Syndergaard Shows the Royals He’s Not Intimidated

A lot has been made this past week about the feud between the Kansas City Royals and New York Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard. It goes back to Game 3 of last year’s World Series, when Syndergaard threw a pitch up and inside to Royals shortstop Alcides Escobar to begin the game. The Mets would go on to win that game, but they ended up losing the series in five games. The two teams played each other to open up the 2016 season earlier in the week. Last month, Newsday reported that Kansas City was planing on getting revenge for the pitch in the opening series against the Mets. However, they did not retaliate in either of the two games. In the end, the one who ended up making a statement was Syndergaard.

The Mets and Royals played on Sunday night and Tuesday afternoon. On Sunday, the Royals raised their World Series Championship banner in a pregame ceremony while the Mets stood on the the third baseline. The team tagged Mets starter Matt Harvey for three earned runs, and they went on to beat New York 4-3. They continued the festivities on Tuesday with a pregame ring ceremony. When Syndergaard took the mound for the Mets in the bottom of the first inning, he was heavily booed by the Royals fans. As he warmed up, the song “American Woman” played throughout Kauffman Stadium. The boos of the fans quickly turned to cheers when Alcides Escobar led off the game with a triple. Unfortunately for the fans, that was the last time in the game that Syndergaard gave them something to cheer about.

Syndergaard did not let the leadoff triple get to him. He proceeded to strike out Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain, and Eric Hosmer to escape the inning. Syndergaard looked very much in control for the remainder of the game. He was able to throw his fastball in the high-nineties consistently. He was also able to throw his nasty curveball effectively. What’s more, he also threw his slider in the mid-nineties. This is a pitch that he really didn’t throw that often when the Mets first called him up in May of last season. However, Syndergaard really worked on his slider in the offseason, and it showed on Tuesday. The Royals could not hit it.

The only other major rally Kansas City was able to muster against him came in the bottom of the sixth inning. With the Mets leading 2-0, the Royals had runners on second and third with two outs. Syndergaard walked Hosmer to load the bases. This sent Kendrys Morales to the plate with a chance to tie the game, or even take the lead. Syndergaard stayed calm however, and he got Morales to swing and miss at three straight sliders. That ended the inning, and the Royals’ chances of making a comeback in the game.

Mets manager Terry Collins decided to pull Syndergaard after that sixth inning, as his pitch count was at 92. Over the six innings of work, he allowed only three hits and one walk, while collecting nine strikeouts. The Royals do not strikeout very often, but Tuesday was an exception. The Mets bullpen held up, and they won the game 2-0 to earn a split in the series.

The Mets and Royals will see each other again for a two-game series at Citi Field in June. Syndergaard is one of the few Mets pitchers that has actually had success against the Royals, in the World Series or this season. When June comes around, he certainly won’t mind facing the Royals again.

The Mets Are For Real

Yesterday the New York Mets completed a three game sweep of the Washington Nationals on national television, beating the Nationals 5-2. Mets rookie Noah Syndergaard was again excellent for the New York ball club and went eight strong innings striking out nine and only allowing two runs. Syndergaard is making a great case to win the National League Rookie of the Year award and is now 6-5 on the season with a 2.66 ERA.

The Mets are now tied for the lead in the NL East with the Nationals and have won six out of their last ten games thanks to their young pitching and timely hitting. Lucas Duda is having an incredible run and has hit nine home runs in the last eight games and Curtis Granderson has three home runs and seven RBIs in his last seven games.

To go along with the strong play from Duda and Granderson of late the Mets acquired Kelly Johnson, Juan Uribe and Yoenis Cespedes to strengthen their offense. Cespedes is the perfect hitter to complement Duda and on the year is hitting .290 with 18 home runs and 61 RBIs. Uribe and Johnson provide valuable veteran experience and will help on and off the field for the Mets.

The Mets biggest strength resides in their strong young pitching staff lead by Jacob DeGrom. In his second year DeGrom has been sensational and is second in the National League with a 2.09 ERA. DeGrom is followed by Matt Harvey and Noah Syndergaard and the Mets have veteran leadership at the bottom of their rotation in Jonathan Niese and Bartolo Colon.

Jeurys Familia, the Mets closer has also been a revelation for the team this year and has posted 28 saves in 29 opportunities to go along with a 2.10 ERA on the season. He is yet another Mets player who is yet to reach the peak of his career.

The Mets have a lot to look forward to in the future, but they should still keep their sights on 2015. David Wright is set to start a rehab assignment in a week and once Wright returns the Mets will have a formidable line up with Daniel Murphy at the top followed by Wright, Cespedes, Duda and Kelly Johnson.

It is a down year in the National League East and the Nationals have been relatively disappointing this year and the Mets have a legitimate shot at winning the division. Tied for the division lead through 105 games and only 2.5 games back of the second wild card the Mets are red hot and I believe that they will sneak in to the playoffs.

If the Mets do make the playoffs they will scare many teams with their young pitching and their experienced hitting. In a five game series no team will want to face DeGrom, Syndergaard and Harvey and the Mets could make a run in the National League playoffs. No matter what happens this year expect the Mets to be great next year and make a possible World Series run with most of their core returning to the team.

Thor Wins Home Debut


The New York Mets took on the Milwaukee Brewers in the rubber game of their three game series. The game featured Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard’s much anticipated home debut, and oh boy he did not disappoint. Thor (as he is widely known) tossed six great innings allowing 1 run, scattering three hits and striking out five. He had control over all his pitches and the velocity on his fastball reached 98 MPH. He earned his first big league win, and got to do it at home. He is big, strong, and intimidating, his only blemish was in the sixth inning when he allowed an RBI single to Ryan Braun.

The Mets took the lead early via a lead off HR by Curtis Granderson. In the bottom of the third Lucas Duda followed a double by Eric Campbell with a double of his own to score Campbell, making the score 2-0 Mets after three. Then came the recently magical fourth inning, after putting up a 10 spot last night in the inning, the Mets put up a three, via a Campbell RBI single scoring Lagares, followed by a Michael Cuddyer two RBI single putting the Mets up 5-0. The Mets needed to give Noah run support tonight, and they did exactly that, and Noah and the bullpen handled the rest.

Noah got to the Mets to the seventh inning with a four run lead courtesy of the Mets recently raking bats, then it was the bullpens job to handle the rest of the game and they did. The pen tossed a combined three innings using four pitchers, and Familia came in and closed the game. This is what an all around team victory looks like! The starting pitcher going deep into a game, the offense putting up run support and the bullpen finishing off the game, great TEAM win by the Mets. The Mets will have little time to rest and celebrate Syndergaard’s first win as the Cardinals come to town tomorrow. John Lackey will be on the mound for the cards, facing the Dark Knight Matt Harvey for the Mets. The Mets hope to keep up the momentum, and keep at least their half game lead over the surging Nationals. First pitch set for 7:10 Monday night at Citi Field. Let’s Go Mets!

Mets Win 5-1 (22-16)

W: Syndergarrd (1-1)

L: Peralta


Granderson: Lead off HR

Campbell: RBI single in the fourth

Duda: RBI double in the third

Cuddyer: 2 RBI single in the fourth


Syndergaard: 6.0 IP, 3 Hits, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K’s

Gilmartin: 0.1 IP, 1 Hits, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

C. Torres: 0.2 IP, 0 Hits, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K

Robles: 1.0 IP, 0 Hits, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K

Familia: 1.0 IP, 0 Hits, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K


Granderson: 1-5 HR, RBI

Campbell: 2-3 Double, Single, BB, RBI

Duda: 2-3 2 Doubles, Single, BB, RBI

Cuddyer: 1-4 Single, 2 RBI

Lagares: 2-4 2 Singles

Noah Syndergaard Finally Set To Make Major League Debut

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The New York Mets already have one of the best starting rotations in baseball. Between ace Matt Harvey, last year’s NL Rookie of the Year Jacob deGrom, former Cy Young Award winner Bartolo Colon, solid lefty Jonathon Niese, and fifth starter Dillon Gee, there are only a few rotations in baseball that are as talented. Out of the whole starting rotation, the only pitcher who has an ERA over 3.00 is Gee. Harvey has five wins while Colon has a Major League leading six wins. As good as this rotation already is, it’s about to get better.

On Friday, it was announced that Dillon Gee would be placed on the disabled list with a strained groin.  The Mets had already lost young right-hander Zack Wheeler to a torn UCL back in Spring Training, With another hole in the rotation, the Mets finally decided it was time to call up their top prospect, right-hander Noah Syndergaard.

Syndergaard, 22, was drafted in the first round of the 2010 MLB Draft by the Toronto Blue Jays. On December 17, 2012, he was traded along with catchers John Buck and Travis d’Arnaud and outfielder Wuilmer Becerra to the Mets for 2012 NL Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey and catchers Josh Thole and Mike Nickeas. Last season while pitching in Triple-A for the Las Vegas 51s of the Pacific Coast League, Syndergaard had a rough year, going 9-7 with an ERA of 4.60 in 26 starts. He did lead the Pacific Coast League in strikeouts with 145. The Mets decided not to call up Syndergaard in September as part of their September call-ups. By not calling him up, the Mets allowed him to continually develop in the minor leagues.

Going into the 2015 season, Syndergaard was rated the 11th best prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America and 10th best by He started the season in Triple-A and has gotten off to a fantastic start. In five starts this year, he’s 3-0 with an ERA of 1.82 and 34 strikeouts. It clearly seems as though Syndergaard is ready to pitch at the Major League level. That’s why when it was announced that Gee was going to the DL, Syndergaard was the obvious choice to take his spot in the rotation.

Syndergaard is considered a power pitcher. At six-feet six-inches, he’ll be one of the taller pitchers in baseball. He throws a four-seam fastball at around 95 mph, a nasty curveball at about 80 mph, a two-seam fastball, and a circle changeup.

His first start will be Tuesday night at Wrigley Field when the Mets face the Chicago Cubs. He will oppose Jake Arrieta. There’s been a lot of hype about Noah Syndergaard for a few years now within the Mets’ organization. Fans have anticipated the day when they would finally get to see Syndergaard, or Thor as they’ve nicknamed him, pitch for the Mets. Tuesday night, they’ll finally get that opportunity. It’s unclear what will happen when Gee returns from the DL, especially if Syndergaard is pitching well. That’s a problem the Mets hope they’ll have.


Emerging Options in Fantasy Baseball week 5

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Highly touted rookies making their debuts

With most of the potential impact players in fantasy baseball being drafted before the season, good fantasy baseball players need to keep an eye on the waiver wire during the months where highly touted rookies are called up to the big leagues.  For the Chicago Cubs, Kris Bryant has been an impact fantasy baseball player this season, but he was drafted in many leagues due to his prospect status being well known coming into the season.  Injuries over the past couple of weeks have led to teams turning to their top prospects as pitching depth, but some potential offensive impact players have emerged as well.  With the Diamondbacks, Mets and Cardinals experiencing early season injuries in their starting rotations, the debuts of their top pitching prospects could lead to fantasy baseball owners adding much needed depth to their pitching staff.  The Minnesota Twins needed some outfield help, leading them to call up on of their top outfield prospects, and the Pittsburgh Pirates have turned to one of their highly touted rookies to make starts on the infield with their left side of the infield struggling at the plate.  A further look at these young players arriving at the MLB level, will help to determine how many of these players can emerge as legitimate options to help fantasy teams as the second month of the season begins.

The pitchers emerging

Archie Bradley of the Diamondbacks has emerged as a strong option in fantasy baseball recently, as he is off to a 2-0 start to his rookie season with an impressive earned runs average.  Even though Bradley has 11 walks through his first 20 innings pitched, his walks plus hits per inning pitched rate is only at 1.00 because he has only allowed 9 hits .  This could put Bradley in line for some regression, but with his great fastball being very tough to square up, he is likely to maintain a significant amount of success throughout the rest of the season for fantasy owners.

Marco Gonzales of the Cardinals is making a return from the disabled list after starting the season at triple-A, and he is being called on to fill a rotation spot for St. Louis after they lost ace Adam Wainwright.  As a left handed pitcher, Gonzales features a good enough fastball to complement above average off-speed pitches in both his curveball and changeup.  Gonzales was able to post decent numbers as a rookie for the Cardinals last season, which makes him a good option for fantasy owners to turn to if they are need of pitching depth in the coming weeks. As a left handed starter with the ability to strike out batters at a significant rate, Gonzales provides plenty of value on the back end of a fantasy baseball pitching staff .

Noah Syndergaard of the Mets could be a huge addition for fantasy teams in need of pitching depth at this point early in the season.  With Dillon Gee going on the disabled list, the Mets have called up their top pitching prospect to fill that spot in their starting rotation.  Syndergaard has not had much success at the triple-A level recently, but his great fastball and fantastic curveball give him the opportunity to be a strong MLB starter for the Mets.  This year however, he is off to a fantastic 3-0 start with a 1.82 earned runs average in five starts at the triple-A level. With 34 strikeouts in 29 and two-thirds innings pitched, Syndergaard should be ready to pitch at a high level upon being promoted to the Mets’ MLB roster .

Hitters to consider adding

Minnesota Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario is a great option for fantasy owners after getting called up to the big leagues this past week.  As one of the Twins’ top prospects, Rosario is off to a fast start with a homerun already in his first three games played at the MLB level.  After producing multiple seasons where he hit 10 or more homeruns in the minor leagues, Rosario is in position to take off as a productive MLB player for the Twins.  With 70 stolen bases in 108 attempts throughout his minor league career, Rosario is a contributor in multiple categories for fantasy owners. With one season where he registered more than 20 stolen bases in the minor leagues, Rosario has the athleticism that should be apparent to the fantasy owners who give him the opportunity to contribute for their teams’ this season .

Jung-Ho Kang of the Pirates is another good option for fantasy owners to consider now that he is getting plenty of starts for the Pirates at third base and shortstop.  Kang is not yet starting everyday, but the Pirates fully intend to have him become an everyday player for the team at some point this season.  With both Jordy Mercer and Josh Harrison scuffling at the plate early this season, Jung-Ho Kang has stepped into the lineup as a capable contributor on their days off.  After hitting his first career homerun off of Trevor Rosenthal last Sunday, Jung-Ho Kang has found his swing to produce an early season batting average that is above .300. By displaying a strong walk to strikeout ratio early in his rookie season, Jung-Ho Kang should be an excellent option for fantasy owners this season, especially considering that he may gain both third base and second base eligibility to go along with his shortstop eligibility .

Who is likely to have the most impact?

Noah Syndergaard is likely to be the player that has the most impact the rest of the season from this group of players, as he is a top prospect with proven ability to strike out batters in the upper levels of the Mets’ farm system.  With great stuff, Syndergaard could develop into another ace starting pitcher for the Mets as a complementary star to Matt Harvey in their starting rotation.  On the offensive side of things, Jung-Ho Kang is the most likely player to make a significant impact the rest of the way this season, as he has already put his power on display.  Kang was the best baseball player in all of South Korea last season, and now he brings that talent to the MLB level where he can be added to fantasy baseball teams as a strong contributor in 2015.


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Grain Audio

Are the Mets Establishing Themselves as a Legitimate Contender?

(Photo Courtesy of New York Daily News)

Strong starting pitching leading the way

Matt Harvey made his return from Tommy John surgery in game three of this season, and has not missed a beat on his way to a 3-0 record in his first three starts.  Bartolo Colon earned the opening day start for the Mets this season, and he has been fantastic as well in his three starts for the team.  Jacob deGrom has also been great for the Mets, even though he lost a pitcher’s duel in his first start of the season against the Washington Nationals.  Jon Niese and Dillon Gee have also helped to contribute to the Mets’ winning streak, that they ran all the way to eight games with their win on Sunday over the Miami Marlins.  Star third basemen David Wright, is currently on the disabled list with a hamstring injury that he suffered during the Phillies series.  This has not stopped the Mets however, as their depth has been strong enough to cover this unfortunate early season injury to one of their best players .  Wilmer Flores and Eric Campbell have done a nice job so far filling in at third base defensively for the Mets, along with contributing by adding right handed power hitting ability to the lineup.  All of this adds up to the Mets establishing themselves among the National League contenders early in 2015, and a further look at the talent they have on their roster will help to determine if they are going to remain in this conversation.

Offense key to the Mets’ success

The Mets entered the 2015 season with the expectation that they would contend for a National League playoff berth on the strength of their solid pitching staff.  The performance of the Mets’ offense will determine whether or not they are able to make a run at the National League East division title this season.  So far the Mets’ offensive performance has been good this season, behind some players who started to emerge as key contributors for the team in the second half of last season.  Top prospect Travis d’Arnaud was sent to the minor leagues late last season due to his offensive struggles at the MLB level, but after a huge offensive showing at triple-A, he was quickly promoted again to stayUnfortunately for the Mets, Travis d’Arnaud’s breakout season has been put on hold for right now after he was hit by a pitch that broke his hand in the seventh inning of Sunday’s win .  The Mets once again turn to their offensive depth by calling up Kevin Plawecki to replace d’Arnaud in the starting lineup.  Meanwhile they continue to rely on last season’s biggest breakout star for the team, in Lucas Duda.  The Mets’ starting first basemen produced a 30 homerun season in 2014 for the first time in his career, and he could be headed for his second straight 30 homerun season after getting off to a strong start in 2015.  These key contributors can work together to give the Mets pitching staff the run support needed to maintain their strong play throughout the season, but for right now others will have to step up in order to weather the storm of early injuries that hit this team.

Injuries do not have to slow down this Mets team however, as they  have their biggest free agent signings from the past two off-season’s still healthy and in the everyday lineup.  Curtis Granderson and Michael Cuddyer are no longer young players in Major League Baseball, but they are capable contributors from the corner outfield positions for the Mets.  Defensive star Juan Lagares, plays centerfield between the two of them, and his strong start to the season has proven he can be a capable contributor for the Mets at the plate.  With David Wright only likely to miss three weeks of play, the Mets should soon have their best hitter return to the lineup.  This could allow the team the opportunity to establish themselves as a formidable offense in the National League, with hitters who can produce runs up and down the batting lineup.  With the team scoring 4.4 runs per game through the first 13 ballgames of 2015, the Mets have put themselves in great position to continue their success with veteran contributors picking up the slack in the absence of key members of their core .  The timing of these injuries have been unfortunate, as they threaten to slow the Mets’ strong early season start, but for a team that has recently focused on building their farm system, the necessary depth is there for them to play good baseball over the next few weeks.

Will the Mets finish the season with the same five in their starting rotation?

With Bartolo Colon at age 41 being one of the oldest opening day starters in recent MLB history, the possibility exists that the Mets could see some turnover in their starting rotation before the season’s end .  Twenty-six year old Matt Harvey is the team’s most talented starter currently, but another young pitcher could join the Mets’ MLB rotation midseason to make a strong starting staff even stronger.  Noah Syndergaard at 22 years old is the Mets’ top pitching prospect, and his status as a nearly MLB ready starting pitcher should open a rotation spot for him as soon as the team decides he is ready for a promotion .  Adding another big right handed power pitcher to the rotation, could be just the right addition that the team needs in order to maintain their early success throughout the summer.  With the news of Mets’ reliever Jenrry Mejia being suspended 80 games for PED use, combined with the injury to Jerry Blevins on Sunday, the Mets could bolster their bullpen by moving one of their starters into a relief role in order to make room for Noah Syndergaard after his promotion.  The current roster construction of the New York Mets suggests that they could finish the season with a different starting five in their rotation, and that would likely mean the team was headed toward clinching a playoff berth with more talent than they started with in the starting rotation.

Are the Mets a legitimate contender?

With Matt Harvey already establishing himself as one of the better pitchers in the game of baseball, the Mets’ pitching staff appears to be very strong with veteran starters mixed in to complement their young emerging stars.  By showing the ability to play good baseball against a formidable early season schedule, the Mets appear to be a contender as they are working hard to overcome multiple injuries already suffered at this point in their 2015 season.  Zack Wheeler was lost for the season in spring training with a torn UCL, as one of the Mets’ most promising young starters at the MLB level.  David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud will make their returns this season, but their absence has forced the Mets to turn to depth players early on in the 2015 campaign.  Fortunately for the Mets, they have quality depth to turn to in former first round pick Kevin Plawecki at the catcher’s position .  If the Mets are able to weather this early season test caused by injuries, moving forward they will have a deep roster that features plenty of experience in many areas for the rest of the 2015 season.  Injuries have derailed the Mets’ seasons many times in the past few years, but this Mets team is a legitimate contender because they have the depth necessary to keep playing good baseball when some of their best players spend time on the disabled list with injuries.


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