Noah Syndergaard has sent a message that is loud and clear
Noah Syndergaard sent a message to the Royals with the first pitch of the night in Game 3, which sailed past the head of Alcides Escobar and sending him straight down to the ground.
“That’s my plate out there, not theirs,” Syndergaard said on SNY after Friday’s game.
Unquestionably, Syndergaard’s pitch had intent, if for no other reason than to back their aggressive nature off the plate and try to establish their strength in arms.
And for the most part, it worked, as that pitch got the Royals angry. Mike Moustakas led a Royals bench in spewing obscenities at Syndergaard after he knocked Escobar down.
But perhaps most importantly, it seemingly got into the heads of the Royals, making them uncomfortable and giving them another element to consider from Syndergaard and potentially the rest of the Mets pitching staff.
The Royals were still talking about it after the game, too.
“It’s wrong,” Escobar said.
“It’s the only mistake he made all night,” Eric Hosmer said. “I thought it was unprofessional.”
“It was weak,” Alex Rios said.
Actually, it was old school baseball.
The Royals sent their message in the first two games of this series.
The Mets were up.
The Royals did respond with a run in the first and two runs in the second, but Syndergaard settled down and dominated the Royals, using their aggressive nature against them to actually induce swings and misses and strikeouts against a team known so well for making contact and hitting hard fastballs.
But Syndergaard’s outing was also representative of his fearless nature, even in a must-win game in the World Series for the Mets.
And Syndergaard made it clear in words he indeed has no fear.
“If they have a problem with me throwing inside, then they can meet me 60 feet, six inches away. I’ve got no problem with that,” Syndergaard said.
Mighty words for a kid with 5 1/2 months of experience. His confidence is indeed glowing.
As well it should be, as he alone may have turned this World Series around for the Mets. And if nothing else, he gave the rest of the club an idea about how to attack the Royals for as long as this World Series lasts.
That is, to stick with what works – the fastball – and pitch them in and off the plate hard and then go with breaking balls away to change eye levels.
The question now is, how will the Royals respond?
Better yet, how will Steven Matz respond? He should’ve learned a thing or two on how to handle the Royals, a discovery Syndergaard could be credited for.
As for Kansas City, there was some suggestion from inside the Royals clubhouse they could soon retaliate. But is the World Series an appropriate time for that? Especially in New York with the Mets regaining some much-needed momentum?
The Royals will have two games to open the 2016 season to settle the score, if they choose.