Well so much for all the hand-wringing and panic after Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the Kansas City Royals. The New York Mets got on the ‘Thor Express’ Tuesday afternoon, and rode right-hander Noah Syndergaard to a 2-0 victory over the World Series Champions. At 1-1, the Mets suddenly feel better about things as they head back to Queens their home opener on Friday afternoon against the Philadelphia Phillies. But, before we get ready to welcome the Mets back to New York, lets look back at Tuesday’s win.
Noah Syndergaard: If you didn’t already know, Syndergaard is nicknamed the Marvel superhuman, Thor. On Tuesday he was Thor, Ironman, and Superman combined. (Yes, I know I combined the DC and Marvel universe, chill out). Syndergaard struck out nine batters over six innings of work, weaving his way out of one tremendous jam after another.
In the first inning, after surrendering a leadoff triple to Alcides Escobar, he struck out Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, and Eric Hosmer in order to keep the game scoreless. Syndergaard wouldn’t allow another hit until Kendrys Morales’ double to leadoff the bottom of the fifth. Even then, he found a way out of it by striking out both Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez to get out of trouble.
However, it was the bottom of the sixth inning that featured Syndergaard’s best work. After loading the bases (a fielder’s choice by Moustakas, a single by Cain, and a walk to Hosmer), Syndergaard threw three fastballs low and inside to Morales, who swung at all three pitches for the strikeout, pulling the Mets out of the fire. As Keith Hernandez said of Syndergaard, “This is not a man-child. This is a bull.”
Neil Walker: Walker provided the only offense of the day for the Mets with a two-run home run to the short corner in right, giving New York a 2-0 lead. For Walker it was his first home run as a Met, and the first home run for the Mets this season. Overall, Walker had two hits on the day, a good start for a guy who will face a lot of comparisons to Daniel Murphy all year.
David Wright: One game after being the ultimate goat for taking strike three in the ninth inning on Opening Night, Wright reached base three times on Tuesday, twice via a walk, and a single in the fifth inning. While the back issues will always be a story, it was nice to Wright get back into action in a big way on Tuesday. Hopefully the good times are about to begin for David.
Mets Bullpen: The Mets entered this season with a lot of questions about their bridge to Jeurys Familia, and, at least for today those questions were answered with tremendous efforts by journeyman Jim Henderson (a scoreless seventh inning) and Addison Reed (a scoreless eighth inning). And speaking of Familia, it was great to see him exercise the demons with a quick 1-2-3 ninth inning against the heart of the Royals batting order for his first save of the year.
Mike Moustakas: Moustakas was really a nuisance for the Mets during the World Series last year, and the Mets kept the slugger fairly quiet over the two games. In the two games combined, he was 0-for-8 with two strikeouts. On Tuesday, Moustakas was 0-for-4 with a strikeout, and never enacted the revenge he probably planned for against Syndergaard.
Chris Young: While he didn’t pitch poorly, he did make one big mistake to Neil Walker who made him pay with a two-run blast to right. Young, has done a nice job resurrecting his career in Kansas City, but he was fresh meat for a Mets team wanting to make up for Sunday’s loss.
Eric Hosmer: So much for Met-Killer Eric Hosmer on Tuesday. The All Star first baseman was 0-for-3 with a strikeout on Tuesday afternoon, including striking out in the first inning with Escobar standing at third.
Alex Gordon: The man who tormented Jeurys Familia and the Mets in Game 1 of the World Series was greeted with a golden sombrero on Tuesday, striking out three times against Met pitching. To make matters sweeter for the Mets, when Familia got Kendrys Morales to ground out for the final out of the game, Gordon was left standing on deck, and never got to bat against Familia