VIERA, Fla. -- Noah Syndergaard had a better day than his final line showed.
Syndergaard, who took over for the fifth inning Thursday against the Washington Nationals, mowed down the first six batters he faced, including four straight via strikeout.
Noah Syndergaard had a solid outing Thursday despite his final line.He eventually departed with two runners on base and two outs in the eighth. That is when Jacob deGrom served up a three-run homer to Brock Peterson. Two runs were charged to Syndergaard.
The first run against Syndergaard, while earned, scored in the seventh on an error by Anthony Seratelli at second base.
Syndergaard’s final line in what became a 7-5 win by the Mets: 3.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K.
His Grapefruit League ERA swelled to 5.19 in three appearances, despite rave reviews from scouts and opponents.
“I’m very pleased with the way I performed today,” Syndergaard said. “I went out there and actually pitched this time. I was able to locate my fastball pretty well, and even my two-seam was the best it’s been all spring. And then I was able to mix in a lot of pretty good changeups as well. And even though I didn’t throw my curveball for strikes that many times, I was able to throw it in key situations that maybe a hitter might be on my fastball pretty well. ... I did a really good job today in controlling the running game."
Said Terry Collins: “He threw some great changeups today, which I was very impressed with. ... He’s got great stuff. He’s a big, strong kid. I salute him.”
Syndergaard is ticketed for Triple-A Las Vegas to open the season, and it is entirely conceivable this was his final 2014 Grapefruit League appearance. As starting pitchers go deeper into games to prepare for the regular season, innings are becoming scarcer for prospects -- even top prospects -- not projected to make the big-league club.
“I’m hearing a lot of stuff, but I’m just going out there and I’m going to make the most of the opportunity,” Syndergaard said. “I’m going to go out there and pitch the best I can. I mean, the goal in mind is still to make the team. But I know there’s a bigger picture involved. ... There's a money standpoint to it. And there's also some things I've got to work on to be able to be a consistent big league pitcher.”
Said Collins: “Next week we’ll meet and figure out what the next step is going to be.”