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Noah Syndergaard shakes off rough start, says how you react 'separates the men from the boys'

Noah Syndergaard throws during the first inning of

Noah Syndergaard throws during the first inning of the Mets' exhibition game against the Astros on Saturday, March 2, 2019, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Credit: AP/Jeff Roberson

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Noah Syndergaard’s second spring training start was ugly, and he was totally OK with that.

“I always think it’s great to struggle,” said Syndergaard, who walked five of his 13 batters. “It separates the men from the boys, how you react and how you make adjustments. I think that once you start the game, you realize you don’t necessarily have your best stuff, you have to make adjustments and really pitch.”

In 2 2⁄3 innings, Syndergaard struck out four, allowed no hits and limited the damage to one unearned run in the Mets’ 8-7 exhibition loss to the Astros. He said he felt better in the second and third innings, though he walked the bases loaded in the final frame.

Mickey Callaway lifted Syndergaard mid-inning after the righthander reached 51 pitches.

“I was just really out of whack,” Syndergaard said. “My lower half and my upper half weren’t really quite syncing up. Just trying to guide the ball as opposed to just driving it through the mitt.”

Said Callaway, “When it’s something that’s so not typical of a player like that, where he’s scattering the ball around, you don’t really worry about it. It’s just kind of an anomaly in my mind. Because he always throws strikes, and that’s not going to be an issue moving forward.”   

Mets ink Gomez

The Mets finalized a minor-league contract, pending a physical, with 33-year-old outfielder Carlos Gomez on Saturday.

“Another guy that gives us more depth in case anything happens,” Callaway said. “This kid, he’s been a great player. He’s got a lot of enthusiasm. Great on your team. Real high-energy guy that gets things going. We’re glad that he might have a chance to come over here and contribute.”   

Lowrie gives back

Through his work with Project Beisbol, a charity dedicated to providing baseball and softball equipment to Latin American communities, Jed Lowrie is paying for a high-quality prosthetic leg for Jose Mosquera, a 17-year-old from Colombia. Lowrie hosted Mosquera and about a dozen others for a clinic Saturday at First Data Field.

Extra bases

Brandon Nimmo, absent Friday because of a concern that his virus might be contagious, was back at the Mets’ facility to hit and throw. He’ll get back into games — and play defense for the first time in spring training — after a day or two of normal workouts . . . Wilson Ramos (grand slam) and Michael Conforto (solo homer, two RBIs) were the offensive stars on Saturday. The game ended when Rajai Davis was called for interference at second base, turning an apparent tying groundout into a double play.

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