No one is more susprised by Noah Syndergaard's consistency at Double-A than the man himself.
The Mets top prospect tied a career high with 10 strikeouts over five innings and improved to 6-0 in the Eastern League as Binghamton blanked New Britain, 1-0, on Friday night.
"I've kinda shocked myself, I didn't realize I'd be this consistent with the results I've had," Syndergaard said after his third consecutive scoreless outing. "I'm really happy, very satisfied with how things have gone."
The right-hander, who turns 21 on Aug. 29, held the Rock Cats to two singles and a double and did not walk a batter in his 10th start since moving up from the Florida State League. He also fanned 10 for Class A Advanced St. Lucie on June 16 against Brevard County.
"I felt pretty good, had everything working. My fastball had a little extra giddy-up and late life in the zone. I threw some unintentional cutters," Syndergaard said. "My curve was pretty solid and I played off my changeup once hitters started to get on my fastball."
Syndergaard (6-0) worked around a leadoff single by Danny Santana by striking out two in the first inning and survived another single and a wild pitch in the second. He fanned one in a perfect third, struck out the side around Reynaldo Rodriguez's two-out double in the fourth and whiffed two more in a 1-2-3 fifth.
"I wasn't keeping track of the strikeouts, I just go out there and execute my pitches," he said after throwing 48 of 66 pitches for strikes.
Syndergaard said the Mets will skip him in the rotation and he will make his next start on Aug. 28 as he closes in on an innings limit. With Binghamton closing in on the Eastern Division title, he expects to be available for the postseason.
The 38th overall pick in the 2010 Draft has been a nightmare for Eastern League opponents lately, working at least five scoreless innings in each of his last three starts. Before that, he held Trenton to one run on one hit over six innings on July 13. And in his 10 starts with Binghamton, Syndergaard has given up two earned runs or fewer nine times.
Friday also was the fifth straight start in which the Texas native has issued one walk or fewer. Since his promotion, he's 6-0 with 1.59 ERA and 64 strikeouts over 51 innings.
Syndergaard recently added two things: a changeup that he's selectively been working into his starts and his status as the Mets top prospect.
"I used it tonight when it was necessary. That was big a key of mine, to develop that pitch," he said of the changeup. "My fastball will get the majority of the hitters out in Double-A, but I can't survive off that in the Majors. I need to be able to throw all my pitches for strikes at any time in the counts.
"My changeup was on point tonight. There was a few I wasn't happy with, but most were all down in the zone and I was able to maintain my arm speed pretty well."
The right-hander didn't have much to work with offensively as the B-Mets scored the game's only run in the third on Forsythe's leadoff homer off New Britain starter Cole De Vries (0-2).
"I don't pay attention to the score, I just go out there and execute and try to give my team the best chance to win," Syndergaard said. "The bullpen did a superb job."
Ryan Fraser replaced Syndergaard and pitched two innings before Chasen Bradford and Jeff Walters worked an inning apiece to close out Binghamton's 12th shutout. Walters struck out two to earn his Minor League-leading 35th save.
Noah Syndergaard, last 10 games
Syndergaard began the year with St. Lucie, where he went 3-3 with a 3.11 ERA and 64 strikeouts over 63 2/3 innings in a dozen starts. The Mets acquired him last December in the trade involving Cy Young Award winner R.A. Dickey. He was 8-5 with a 2.60 ERA in 27 games last season for Class A Lansing.
"There's a lot of season left to go. Hopefully, we can get some momentum heading into the playoffs," Syndergaard said. "Hopefully, I can contribue and bring a ring home to Binghamton."