The New York Mets will send Noah Syndergaard (1-2, 3.18 ERA) to the mound at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia in Sunday afternoon’s season finale in an effort to record their 19th series win in 22 chances against the Phillies.
After winning their 70th game of the season on Saturday evening in an extra-inning thriller on a cold night in Philadelphia, New York is hoping to get a positive outing out of Syndergaard to carry into the 2018 campaign.
Just as they’ve done in the first two games of the series with starting pitchers Matt Harvey and Seth Lugo, Syndergaard’s outing will serve as a tune-up heading into an important offseason for the hurler.
Like Harvey on Friday evening, Lugo’s Saturday start was encouraging for manager Terry Collins.
“He’s just a good pitcher,” Collins said. “That’s why I took him out and I said, ‘Now you know you’re healthy and it’s time to rest up and certainly keep the strength up in your arm, shoulder and elbow and next year have a big year.'”
Harvey also pitched four innings and Syndergaard could be in line for a similar outing on Sunday afternoon when he makes his second start for the Mets since returning from a stint on the disabled list.
“As far as Noah, we’re going to get him back out there one more time and let him throw some pitches and let him go home feeling good about himself,” Collins said on Friday evening.
Philadelphia could be a great place for Syndergaard to get back to feeling good on the mound. The righty is 4-1 in five career starts against the Phillies, boasting a 1.89 ERA against them.
Phillies rookie Nick Pivetta (7-10, 6.26 ERA) will oppose Syndergaard in the season finale. In three starts against the Mets this season, Pivetta is 1-1 with a 6.48 ERA, surrendering 18 hits to Mets batters in 16 2/3 innings.
If Pivetta’s struggles against the Mets continue, the Phillies could be in a position to rely heavily on their bullpen as they’ve been able to do in their last 32 games. Despite Asdrubal Cabrera’s game-winning home run off reliever Adam Morgan in the 11th inning on Saturday, Phillies manager Pete Mackanin is still confident and proud of his bullpen’s improvement this season.
“The bullpen did a good job,” he said. “Morgan gave up that home run but he’s had such a great run that he’s been very impressive. He just got a changeup up. I was surprised the ball went out because Hoskins hit his ball probably harder than Cabrera did. But he got it up in the air too much and the wind got a hold of it.”
Despite giving up the home run to Cabrera on a changeup that missed high in the zone, Morgan is going to continue to rely on the pitch moving forward, finding success with it throughout the season.
“Real proud,” Morgan said of his pitch. “I’m still going to use it. It’s one of my strengths. Moving forward, I’ll just kind of erase that from my memory and keep going.”