|© MLB Advanced Media, L.P. All rights reserved.|
Efficient Syndergaard makes one error07/28/2013 7:47 PM ET
By Jake Seiner / MiLB.com
One day, Noah Syndergaard is going to need to use his changeup.
Sunday was not that day.
The Mets' No. 2 prospect dominated Trenton for the second time this season, and did it primarily with his mid-90 mph fastball. The right-hander made one mistake -- to Slade Heathcott in the first inning -- but was otherwise brilliant, striking out eight over six one-hit innings in Binghamton's 6-1 win.
Syndergaard threw just one changeup -- the 0-1 offering to No. 7 Yankees prospect Heathcott -- in the first inning. The Texas native hung the offspeed pitch, and Heathcott drove it over the fence in right field.
"If it was a better pitch, it would've worked," Syndergaard said. "It was just a changeup left up in the zone.
"It wasn't the best pitch to throw in that situation. Need to work on the changeups. You can't survive in the big leagues with just a fastball."
Syndergaard abandoned the changeup after that, mostly because he didn't need it.
The outing was his second against Trenton this season -- he struck out nine over five innings against the Thunder on June 30. The right-hander survived primarily on his fastball then too. After the homer, Trenton failed to put another runner on base against MLB.com's No. 14 prospect.
Syndergaard ended the first by getting Andrew Clark to fly out to left and proceeded to strike out two hitters in the second, third, fourth and fifth frames. He retired the side in order in the sixth, succeeding with what he described as "extraordinary" fastball command.
"I was able to locate to both sides when I needed to," he said. "My previous outing against them, I felt like the fastball was pretty dominant. … I just decided to stick to that game plan until they proved they could hit it."
The right-hander mixed in a few curveballs against hitters he thought were catching up to his heater. The result was an incredibly efficient outing as Syndergaard threw just 59 pitches -- 47 of them for strikes.
The 20-year-old didn't realize his pitch count was as low as it was and said he thought he came out more over concerns about his innings limit for the season.
"I don't even know what the limit is, but I know I'm throwing more innings than last year," he said. "I think I'm right around 100 innings [99 2/3], and last year, I threw [103 2/3], so I'm on pace with another month to go to continue that progression."
Sunday's start was Syndergaard's seventh in the Eastern League. He's gone at least five innings in every outing except for his July 11 start, when he was limited in anticipation of his Futures Game appearance.
Overall, the right-hander is 4-0 with a 2.25 ERA with Binghamton, accruing 46 strikeouts and just eight walks in 36 innings.
The Mets' No. 5 prospect, Cesar Puello, was 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI to raise his average to .334 and his OPS to .974 for the season. Ryne Hughes also had three hits and drove in three.