When Noah Syndergaard was called up a few months ago, there was hype. There had been hype for a while. We knew he was a big strong kid with a killer fastball and a pro mentality.
But who could have realistically anticipated this kind of good?
Last night in the series opener against the Padres, Syndergaard tossed 8 shut out innings, allowing just three hits, striking out 9 and walking none. He was perfect through the first six innings. That is SICK.
What I like most about the kid is his demeanor. He's got the swagger that fellow ace Matt Harvey has. He's only 22 years old - crazy, crazy young for a studly starting pitcher (most aces considered 'young' are around 25 or 26), but he holds himself like a veteran.
Syndergaard entered the 7th inning after having thrown 6 perfect frames. That's a lot of pressure. After allowing a single to break up the no-no on the first pitch of the 7th, he allowed another single immediately after.
Runners on the corners, no outs. It was 2-0 at that point; suddenly, a game that once had us dreaming of perfection was in jeopardy.
But Syndergaard knows how to bear down.
An infield popup. One away.
And, then: the perfect ground ball. Double play, inning over.
Over his last 6 starts, he's thrown 42.0 innings to a 1.29 ERA. 43 strikeouts. That's seriously good.
So, we knew he was good, and we all figured that the hype was real. But, for me at least, Syndergaard is blowing the expectations out of the water. This guy looks like he could be next-level good.