Noah Syndergaard announced as Mets Opening Day starter
“Thor” is the first Met to pitch in consecutive Opening Day starts since Johan Santana
Entering the new season, the Mets had a tough task ahead of them: to determine the Opening Day starter. Jacob deGrom, the most consistent player for the team last season, seemed like the obvious choice. However, a back injury has delayed his start back, opening the door for another to take his place. It was announced that Noah Syndergaard will get the nod to start the season on March 29. deGrom is instead penned to start game two of the regular season.
This will be the first back-to-back Opening Day start by a Met since Johan Santana during the 2008-2011 seasons. At the end of the day, Syndergaard getting the nod was the right call. This spring, “Thor” has a 1.38 ERA with six walks, while striking out 18 batters in 13 innings. Consistently hitting 99-101 MPH might have also been a factor.
The honor means a lot to Syndergaard, who is looking for a comeback. The right-hander only pitched in seven games last season, his season cut short due to a strained right lat while pitching through biceps tendinitis. He went 1-2 with a 2.97 ERA during that time. Noah hopes to reclaim his great 2016 season, when he owned a 2.60 ERA with a 14-9 record.
Last season, deGrom pitched in 31 games. He was 15-10 with a 3.53 ERA, walking 59 while striking out a career-high 239 batters. If he can maintain or even elevate those numbers, and Syndergaard transfers his Spring Training success to the regular season, we could see a deadly one-two punch take place.
A warning to the Cardinals: duck for cover come Opening Day, for Noah Syndergaard will look to unleash his fury in 2018.