Noah Syndergaard throws hard, even when he’s not uncorking a fastball.
The New York Mets right-hander has picked up in 2016 right where he left off last season, using a blazing fastball in the upper 90s as well as a biting breaking ball to dominate major league hitters.
Syndergaard beat the Philadelphia Phillies on Monday night with seven dominant innings, allowing just one run on five hits while striking out eight. Syndergaard now is 2-0 on the young season with at least eight strikeouts in each of his starts and a microscopic 0.90 ERA.
But what was most impressive about his Monday start was the mark Syndergaard was able to leave — literally. Syndergaard “branded” Mets catcher Kevin Plawecki with a pitch after Plawecki blocked it with his chest. The ball bounced up and hit Plawecki’s crucifix under his jersey and chest protector and left an imprint.
The pitch responsible for the branding wasn’t even a fastball, either. That’s not entirely surprising, though. Syndergaard’s slider, according to FanGraphs, averages about 89 mph, while his curveball gets to the plate at about 82 mph.
Plawecki should feel lucky it wasn’t a fastball. According to FanGraphs, Syndergaard’s average fastball is between 96 and 97 mph, hitting as high as 101 mph.
Thumbnail photo via Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports Images