Noah Syndergaard did not get much face time on Facebook’s exclusive webcast of the Mets’ 4-2 victory over the Phillies Wednesday at Citi Field.
Four innings to be exact.
Major League Baseball’s first venture into turning off the television cameras — at the risk of being unfriended from those used to watching on TV — left the players wide open to volumes of chatter, even from miked-up third baseman Todd Frazier. His live comment about Syndergaard on the apparently unedited broadcast to the audience, as tweeted by Newsday’s Neil Best: “It’s crazy . . . Don’t know what he’s throwing or where it’s going.’’
After two starts, Syndergaard is 1-0 with a 5.40 earned run average. In his last start, he gave up two home runs in six innings and struck out 10 on Opening Day. He threw 85 pitches.
On Wednesday he was gone after 92 pitches. He allowed two runs on four hits. He walked two and struck out seven. Five of those strikeouts came in the first two innings.
The third inning was his undoing. After striking out Phillies starter Aaron Nola, Cesar Hernandez singled and went to third on Carlos Santana’s double to right. Nick Williams drove in a run on a groundout to second as Santana went to third. Rhys Hoskins walked and, with Aaron Altherr at the plate, Santana was credited with a steal of home after a pitchout as first baseman Adrian Gonzalez took Kevin Plawecki’s throw and tried to get Santana out at the plate.
It turned out to be a 36-pitch inning. After the fourth, Syndergaard’s was removed. “To be honest, after four innings I had no idea I was at  pitches,’’ he said. “It’s like wham! I was already there. That’s fun.’’
Meaning it wasn’t.
“I felt great out there, just didn’t get the job done as well as I wanted to,’’ he said. “It was just kind of a weird outing. I felt good overall. I only threw two curveballs, but they [expletive]. So I’m going to work on this next rotation getting more comfortable with that curveball. I felt my sinker was moving great. Slider was really good, they really laid off some pretty good pitches . . . I thought my changeup was great. Just kind of a weird outing.’’
The bullpen was nearly flawless as Syndergaard turned out to be the Mets’ least effective pitcher. “To anticipate Noah going only four would have been harder,’’ to imagine, Mickey Callaway said, than the bullpen’s success. “Thirteen pitch [first] inning and then they just ran him deep into counts. Fouling balls off, he had good stuff, he was getting swing and miss, a lot of strikeouts. They did a good job of grinding out at-bats against him. They just never gave in.’’
The Mets are off to Washington for a three-game series against the defending NL East champion Nationals. Syndergaard is not scheduled to pitch, but said of the matchup, “It’s crucial. I mean it’s going to set the pace for the rest of the season with those guys. They’re our rivals, they’re the front runners I feel like, so it’s nice to go out there and give them a little bit of challenge. I think it’s very crucial for us to go out there and attack them.’’