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Even on 109th pitch, Noah Syndergaard has plenty left in the tank

Noah Syndergaard of the New York Mets pitches

Noah Syndergaard of the New York Mets pitches in the first inning against the Washington Nationals at Citi Field on Sunday, August 2, 2015. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Even past the 100-pitch plateau, Mets starter Noah Syndergaard reached triple digits on the radar gun Sunday night.

On his final pitch of the game -- No. 109 -- he fired a 100-mph fastball and struck out Nationals star Bryce Harper swinging.

"That last pitch to Bryce, guys came off the field shaking their head," Mets manager Terry Collins said after a 5-2 victory at Citi Field that moved his team into a virtual tie with the Nationals for first place in the NL East.

"Even though it's deep in the game, we know he's tired, his pitch count's up -- he's got the presence, poise and fortitude to say, 'This is going to be the last three pitches I throw tonight; there's going to be a purpose to them.' "

The 6-6, 240-pound Syndergaard allowed two runs and seven hits, walked none and struck out nine in eight innings. Of his 109 pitches, 77 were strikes.

Syndergaard (6-5, 2.66), who threw eight scoreless innings in his last start on Tuesday, has given up eight earned runs in 50 innings in his last seven games, an ERA of 1.44. He has struck out 52 and allowed 31 hits and 10 walks in that span for a 0.82 WHIP.

Syndergaard surrendered a home run to Anthony Rendon on his fifth pitch of the game. Collins said the early setback was something new for Syndergaard and wasn't sure how he would react. The answer? "He just goes about his business," Collins said.

"We've talked through his last four, five starts how fast he's matured. You don't see that very often. He came up here with the big arm and probably not enough credit for his knowledge of how to pitch."

Added Syndergaard: "I'm a big believer that the best pitch in baseball is strike one."

He added, "It's so much fun to be a Met right now. Just the atmosphere we have in the clubhouse. We've got a lot of momentum going to this next series. I think it's going to be a lot of fun to watch."


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