NY Sports Day
Joe McDonald

McDonald: Right Now, Noah Syndergaard’s Return Is Not A Season Saver, But A Feel Good Story

Neil Miller/Sportsday Wire

For Noah Syndergaard’s five innings of work, everything seemed alright in Metsland. They hit, crisply fielded and staked Thor to a tidy 4-1 lead.

It looked like they were back to being the 11-1 Mets, instead of the veiled attempt of a major league ballclub which was disguised as New York Mets for the past two months.

But one start against a struggling Nationals team isn’t going to be a season saver. No, that ship has sailed with the putrid performance over the past six weeks.

However, it gives the Mets some hope. With Syndergaard in the rotation, the Mets definitely look stronger, as they won’t have to rely upon a minor leaguer to fill a rotation slot. They don’t have to worry about the Chris Flexens on the world.

Plus, it gives the Mets some flexibility come this deadline. Without Syndergaard, the three headed triumvirate which runs the club may be more willing to trade a Zach Wheeler or even a Steven Matz if the right offer comes along. But that’s a big if as the Mets will want a king’s ransom of Matz and even ace-like return for Wheeler.

He made his first start since May 25 at Milwaukee and snapped a four-game losing streak against the Nationals in the Mets 4-2 win and tossed 5.0 innings on seven hits and struck out three on 75 pitches.

And Syndergaard, subject of trade rumors, reiterated again, “Have no control in what they do. Said last year I want to be a Met my entire career. It’s out of my control.”

As for his next start, manager Mickey Callaway said he was not sure. But it certainly will occur after the All-Star break next weekend and Syndergaard could get his next start in one of the the three games against the Yankees in the Bronx

The bottom line, though, is that Syndergaard makes the Mets better today, compared to yesterday. Teaming him with Jacob deGrom gives the Mets one of the best 1-2 punch in baseball with Matz a very serviceable No. 3.  

Syndergaard, though, isn’t a two-way player and he won’t solve the Mets chronic hitting problem. He can’t hit like Yoenis Cespedes. Can’t play third base, replacing Todd Frazier and is only good for the club every five days.

The Mets will need more than Thor to get back in the race. Remember deGrom pitched to a 1.67 ERA the first-half and only has five wins, because the Mets don’t hit for him. If the club continues down the same path, Syndergaard will suffer the same fate.

Sadly, none of this will be solved this season. As the Mets start their selloff, they will probably struggle some more to hit in the second half. Sure, the club will be helped if Cespedes comes back strong, along with Jay Bruce and Frazier, but they will still need to hit when the come off the disabled list. They haven’t the first half of the season, so there’s little reason to expect them now.

For one night all was well at Citi Field and as they enter the All-Star break, the club will feel better with a healthy Syndergaard, but more needs to be done if this season is going to be salvaged. Those who drive in runs will need to perform to support the Mets two aces.

Until that happens, Syndergaard’s return is just a feel-good story.


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