TODAY'S PAPER
Good Morning
Good Morning
SportsBaseballMets

Noah Syndergaard shines, Edwin Diaz struggles as Mets beat White Sox in extras with trade deadline looming

Noah Syndergaard struck out 11 in 7 1/3

Noah Syndergaard struck out 11 in 7 1/3 innings Tuesday night but he ended up with a no-decision when Edwin Diaz blew the save. The Mets won, 5-2, in 11 innings on home runs by Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto, on July 30, 2019, in Chicago.   Credit: Getty Images/Jonathan Daniel

CHICAGO — In the final countdown to baseball’s trade deadline — 4 p.m. Wednesday — the most tangible signals that the Mets were not on the verge of a franchise-altering deal came on the field Tuesday night in the Mets’ 5-2, 11-inning win against the White Sox.

Noah Syndergaard was dominant, striking out 11 and allowing an unearned run in 7 1/3 innings. Edwin Diaz was not, showing little to no control of a fastball that touched 100 mph and manufacturing a Chicago rally with a walk, a hit batsman and two wild pitches.

Had the Mets been close to trading either, he likely would not have pitched. But there were no late scratches, no imminent deals, no real drama — until the ninth inning, when Diaz entered.

In the 11th, Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto blasted back-to-back homers off lefthander Josh Osich to put the Mets ahead for good. Robert Gsellman tossed a second scoreless inning to end it.

For Syndergaard, it was a career-high fourth start in a row lasting at least seven innings. For Diaz, his fifth blown save of the year. For the Mets (51-55), a season-high five-game win streak — and an increasing sense that they aren’t out of contention.

“I hope everyone is still in this clubhouse tomorrow,” Syndergaard said.

The Mets remained active in trade discussions into Tuesday night, but there didn’t appear to be any change from the status quo: A deal of pending free agent Zack Wheeler was most likely, which has been the case for weeks, and although teams were interested in Syndergaard and Diaz, there was no sign those conversations had gotten serious.

Syndergaard said he has had some communication with the front office and believes he will not be traded by the deadline. Dealing with rumors, though, is “getting kind of old,” he said.

Because Syndergaard and Diaz are both under team control beyond this season, the Mets are under no time or contract-based pressure to trade either, free to part with either player only if another team meets their demands. And that hasn’t happened.

For Syndergaard, the asking price is multiple major-league pieces or prospects close to ready for the majors, according to reports. And for Diaz, sources said, it’s multiple top prospects — or as one rival talent evaluator put it, “first born and eight gallons of breast milk.” The Diaz cost is similar to what the Mets gave up — outfielder Jarred Kelenic and pitcher Justin Dunn — last offseason to get Diaz and Robinson Cano from the Mariners.

Already, the Mets have made two significant deals: getting Marcus Stroman from the Blue Jays and sending Jason Vargas to the Phillies. The surprise move of adding Stroman, who isn’t scheduled to be a free agent until after the 2020 season, in particular aligns with general manager Brodie Van Wagenen’s goal of competing for the playoffs next year.

Stroman (2.96 ERA) is penciled in to make his Mets debut Saturday against the Pirates, in what was Vargas’ rotation spot. (The Mets scratched Ervin Santana from his Triple-A Syracuse start Tuesday in case the major-league team needs a starter this week — say, Thursday in place of Wheeler.)

“This kid [Stroman] is an incredible athlete, he’s got a great delivery,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “I love his two-seamer, I think it’s one of the most unique pitches in all of baseball. And it’s going to be fun to watch him compete.”

The addition of Stroman and this hot stretch allows the Mets an alluring option: Keep Wheeler and roll with a starting five of Jacob deGrom, Syndergaard, Wheeler, Stroman and Steven Matz to see what happens. An 11-5 start to the second half has put the Mets on the fringes of contention, five games out of the second National League wild-card spot (with five teams ahead of them).

“It’s obviously a great rotation,” Callaway said. “That’s the kind of rotation that can get you on some pretty big runs.”

Has Callaway lobbied Van Wagenen to go that route? “That’s really not my job,” Callaway said.

“Five games out and two months to play,” Syndergaard said. “Selling would be giving up. But I think we have plenty of opportunity to make a run at this.”

New York Sports