Noah Syndergaard provided the lightning, Michael Conforto and Jay Bruce supplied the thunder as Sunday became Thor’s day in front of a national audience and the Mets avenged the last two losses to Miami.
On the big stage of ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball, Syndergaard solidified his stature as one of the premier pitchers in baseball. The formidable Miami lineup, looked silly at the hands of the Thunder God. JT Realmuto, Christian Yelich, Giancarlo Stanton, Justin Bour and Marcell Ozuna went a combined 1-for-12, with six strikeouts against Syndergaard. It was a beautiful thing to watch. Even adversity couldn’t deter him.
The Mets opened the lid on this one right away against former nemesis Endison Volquez. After Jose Reyes flied out leading off the game, Asdrubal Cabrera beat the shift with a bunt single toward third. Manager Terry Collins then put the hit-and-run on with Yoenis Cespedes batting and Cespedes zipped it through the vacated shortstop hole. Jay Bruce hit a sharp grounder to Bour at first base. Bour came home with it and Cabrera was dead, but Realmuto whiffed on the throw and the Mets had a 1-0 lead. Neil Walker looped a single to left as Cespedes scored. Lucas Duda punched a base hit through the shift to load the bases. Michael Conforto drew a four-pitch walk to plate the Mets’ third run. They could’ve added another, but Realmuto made a great play on a dribbler by Rene Rivera, nailing Walker at the plate. Volquez quickly discovered a solution, however, retiring the next nine Mets in a row.
Syndergaard was cruising until the third, when he surrendered a leadoff double to Derek Dietrich. Miguel Rojas hit fly ball that ran away from Cespedes and clanked off his glove in left center. After Volquez struck out, Dee Gordon sent a double past Reyes and the Marlins suddenly had two runs. This is where Rene Rivera took over. Gordon tried to steal third and was nailed with a perfect throw to Reyes. Realmuto singled and Rivera gunned him down with a perfect throw to Walker. Syndergaard then went back to cruising. There was a small spot of trouble in the fifth, but Syndergaard quelled it easily.
In the bottom half of that inning, Bruce sent a changeup over the center field wall, and in the sixth, Conforto did the same, this one to the Shea Bridge. Syndergaard’s final line: 7 innings, 5 hits, no walks 7 strikeouts, 2 runs 1 earned.
The Mets bring their storm to Philadelphia for the start of their first road trip of the year tomorrow, hopefully starting a trend.