The New York Mets completed their homestand with a 1-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds. Noah Syndergaard was the story of the game as he pitched a complete game, four-hit shutout and belted a solo home run to lead the Mets (16-15).
Syndergaard became the first pitcher to hurl a complete game 1-0 shutout and homer for the only run of the game since Bob Welch in 1983. New York completes the homestand at 5-5 as they head for a six-game road trip beginning Friday in Milwaukee.
Syndergaard fires Mets' first complete game of the season
Syndergaard struck out ten over his 104-pitch masterpiece while lowering his ERA from 6.35 to 5.02 in firing his third career complete game, all in the last two seasons. "I felt like I was pretty close to rock-bottom, so it was kind of an adapt-or-die kind of situation", he said after the game.
He retired 10 of the final 11 batters to face him, a much-needed effort after the recent struggles of the Mets bullpen. "The main thing is [Syndergaard] said "enough is enough", manager Mickey Callaway said. "He knows he had to be better than he was and he kind of stated that, he worked hard in between, he went out and got it done."
Righty blasts homer for only run of contest
In a scoreless game, the right-hander led off the bottom of the third inning against Cincinnati starter Tyler Mahle by depositing a 92 mph fastball 407 feet to the opposite field to give the Mets all the offense they would need.
It was the sixth home run of his career, tying him for second in franchise history with Tom Seaver, one behind Dwight Gooden. "You just don't see it very often unless our pitchers are hitting", Callaway remarked on New York's fourth home run this year by a pitcher.
As Mahle said afterward "it wasn't a very competitive pitch and he made me pay for it."
Bullpen gets much needed rest on getaway day
Callaway summed up the state of his bullpen, which has seen closer Edwin Diaz surrender two-game winning home runs in the last week and setup man Jeurys Familia land on the 10-day injured list by saying "the lack of relief was a relief today. We don't know how we get through the rest of that game if he doesn't complete it."
The second-year skipper said that Robert Gsellman, who has struggled in two of his last three outings and Luis Avilan, who hasn't pitched since Friday, would have been his first two options out of the bullpen.
Syndergaard was given a roar of approval when he batted for himself in the bottom of the eighth. In the top of the ninth, he got two strikes on Cincinnati left fielder Jesse Winker. Winker, who homered to win the game on Monday and made the game-saving catch on Wednesday, began arguing with home-plate umpire Marty Foster.
Foster proceeded to toss the left-fielder from the game before manager David Bell could intervene to prevent Winker's ejection as well as his own. Syndergaard finished off pinch hitter Kyle Farmer with a called third strike.
Eugenio Suarez flew out for the second out before first baseman Derek Dietrich singled. Pinch runner Michael Lorenzen stole second, setting up Yasiel Puig, but the former Dodger struck out on three pitches. Syndergaard concluded by stating that "a huge weight has been lifted off my shoulders. It was a beautiful day".