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Noah Syndergaard doing better job holding runners, even picks one off in Mets’ win

Noah Syndergaard #34 of the New York Mets

Noah Syndergaard #34 of the New York Mets pitches in the second inning against the Arizona Diamondbacks at Citi Field on Sunday. Credit: Jim McIsaac

Noah Syndergaard has had his fair share of trouble slowing the running game, but he flashed some good signs in the Mets’ 4-1 win over the Diamondbacks Sunday at Citi Field.

Arizona had just one steal, by Chris Owings, but catcher Tomas Nido said he bobbled the ball. Syndergaard also caught Paul Goldschmidt straying too far off first, and the Mets got him at second.

“Even the one [Owings] stole on, he was 1.28 [seconds] to home, which is probably about the lowest time we’ve ever gotten on him,” manager Mickey Callaway said of Syndergaard. “He did a great job of holding. He got a pickoff, which was big.

“ . . . I think he’s more and more understanding that he’s got to be able to do that, because you can’t allow them just to steal a base and then some little dinky base hit costs you a run. It’s just part of what an elite pitcher does. He’s really working on it.”

Syndergaard said he was “shocked” after seeing Jarrod Dyson not try to swipe second in one sequence.

“I was like, ‘Well, you must be holding the ball pretty well and varying my times’ [to the plate],” Syndergaard said. “So that’s encouraging.”

Lugo, Gsellman on deck as starters

Seth Lugo and Robert Gsellman are excelling in relief, with Gsellman now the primary setup man. But Callaway said, “You’ll see both of them in the starting rotation at some point . . . I think the average team last year used 11 starters.”

Lugo would be a prime option to replace a struggling or injured starter.

“We’re continually weighing the value of having him in the pen or needing him in the starting rotation,” Callaway said. “. . . For right now, we feel him being in the bullpen probably impacts our team in the best way. But that definitely could change.”


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