This probably will not come as a surprise, given his old-school leanings, but SNY analyst Keith Hernandez was a big fan of the Mets' Noah Syndergaard starting Game 3 of the World Series with a message pitch to the Royals' Alcides Escobar.

"I thought it was great, and I thought it was perfectly legal," the former Met said before Game 4 Saturday. "It wasn't headhunting. It was undressing, and it set the stage. The Royals are a battling team. That got their dander up, so let's see.

"From this point on I think it's going to be a dogfight. I think it set the tone for the rest of the series. I loved it."

What about Syndergaard's challenge to have anyone with a problem with him to meet 60 feet, six inches away.

"I loved it," Hernandez said. "I loooooved it."

Hernandez said before the playoffs began that he wanted to participate in SNY's pregame and postgame coverage to feel like a part of the Mets' run, even though the network cannot show the games themselves.

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How has it gone?

"I find it a lot of blathering; I think two hours is long and you repeat yourself," he said. "I grew up when the best NFL pregame shows were Irv Cross (of CBS) and they were a half-hour. You got more content in a half-hour than you get in an hour-and-a-half today."

Hernandez said being in the parking outside Citi Field makes him feel "detached," but he still is enjoying the ride.

"I'm having a good time," he said. "I'm a little tired. I can't wait 'til they win the World Series so I can go to Florida."