NY Sports Day
Joe McDonald

McDonald: The Mets Season May Be Sunk If Syndergaard Can’t Turn It Around

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If I sound like Bill Murray in Meatballs, please forgive me, but at the end of the day, it just doesn’t matter who Brodie Van Wagenen finds on the scrapheap and it just doesn’t matter, if new guys sign and come in and produce.

Because at the end of the day, if Noah Syndergaard and Jacob deGrom don’t pitch up to expectations, then the Mets season is lost.

Now deGrom is coming off a good outing on Wednesday after sleeping with the fishes last week, but Syndergaard, who looked pretty good on Sunday, stunk up the joint today in the Mets 9-8 loss to the lowly Detroit Tigers.

Syndergaard allowed five runs tonight and in 11 starts this year, he gave up five runs five times. That’s just too much for someone, who many expected to be the Mets co-ace on this team. Results like that are reserved for No. 5 starters, not expected All-Stars.

“It’s really hard to say,” said manager Mickey Callaway. “His stuff is good. The tale tonight was that when we scored, we didn’t get a shutdown inning. If we got at least one of them, we would have won the game.”  

Sure it was that kind of game and it was winnable tonight, but other times, Syndergaard’s performance put the Mets in a dumpster fire.

“Just about as normal as anyone when it comes to just riding this rollercoaster,” he said. “Back to work tomorrow. Would’ve been real nice to get five in a row. I take full responsibility of this loss tonight. Just simply didn’t get the job done.”

It’s like what Will Smith in Bagger Vance said, “He still thinks he’s Randolph Junah.” Syndergaard is still pitching like Syndergaard in 2015 or 2016. Unfortunately, those days are over, and he can’t just throw the ball by everyone at 100 mph. The league has caught up and Syndergaard has come down. For him to be successful, he needs to learn to pitch.

And sometimes it happens, but times like tonight are happening all too often for the Mets. Callaway said he has had mechanical issues and Syndergaard was working on tweaking his delivery, which may help him solve his issues.

That’s all fine and dandy, but he needs to find some consistency. Syndergaard said he felt good out there and was frustrated that he couldn’t hold the lead, yet there’s just something more missing here.

The season is two months old and Syndergaard has gone through almost a third of his starts. This is not a blip on the radar here.

The good news is that he’s due for a good start next week at Dodger Stadium, but then what?

Ultimately for the Mets to compete, Syndergaard needs to figure this out. Is he a different pitcher? Is it mechanical? Or is it something else?

Because this one good start and one bad start thing isn’t going to work. It’s going to lead to an under-.500 season.

Oh, and look at the Mets record at 24-26.

Go figure.

Nothing else will matter unless Syndergaard and deGrom turn it around


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