This is the Noah Syndergaard Mets fans are used to seeing.
From the start of Syndergaard's night on the Citi Field mound against the Twins, you could feel this was one where "Thor" could go deep. His fastball was ramped up to 98-99 mph early, and he even topped 100 mph in the 1-2-3 first inning. After a quick blip in the third, where he allowed one run to cross the plate, Syndergaard cruised.
"Mechanically, I felt probably the best I've felt in a long time," Syndergaard told reporters after his seven-inning, seven-strikeout night. "So just trying to work on continuing to make that consistent. I guess when my mechanics are spot on, I get a little more movement on my ball."
Syndergaard did hit a wall, however, when he came back out for the eighth inning. Three runs were charged to his line after he allowed an RBI double and RBI triple in back-to-back Minnesota at-bats.
While manager Mickey Callaway credited that to fatigue, he commended Syndergaard for the performance he strung together
"That start by Noah was tremendous," Callaway said. "That's Noah Syndergaard. I think he got maybe a little tired. You know, he almost got his fourth at-bat, but his pitch count up there, he stretched out, and he did a tremendous job."
By going deep into the ballgame, Syndergaard allowed Callaway to stay away from using too many bullpen pieces after Jacob deGrom's uncharacteristic dud Tuesday night. Tonight, the skipper wanted to use Jeurys Familia and Edwin Diaz considering they had extended rest, and Syndergaard allowed that to happen.
"We needed a starter to go really deep and we kinda figured almost no matter what the score was that we were going to use Familia and Diaz," Callaway explained. "They both had three days off. It's early in the season, we gotta get them rolling. We wanted to make sure they got in there."
Minus that eighth inning, the Mets will hope this trend for Syndergaard begins as the rotation tries to find its stride here in April. Other than deGrom's one bad egg, Zack Wheeler saw control issues over the weekend while Steven Matz hasn't made it through six innings yet. There is also the Jason Vargas situation that needs to be addressed in the fifth starting role.
But that can wait for another day. Tonight was about Syndergaard and his show of hard-throwing dominance that Mets fans hope continues.