Noah Syndergaard has become the closest thing to a baseball rock star as there is on the New York Mets.
And after today, you can safely say, if he was a rock song, he would be “Helter Skelter.”
His 98-m.p.h. fastball coupled with his slider and changeup had the Atlanta Braves baffled all day long. His outing, limited to 86 pitches over six innings because of a blood blister on his middle finger, was good enough to keep the Mets in the game against Julio Teheran
More importantly, Syndergaard could create a rock-n-roll atmosphere at Citi Field from the first pitch, which made this place electric.
“It was awesome,” Syndergaard said. “I haven’t been in a real competition based setting for a while now. It was awesome out there feeling the electricity from the fans, especially “The 7 Line.” You start walking up the dugout steps and it feels unbelievable.”
Kind of like the way the Beatles did at old Shea Stadium in 1965. Much like any great rock band, it’s the pieces that need to come together for success. Syndergaard’s fastball is his guitar, while his slider has always been the procession. But now his changeup completes him as a pitcher. It’s his harmony.
And today, when Syndergaard needed outs in the fourth and sixth innings, he was able to make sweet music with his changeup, striking out Matt Kemp to kill some Atlanta rallies.
“I feel like I did a really good job in the fourth and sixth inning,” he said. “The changeup is going to be a really good pitch for me. I’ve always trusted it. Throw it like a fastball and let the grip do the work.”
And he’s only going to get better. The more he throws the changeup, the more effective it will be as an out pitch, which is why this may be the beginning of a masterpiece season for the 24-year-old.
Remember today, Syndergaard was hampered by blister, which arrived in the second inning and burst in the fifth. He still fought through it to scatter five hits.
You have to wonder how he will be if he’s 100 percent. That’s what makes him so scary.
“When he got runners in scoring position, he upped his game,” said manager Terry Collins. “That’s what the great ones do.”
And today, that was the perfect word to describe Syndergaard. Both pitcher and manager do not think the blister will hurt on the long term, but Collins isn’t taking any changes, moving his ace back to Sunday.
Hopefully this blister will be just a blip on the radar and it will be the same Thor we saw today against the Marlins. Injuries will be the only thing holding this flamethrower back, and no one in uniform or the 44,384 that paid to get in wants to think of that.
Instead they want to hear beautiful music and now, he’s showing the world. He’s the Mets version of the Beatles and every start is “Helter Skelter” for the other team.
Only next time, there won’t be Ringo Starr yelling at the end, “I got blisters on my fingers!”