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Pitch count, not Nats driving force behind delaying Noah Syndergaard's start

NEW YORK -- The primary motivation for pushing New York Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard's scheduled start back a day was not to line him up to face the Washington Nationals, manager Terry Collins said.

Collins instead cited the 115 pitches that Syndergaard threw while attempting a complete game last Wednesday against the Pittsburgh Pirates as the driving force behind pushing Syndergaard back.

Syndergaard originally had been listed as the starter for Tuesday's game against the Kansas City Royals. Instead, Bartolo Colon will leapfrop Syndergaard in the rotation and handle the series opener on standard rest. Syndergaard then will pitch Wednesday against the Royals.

Delaying Syndergaard's start by a day also accomplishes having him facing the Nationals on Monday in D.C. rather than the Atlanta Braves the previous day at Turner Field.

"Bartolo comes back a little bit easier. We said if we can bring him back, we can move Noah back a day, give him an extra day with all the pitches he threw," Collins said. "And that will allow him to pitch in Washington also."

Syndergaard is 2-0 with a 1.33 ERA in four career starts against the Nationals. The Mets now have Syndergaard, Matt Harvey and Steven Matz lined up for next week's showdown in Washington.