By Nicholas Stix
Mets’ righthander Noah Syndegaard just bested the Los Angeles Dodgers in a performance that people are still going to talking about over the weekend. He only needed 95 pitches to get through eight innings, in which he had all four pitches working (though he only used some of them late), and still hit 100 mph on the radar gun in the eighth inning. He only got six strikeouts, with the other outs coming via ground balls (14) and fly outs (four).
The Mets’ played excellent defense behind Syndegaard, above all newcomer shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera.
However, the big news was that the 6’6,” 242 lb. Syndegaard, a left-handed hitter, accounted for all four of the Mets’ runs with a solo shot to right center and a three-run dinger to center, both of which were bombs, and the second of which came after he failed at bunting. When he is at the plate, as long as the bunt isn’t on, Syndegaard looks like a slugger, and has a beautiful swing, the best I’ve seen in a pitcher since 6’4” Dontrelle Willis, who was also a southpaw.
The 23-year-old Syndegaard now has three home runs and eight RBI in a mere 55 big league at-bats, an extraordinary ratio for a position player.
Jeurys Familia came on in the ninth for his 12th save in as many opportunities. There was a hiccup, as Familia gave up a run keyed by an Adrian Gonzalez double, but he managed to close the door, getting Dodger slugger Yasiel Puig to strike out on three pitches.
The 21-12 Mets will face the 17-17 Dodgers tomorrow. Mets righty Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon (2005), whose age ranges anywhere from 41 to 43 or older, whose height ranges from 5’9” to 6,’ and whose weight is anything from 270-300 lbs., yet who is a seemingly ageless phenomenon, will go up against Dodger lefty three-time Cy Young Award winner (2011, 2013, 2014) Clayton Kershaw, who is 6’4,” 225 lbs., and truly 28, and who is widely considered the best pitcher in the game.
Colon hit his first career home run in his last game, which would be a record for the oldest age at which a player hit his first dinger, if anyone knew his real age. Baseball has given Colon the record, which I’m the only observer, to my knowledge, to point out that colon gave a phony age by at least two years, at the beginning of his career.