Bullpen

Noah Seth Syndergaard
(Thor)

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Biographical Information[edit]

Noah Syndergaard was chosen by the Toronto Blue Jays in the 2010 Amateur Draft out of high school, 38th overall. The choice was compensation for Toronto's failure to sign James Paxton, a 2009 first-rounder. Syndergaard was the Jays' third first-round selection after Deck McGuire and Aaron Sanchez, also pitchers.

The right-hander finished his senior year of high school by going 7-3 with an ERA of 1.40 and had 85 strikeouts in 59 innings. He was not listed as one of Baseball America's top 200 prospects heading into the 2010 Amateur Draft. He made his pro debut with the GCL Blue Jays on July 12th with two hitless, walkless, scoreless innings against the GCL Pirates. He only pitched 5 times as a pro that season, with a 2.70 ERA in 13 1/3 innings. He played for three teams in 2011 - the Bluefield Blue Jays, Vancouver Canadians and Lansing Lugnuts - compiling a record of 5-2, 1.83 in 13 games and 59 innings. In 2012, he spent the entire season at Lansing in the Midwest League, where he was 8-5, 2.60 in 27 games, striking out 122 in 103 2/3 innings. On December 17th, he was one of two key prospects sent by the Blue Jays to the New York Mets - the other being C Travis d'Arnaud - in return for Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey. Other players involved in the deal were catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas, both headed to Toronto, veteran catcher John Buck, who went to New York, and young P Wuilmer Becerra who also made his way to the Mets.

Syndergaard went 9-4, 3.06 between the Class A St. Lucie Mets and the AA Binghamton Mets in 2013, striking out 133 in 117 2/3 innings, In 2014. he spent the season in AAA with the Las Vegas 51s, going 9-7, 4.60 in the favorable hitting environment. He maintained his prospect status those two years, as he was up to #11 according to Baseball America and #10 according to mlb.com before the 2015 season. He started that season back in Las Vegas, but after going 3-0, 1.82 in his first five starts, he was called up to New York to make his major league debut on May 12th, taking the place of an injured Dillon Gee. Facing the Chicago Cubs, he held them scoreless until the 6th inning, locked in a duel with Jake Arrieta, until he allowed three runs, including a two-run homer by Chris Coghlan, and was chased after 5 1/3 innings. He was charged with the 6-1 loss. He picked up his maiden victory in his next start, on May 17th, when he beat the Milwaukee Brewers, 5-1, throwing 6 innings. In that game, he beaned Carlos Gomez with a 95 mph fastball in the 6th inning, putting him out of the game. On May 27th, he hit his first career home run, taking Sean O'Sullivan of the Philadelphia Phillies deep, while also pitching 7 1/3 scoreless innings in a 7-0 win. It was the first home run by a Mets pitcher since 2012 and he also collected hits in his other two at-bats. On July 10th, he struck out 13 batters in 8 innings in a 4-2 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks. On July 28th, he was perfect for 6 innings before allowing a lead-off single to Will Venable of the San Diego Padres to lead off the 7th, then pitched two more scoreless innings as the Mets won, 4-0; he struck out 9 and walked none in another dominant performance. He had a definite Jekyll and Hyde going between home and road starts, as he was 8-1, 1.82 at home and 0-5, 5.05 on the road before he earned his first road win on August 25th, 6-5 over the ­Phillies, although even that win increased his road ERA. He went 9-7, 3.24 in 24 starts, with 166 strikeouts in 150 innings. He then made four appearances in the postseason, including three starts, winning a game in both the NLCS and in the World Series.

Already noted as one of the hardest-throwing starting pitchers in the game, on May 11, 2016, he staked a claim as the hardest-hitting pitcher by blasting two home runs off Kenta Maeda of the Los Angels Dodgers. As one of the shots came with two men on, he accounted for all four of his team's runs in a 4-3 win. The last major league pitcher to hit two homers in a game had been Micah Owings, in 2007, while Walt Terrell had been the only Mets pitcher to ever accomplish the feat, on August 6, 1983. On May 28th, he was ejected in the 3rd inning of a start against the Dodgers when home plate umpire Adam Hamari ruled he had deliberately thrown at Chase Utley in apparent retaliation for Utley's dangerous slide which had injured Ruben Tejada in the previous year's Division Series. He was tabbed by the Mets to start the 2016 National League Wild Card Game at home against the San Francisco Giants and Madison Bumgarner. All observers predicted a tight pitchers' duel, and that exactly what they got, as Syndergaard matched Bumgarner for seven innings, giving up no runs on two hits and three walks while striking out 10. However, things went south after he left, as the Mets escaped a bases-loaded situation in the 8th, and then saw Conor Gillaspie hit a three-run homer off closer Jeurys Familia in the 9th to go down to a 3-0 defeat.

Syndergaard was named the Mets' opening day starter in 2017 and got off to an excellent start, pitching 6 scoreless innings against the Atlanta Braves on April 3rd. However, the game was still scoreless when he left, and he had a no-decision even though the Mets eventually won, 6-0. He pitched very well over his first four starts, going 1-1, 1.73, with an amazing K/W ratio of 30/0 in 26 innings, but he also began to experience soreness in his forearm. On April 27th, he had to skip a start because of the condition, and there was serious worry that he would need to go on the disabled list. He claimed that there was nothing seriously wrong and refused the team's suggestion that he undergo an MRI, but when he next took the mound on April 30th, he had to leave the game against the Washington Nationals in the 2nd inning clutching his side in pain. This time there was no avoiding an MRI. He was placed on the disabled list the next day as the exam revealed a partial tear of the right lateral muscle. The prognosis was that he would not return until after the All-Star break. In fact, his return only came on September 23rd, and it was largely symbolic, as he pitched one inning in a start against the Washington Nationals. He needed just five pitches to retire the side, thanks to former teammate Daniel Murphy grounding into a double play, but the point was that he was able to make it back before the end of the year. As planned, Matt Harvey, another pitcher making a comeback from an injury, then took over in the 2nd. He made one final appearance on October 1st, this one of two innings, to finish the season at 1-2, 2.97 in 7 starts.

Back on the field in spring training in 2018, he created a buzz by hitting triple digits on the radar gun 11 times in two innings in his first start. That showed he was in full health, but in the usual soap opera surrounding the Mets, there was also some hair-pulling over whether he was overdoing thing this early in the year. He was named the Mets' Opening Day starter, taking over for Jacob deGrom who had started spring training late because of an injury. He got off to a good start, going 4-1, 3-06 in his first 11 games, but on May 29th he went on the disabled list because of a strained ligament in his right index finger. However, contrary to the previous year, the DL stint was expected to be a short one this time. He was still out for a good six weeks, coming back just before the All-Star break on July 13th. He made a couple of starts, winning them both, then was placed back on the DL on July 22nd with a rare ailment: hand, foot and mouth disease. This usually affects children, and speculation was that he got infected while working in a children's camp over the break. He finished the season with a flourish, as he threw his first career shutout on the final day of the season, September 30th, defeating the Miami Marlins, 1-0. He finished the year at 13-4, 3.03 as he and deGrom formed a tremendous duo at the top of the starting rotation for what was otherwise a very ordinary team.

Syndergaard started the 2019 season slowly as he was 1-3, 6.35 in 6 starts in March/April. On May 2nd, he pitched a gem, however, as he pitched a shutout against the Cincinnati Reds and also hit a homer off Tyler Mahle in the 3rd inning to account for the only run in a 1-0 win. The last pitcher to homer and throw a shutout in a 1-0 win had been Bob Welch, back in 1983. For good measure, Noah also fanned 10 batters in the game.

Off the field, Syndergaard is known for his sense of humor, particularly in his twitter feed. In particular, he has been carrying on a hilarious twitter feud with, of all possible nemeses, the Mets' mascot, Mr. Met.

Notable Achievements[edit]

Sources Include[edit]

Blue Jays press release.

Further Reading[edit]

  • David Adler: "'Never felt better': Thor healthy, excited for '18: Mets hurler talks offseason, rehab while volunteering at baseball camp", mlb.com, January 7, 2018. [1]
  • Jim Callis: "Syndergaard's upside high, hard to match", mlb.com, May 8, 2015. [2]
  • Anthony DiComo: "Mets hopeful a healthy Thor will soar in 2018: A torn right lat limited Syndergaard to 30 1/3 innings in '17", mlb.com, December 18, 2017. [3]
  • Bob Klapisch: "Blame everyone for Syndergaard injury", USA Today Sports, April 30, 2017. [4]

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