Despite struggling with his command early, Noah Syndergaard came out of Sunday’s rehabilitation start with the short-season Class A Brooklyn Cyclones pleased and healthy.
“It was great. I still had those first-time jitters like I always do,” said Syndergaard, who hasn’t pitched for the Mets in six weeks. “I didn’t think I was going to mix in a strike for a while in the first inning, but overall the finger was holding up nice, feels good and I can’t wait to get back out there in a big-league setting.”
Syndergaard threw 71 pitches (46 strikes) in five innings. He allowed two hits, one walk and one earned run, struck out seven and got a no-decision in the Cyclones’ 2-1 victory over the Staten Island Yankees at MCU Park.
He last appeared on a major-league mound with the Mets on May 25 in Milwaukee. He was placed on the 10-day disabled list with a right index finger strain May 29 (retroactive to May 26).
Syndergaard walked the first batter of the game, Alex Junior, on four pitches and allowed a sharp single to right later in the inning. With two outs, he uncorked a wild pitch that allowed a run to score. He finished the inning with 22 pitches (10 strikes).
He allowed one hit the rest of the way, retiring 12 of the final 15 batters he faced.
So when will Syndergaard return to pitch for the Mets? The answer is to be determined. “I am going to go to the ballpark tomorrow and re-evaluate where we are,” he said.
Syndergaard was expected to start against Yankees ace Luis Severino on June 10, but his index finger swelled up after he played catch earlier in the week and he was scratched from the start.
Was he concerned about his finger swelling up this time around? “No,” he said.
In 11 starts before the injury, Syndergaard went 4-1 with a 3.06 ERA, 1.18 WHIP and 76 strikeouts in 64 2⁄3 innings.
Despite being unable to pitch the last six weeks for a struggling Mets team, Syndergaard remains optimistic.
“You have to just take it day by day and come to the ballpark, remain positive,” he said. “That’s the main thing in the clubhouse right now, there’s still a lot of positivity, a lot of good energy coming from all the guys, and it’s still a lot of fun to come to the ballpark . . . I felt like today was a positive and a step in the right direction.”