Ex-Met Noah Syndergaard will pitch against former team; When and how does he feel about it?
PHILADELPHIA - Former Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard will pitch against his old team at Philadelphia’s Citizens Bank Park on August 20 or August 21, according to his current turn in the Phillies’ rotation.
Syndergaard was acquired in a trade with the Los Angeles Angels Tuesday and made his Phillies debut Thursday, giving up four runs in five innings but picking up a win in a rain-shortened game against the Washington Nationals.
He will miss next weekend’s series at Citi Field, however, by a day. Based on the rotation, Syndergaard will make his next turn on Wednesday against Miami, then pitch Monday in Cincinnati. He would then pitch either one of the doubleheader games against the Mets on Saturday, Aug. 20 or on Sunday, Aug. 21 depending on when manager Rob Thomson wants to slot an extra pitcher into the rotation because of the twinbill.
The Phillies and Mets are rivals in the National League East. Both teams are currently in playoff position with the Mets holding a 10-game lead over the Phillies in the division.
“It will be exciting,” said Syndergaard. “I didn’t get to face them when they came to Anaheim (in June). I’m looking forward to it, seeing some of the old guys.”
Syndergaard was a Met from 2015 until 2021, pitching on the World Series team as a rookie and making an All-Star Game in 2016. But he missed all of 2020 and most of 2021 after undergoing Tommy John surgery.
Overall as a Met, the right-hander was 47-31 with a 3.27 ERA. He struck out 777 batters in 718 innings.
“It’s pretty crazy, being with the Mets for the longest time, I never pictured myself in a Phillies uniform,” said Syndergaard. “But I couldn’t be more proud to sport the powder blue. I’m thrilled and blessed to be in this clubhouse to play for a very good team and a contender that has expectations to make it all the way to the top.
“The hairs stood up on the back of my neck when I heard my name announced and heard the crowd (cheer). I understand Phillie fans are passionate and want to win. I was on the other side for six years, so I know how passionate the fan base is.”
Syndergaard left New York via free agency after last season, citing questions about the Mets’ direction as they didn’t have a general manager at the time. He went 5-8 with a 3.83 ERA in Los Angeles, but the Angels struggled - a reason why he was available in trade - while the Mets are leading the National League East.
He will be adjusting to being back in a five-man rotation after pitching on a six-man staff with the Angels.
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“I’m a big fan (of the five-man),” said Syndergaard. “The six-day with Shohei (Ohtani, who bats on days he doesn’t pitch) helped recover from the injury, but I can put on the gas at this point.”
Syndergaard will join another former Met, Zack Wheeler, in the rotation. Wheeler joined the Phillies as a free agent after the 2019 season and has developed into the Phillies’ ace.
Wheeler was an all-star last season and is 10-5 with a 2.69 ERA this year.
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