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Battle of the fastballs: Syndergaard to face Fernandez

Noah Syndergaard of the New York Mets throws

Noah Syndergaard of the New York Mets throws in the first inning against the Kansas City Royals at Kauffman Stadium on April 5, 2016 in Kansas City, Mo. Credit: Getty Images/ Ed Zurga

Tuesday night’s Mets-Marlins game pits two of baseball’s hardest- throwing 23-year-olds in Noah Syndergaard and Miami’s Jose Fernandez.

Syndergaard’s fastball averaged 97.1 mph in his rookie season last year, compared with Fernandez’s 95.8 mph.

“It’s going to be exciting to see,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “I say this all the time. When you have a matchup like that, if you’re a baseball fan, you’re going to enjoy it.”

Fernandez has done well against the Mets, posting a 1.64 ERA in 22 innings spanning four starts. Syndergaard never has faced the Marlins.

Missing: strikeouts

For the first time in the major-league career of Matt Harvey, spanning 67 starts, he’s gone consecutive outings with three or fewer strikeouts. But Collins isn’t worried.

“Hopefully we can get our pitchers to not concern themselves too much with strikeouts but making quality pitches so they can get easy outs so they can go deep in the game,” he said. “I can go back to where these guys were striking out 10 or 11 guys but they’re out in the sixth inning because they’ve got 110 pitches.”

Baby alert

Collins said Jacob deGrom left the Mets to be with his wife in Florida because “the baby’s coming.” Major League Baseball rules allow the Mets to place deGrom on paternity leave to gain a substitute player for as many as three games, but Collins said there were no plans to take advantage of that rule just yet.

Extra bases

Yoenis Cespedes was presented his 2015 American League Gold Glove for his excellence in leftfield . . . Don Mattingly has three former Mets on his Marlins coaching staff: third-base coach Lenny Harris (1998, ’00-01), bullpen coach Reid Cornelius (1995) and catching coach Brian Schneider (2008-09).

New York Sports