Noah Syndergaard vs. Sean Newcomb. On paper, it’s wise to be concerned about the outcome. But, Newcomb ever-so-slightly — Games Scores 54 to 53 — out-pitched Thor. Newcomb’s ERA through 4 starts has been a little better — 4.32 last year down to 3.74 this year — but his peripherals have improved across the board through the young season. His K/9 has increased significantly from 9.72 in 19 starts last year to 11.22 so far this year. Home runs are down a tick — .90 to .83 — though that can have a huge sample size swing. And the walk rate is down a little (5.13/9 to 4.57). All told, his 3.37 FIP is second amongst the four starters who have made their way through 4 times. His K rate is tops along with his HR rate. So, really, we’re all good with Newcomb right now.
But once again, you’re facing Thor, so the league’s best offense could only push across 3 runs through 6. The real problem came when the Mets’ bullpen shut the Braves down for 6 innings. The Braves mustered 1 hit, 3 walks, and 6 K’s through the last 6 innings of the game. They’re now 1-4, and the offense goes into Hibernation Mode when they get into extras, it seems. One of the few weaknesses of this team so far. Ryan Flaherty was the only guy to contribute a multi-hit game, though Ozzie Albies destroyed a 99 mph fastball from Thor for a no-doubter home run. In 499 PAs, last year’s predominant second baseman Brandon Phillips produced 1.5 fWAR. Through only 89 PAs, Ozhaino’s got your back to a cool 1 fWAR. So let’s play Fun With WAR: if Ozzie compiles 600 PAs, he’d produce 6.7 fWAR if he kept pace. He probably won’t, but that’s why it’s just for fun.
The bullpen threw 4 straight scoreless innings until the 12th. Dan Winkler actually struck out the side, and looked dominant doing it. Josh Ravin, recently called up to replace Luke Sims, hit the pitcher’s jersey, thus awarding him 1st base. Rosario bunted him over, then Frazier popped up. So the pitcher was on second with two outs. Instead of walking Yoenis Cespedes, who, admittedly, has been struggling, they pitch to him and he singles softly to right in the vacated second base spot. Asdrubel Cabrera then doubles to plate the second run, but that was already more than enough.
Oh well. These guys won’t score 7 a game every time. Let’s get them today.