Monday, April 18, 2016

Thor, Wright power Mets to win in Philly

Mets right-hander Noah Syndergaard continues to look superhuman as he cruised in a 5-2 victory over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park on Monday night. Syndergaard's fastball hit 100-101 mph 18 times as he allowed five hits, one run and two walks and struck out eight in seven innings to improve to 2-0 with a 0.90 ERA.
"Everything was clicking," Syndergaard said. "Mechanically, I felt great out there. It just gives you the most amount of confidence in the world."
Back-to-back homers from Lucas Duda and Neil Walker in the eighth and David Wright's solo shot in the ninth -- his second dinger of the game -- gave the Mets some late breathing room. New York is looking for a little payback after dropping two of three to the Phillies earlier this month at Citi Field.
"We are a team that's built on power, and when we hit homers, we win games," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Tonight, we hit homers."
Phillies right-hander Jerad Eickhoff battled Syndergaard through seven innings, allowing two runs on five hits and three walks and striking out nine. He is 1-4 in five career starts against the Mets, but he has posted a 2.81 ERA against New York as the Phillies have scored just four runs for him when he has been in those games.
Thor again dominant: What's incredible to consider is that Syndergaard's third start of the season may actually have been his least dominant. It's all relative: The Mets' rising star struck out eight Phillies over seven innings to reclaim the Major League lead with 29 in three outings. He held the Phillies to five hits, one of them an RBI single from Odubel Herrera. Outside of that, Syndergaard was once again all but unhittable.
"I'm going to go out there and give them my best stuff, my best fastball," Syndergaard said, "and see if they can hit it."
Back-to-back: Two innings after putting the Mets ahead for good with an RBI double off Eickhoff, Duda whacked a solo homer off David Hernandez off the second deck in right field.Statcast™ projected it to land 421 feet away after zooming off Duda's bat at 111.6 mph for his second-hardest-hit ball of the season. Not to be outdone, Walker followed with his team-leading fourth homer to left to give the Mets a 4-1 lead.
Pete ball: Phillies manager Pete Mackanin knew his team would struggle to score runs this season, so he stressed the need to manufacture as many runs as possible. The Phillies followed this approach when they scored their only run against Syndergaard in the third.Freddy Galvis doubled, stole third and scored on a soft single to left field from Herrera to tie the game, 1-1.
"We tried to take advantage of that," Mackanin said of Syndergaard's slow delivery to the plate. "You try to steal off of him. He's slow to the plate. But we didn't really have enough baserunners to make that a big issue."
Road sweet road: No visiting player has hit more home runs in Citizens Bank Park history than Wright, whose 21st career long ball here came in the first inning off Eickhoff. It was vintage Wright: a drive to right-center on a 2-2 fastball that caught too much plate, giving him both his first home run and first RBI of the season. Eight innings later, Wright added a second opposite-field solo shot -- his 22nd career homer in Philadelphia -- off Elvis Araujo.
"I think that's one of my strengths is going the other way," Wright said. "So when I am seeing the ball well, when I am on time, I can take that pitch that's middle and middle-away and hit it the other way. I am [able] to hit the ball to center field, to right-center."
"When you used to play videogames as a kid, if you build the player that you want to build, put all the abilities up to like max 10, he's that guy." -- Wright, on Syndergaard
No visiting player has even come close to Wright's 22 career homers at Citizens Bank Park. Next on the list is Carlos Beltran, who has hit 14 homers at the ballpark, which opened in 2004.
Mets: On Tuesday, Logan Verrett will make what should be his final start in place of Jacob deGrom, who has been in Florida caring for his newborn son. Verrett blanked the Marlins over six innings in his first spot start last week but threw only 85 pitches. Expect him to be good for another dozen or so on top of that in a 7:05 p.m. ET rematch against the Phillies.
Phillies: Vince Velasquez has been nothing short of brilliant in his first two starts this season. He makes his third Tuesday night at 7:05 ET against the Mets at Citizens Bank Park. Velasquez struck out 16 and walked zero in a shutout Thursday against the Padres. He pitched six scoreless innings, striking out nine, against the Mets at Citi Field on April 9.

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