Mets endeavoring to solve Noah Syndergaard’s struggles on the road
It’s hard to dispute Noah Syndergaard’s growth throughout the 2015 season, as he has emerged as a definitive Rookie of the Year candidate in the National League.
His overall line is splendid. He’s 7-6 with a 3.07 ERA in 105 2/3 big league innings this season, striking out 111 with only 24 walks and 11 home runs allowed.
But it hasn’t come as smoothly as the line might suggest, as Syndergaard has had significant struggles on the road since joining the Mets in early May.
There’s no question there’s been some recent improvement for Syndergaard on the road. In his three road starts before his ineffective performance against the Rays at Tropicana Field on August 8, Syndergaard had a 2.00 ERA in his previous three road starts against the Dodgers, Cardinals and Nationals.
Still, the big picture is problematic for Syndergaard away from home. He’s 0-5 with a 5.01 ERA in eight starts away from Citi Field this season, and opponents have lit him up to the tune of an .810 OPS in 41 1/3 innings on the road.
With the bulk of the club’s games on the road down the stretch of the season, the Mets are going to have to figure out how to straighten Syndergaard out on the road.
And that process is underway.
The Mets are first attempting to alter Syndergaard’s pre-game preparation routine. They will begin the routine about ten minutes later so he finishes ten minutes later.
The reason behind that is he does not take the mound for another 5-10 minutes due to pitching in the bottom of the first, rather than the top of the first.
“He was doing the same program on the road as he was at home,” Mets pitching coach Dan Warthen told Jared Diamond of the Wall Street Journal. “All the timings were exactly right, except for he wasn’t going to the mound at the same time.”
Syndergaard told Diamond he feels just fine on the road.
“I feel just as comfortable as I am when I’m at home,” he said. “But, you know, with the home crowd there, it’s a little bit easier to pitch. It’s just something I’m going to have to learn to deal with.”
Indeed he will, especially if the Mets get to the playoffs this season, and it starts on Wednesday night in Baltimore.