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Caught looking: Noah Syndergaard happy with his curveball

Mets flamethrower dials it down this time, focuses more on specific pitches instead of bringing the heat.

Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard throws during a spring

Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard throws during a spring training workout onFeb. 20, 2018, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

JUPITER, Fla. — Noah Syndergaard’s most satisfying pitch Saturday was his last one, a curveball to J.T. Realmuto. The Marlins’ catcher watched it for a called third strike, ending Syndergaard’s day and his second spring training outing after three innings, four strikeouts and one comebacker off his glove.

Syndergaard said it might have been the first time he struck somebody out looking with a curve.

“That tells me it was breaking pretty good,” Syndergaard said. “You’d have to check my facts there. I really don’t know. That was something that I thought. It’s been a long time. I’ve probably struck somebody out on a curveball, but I felt like I was really able to snap that one off.”

As opposed to his debut earlier this week, when he unleashed a series of triple-digit fastballs, Syndergaard this time said he was more structured and deliberate in the way he attacked hitters. He touched 100 mph instead of sitting there.

The only run of the Mets’ 1-0 loss was in the first inning. Syndergaard walked leadoff hitter Braxton Lee, who scored on Justin Bour’s single, which ricocheted off Syndergaard’s glove and into center.

Syndergaard said early on he was toying with specific delivery tweaks — trying to leave his front side closed and lead with his hip, which would give his fastball more deception — and felt like “a racehorse in the gates” with perhaps too much adrenaline.

Of his 44 pitches, Syndergaard threw about half in the first inning. He retired his final seven batters.

“You could say it was more strategic going out there,” Syndergaard said. “I felt really clear-minded. It was a little bit more structured, using my brain a little bit more as opposed to going out there and throwing. It was more pitching.”

Syndergaard noted that he can already feel the benefits of working on his strength and flexibility during the offseason.

“My body has never felt more fluid, under control, athletic,” he said.

Field of screams

Reliever Jerry Blevins said he has taken flak from “everybody” — most of it good-natured — after writing in a recent Sports Illustrated article that “Fields of Dreams” is a bad movie.

“I don’t enjoy it,” Blevins wrote. “And neither do you. You’re just scared of the backlash because you’re supposed to like it! You’re all sheep.”

Extra bases

Righthander AJ Ramos has pitched in three games this spring, all of them against the Marlins, the only other organization he has been with. In three innings, he has allowed one run on three hits and a walk while striking out four. On Saturday, Ramos shared a hug and hello with Marlins manager Don Mattingly on his way out of the ballpark . . . Second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera had a special partner during the Mets’ workout Saturday: his son, Meyer Cabrera. Father and son wore matching “Cabby” and “Mini Cabby” shirseys . . . Outfielder Tim Tebow was excused from camp Saturday to attend his charity golf event near Jacksonville.

New York Sports