After losing shortstop Ruben Tejada to a broken fibula from a questionable slide by Chase Utley, the Mets went on to lose Game 2 of the NLDS to the Los Angeles Dodgers Saturday night.
Utley was ruled safe at second on the controversial play. The very controversial call extended the inning and the Dodgers went on to score 4 runs in the seventh and steal Game 2 of the five game series.
The play that decided the outcome of the game overshadowed the strong pitching performance by the Mets’ rookie pitcher Noah Syndergaard. The 23 year old was the third youngest postseason starter in franchise history and coming into the game he looked up to the challenge of stealing a second game in LA. Out of the gate he was consistently throwing over 100 MPH.
“It was unfortunate," admitted Syndergaard following the loss. "We battled out there. I established the strike zone early went a little deeper in the counts than I’d like to."
Syndergaard, who has been much more effective in Citi field this season, was even able to overcome his road troubles.
Unfortunately his solid outing did not produce the stats he wanted. Syndergaard threw 115 pitches over six and a third innings. He struck out nine and allowed just five hits but gave up three runs and allowed 4 walks. However the 3 earned runs were a direct result of the controversial slide.
“The biggest thing was getting Syndergaard out,” said former Met Justin Turner, who hit a double off reliever Addison Reed to drive in a run in the seventh. “We got him out and got to the bullpen.”
When asked about the play that handed Syndergaard his first postseason loss, he wasn’t too disappointed and more concerned about his teammate and the team's upcoming games.
“That’s not up to me to decide,” Syndergaard said about judging the controversial slide. “It’s unfortunate what happened to Ruben. Just praying for his safety right now. “Some people have their opinion of it, but all that matters is that Ruben gets healthy quickly,” Syndergaard said. “We’re all praying for him.”
Despite the loss, the team and its starting rotation looked more than promising and will be a bright spot throughout the divisional series as expected.
“I think every guy they’ve got throws 100,” said Howie Kendrick, who hit the ball that resulted in Utley injuring Tejada.
Up next will be Matt Harvey vs. Brett Anderson in Citi field for game 3 Monday night.