Noah Syndergaard’s value to the New York Mets is going beyond pitching. His surprising offense, however, is simply an added bonus.
A day after Jacob deGrom turned in a gem, Syndergaard looks to deliver another of his own as the visiting Mets face the San Diego Padres on Tuesday night.
Syndergaard (2-2, 2.55 ERA) is so far living up to the hype as one of New York’s prized prospects, yielding two earned runs in his last 19 1-3 innings while walking one and striking out 16 in his last three starts.
"I think the more you’re out there the more you know you belong here," manager Terry Collins said. "When that takes place, you have more confidence in your stuff and you’re not afraid to miss."
The right-hander was dominant Wednesday, allowing six hits and fanning six without a walk before exiting with one out in the eighth inning of a 7-0 win over Philadelphia.
Syndergaard was also a major contributor with the bat, going 3 for 3 with his first career home run. His three hits matched the team record by a pitcher, previously achieved by deGrom on May 16. He has hits in four straight at-bats, and Collins claimed he’s considering using him as a pinch-hitter when he’s not pitching.
"My main focus is on the mound," Syndergaard told MLB’s official website. "Anything besides that is extra."
Syndergaard, though, has lost his first two road starts, surrendering seven runs – four earned – with 11 strikeouts in 11 1-3 innings.
He has a tough act to follow after deGrom carried a perfect game into the sixth inning Monday and limited the Padres two hits over eight in a 7-0 win.
New York (29-23) ended a seven-game road skid and won for the fifth time in seven overall.
Daniel Murphy matched his career high with four hits and added three RBIs, raising his average over the last 11 games to .452.
The Padres (25-28) suffered their eighth loss in 11 home games, falling to 13-15 at Petco Park.
Ian Kennedy (2-5, 7.15) will try to halt a four-start losing streak and rebound from a dismal outing. The right-hander has a 9.31 ERA in those four games, yielding seven homers in 19 1-3 innings.
His latest was the worst of that stretch, surrendering seven runs and as many hits – three homers – in 3 2-3 innings of Thursday’s 11-5 loss to Pittsburgh.
"It’s really frustrating," Kennedy said. "Fastball command was all over the place. They hit a couple of breaking balls for homers. It’s really, really frustrating, really inconsistent, not what I like to do. As a pitcher you try to go out there and be as consistent as possible. This has been a real test so far, the first month or so that I’ve pitched."
Kennedy is 0-2 with a 7.20 ERA over his last three starts against the Mets after going 4-0 with a 3.45 ERA in his first five.
Murphy (3 for 15) hasn’t had much success against Kennedy, but Curtis Granderson is 5 for 6 with a homer over the past three years. Granderson, though, is batting .188 on the road, going 0 for 12 in his last three away from Citi Field.
The Mets could get first baseman Lucas Duda back after he was hit by a pitch on his right knee during Sunday’s 4-3 win over Miami. He’s 7 for 21 with four homers, two doubles and six RBIs in six games and is a .324 hitter versus the Padres.