SAN DIEGO — At 6-6, 240 pounds, and with a body that takes a bit of time to unleash 100-mph fastballs, it’s entirely possible that controlling the running game will never be a strength for Noah Syndergaard.
Nevertheless, the Mets need him to be better than he was in his last outing, when he allowed five stolen bases.
Though pitching coach Dan Warthen called the performance an “anomaly,” he nonetheless told Syndergaard that a repeat would be unacceptable.
With Syndergaard slated to start against the Padres tonight, Warthen said he has proposed only simple adjustments rather than major changes. Instead of having him adopt a slide step — which many pitchers fear can interfere with mechanics — Warthen has asked Syndergaard to simply pick up his leg faster when starting his delivery with runners on base. “I just told him to be quicker,” Warthen said.
Even without runners on base, Warthen has encouraged Syndergaard to pick up the pace between pitches, mostly because it might encourage him to work faster when he must mind runners.
Runners swiped 15 bases in 16 attempts with Syndergaard on the mound last year. Through five starts this year, it’s 12-for-13. Against Syndergaard, base-stealers have a 92 percent success rate, far above the league average of 30 percent.
For big-league catchers to have a chance to throw out a runner at second base, a pitcher generally must deliver the pitch in 1.3 seconds. In his last start, Syndergaard’s times were closer to 1.5 seconds.
Said Warthen: “It’s just gotten away from him a little bit.”
n More time for Edgin?
Lefthanded reliever Josh Edgin’s rehab assignment from Tommy John surgery will wrap up on Sunday, but manager Terry Collins hinted yesterday that Edgin’s stay at Triple-A Las Vegas could last a bit longer.
Said Collins, “We’ve got to get his velocity up a little bit.”