New York Mets 5, St. Louis Cardinals 5; Noah Syndergaard Dazzles Again

The New York Mets extended their spring win-less streak to eight games on Friday, but Thor shined bright.

    • New York Mets 5 (7-13)
    • St. Louis Cardinals 5 (8-11)
    • Grapefruit League, Final, Box Score
    • Tradition Field, Port St. Lucie, FLA

By Jeremy Fialkow

Harvey Day? What Day? Who day? What’s that? You’re confused.

With sophomore prodigy Noah Syndergaard on the hill for the New York Mets, Friday became Thorrrrrsday.

Each and every additional game Thor appears in, Mets fans begin to question more and more which of their aces really has the highest ceiling. Today was no different.

Syndergaard faced the St. Louis Cardinals “A-team,” which is always fun for baseball fans, and terrifying for New York’s opposition. No surprise, he was downright filthy, gunning pitches that topped out at 101 mph and mowing down Cardinal batters in the process. Not too shabby.

His fastballs made rival starter Michael Wacha’s look like meatballs. That makes sense when you’re striking out 9 of the first 18 batters you face, like Syndergaard did.

Thor’s final line: 6.0 IP, 5 hits, 2 ER, 9 Ks.

At this point in spring training, with Opening Night less than a fortnight away, his ERA is sitting at 2.04.

Thorsday’s game also marked the return of new Cardinal shortstop Ruben Tejada. He signed with St. Louis after an abrupt release from New York.

Sure, Tejada is no legend, but he did land two singles against Syndergaard. Thus, continuing the apparent trend of former Mets players playing better in a different uniform.

Then again, Tejada also made a bad error on an in-between hop, so, we’re glad he’s gone.

Good News: Shortstop prospect Matt Reynolds had himself a day, playing easily his best game at short and at the plate this spring. Reynolds, displaying a keen eye at the plate, had a pair of run-scoring singles in the second and fourth innings.

He batted in a run in each of his three at-bats and finished 2-3 with 3 RBIs.

Better News: The Mets’ ‘project’ for this season is 24-year-old Wilmer Flores. New York’s coaching staff is attempting to turn Flores into an everything-infield utility man.

Today’s game was a big step in the right direction for Flores, as he started at first base for the first time in Grapefruit League play. Per ESPN’s Adam Rubin, Flores has never appeared in an MLB game at first, but appeared in 30 MiLB contests as one.

He looked very smooth manning the bag. In part, thanks to ’86 World Champion Met (and Cardinal) Keith Hernandez, who’s been taking time out of the SNY broadcasting booth to give Wilmer some much needed tips at first.

Bad News: Neil Walker singled twice today, raising his average this preseason from .129 to a blistering .171. Neil, if you could hit to go along with your solid infield play, that’d be great!

Slightly Worse News: The National League champion’s breakout closer Jeurys Familia blew the save in ninth inning, after inheriting a two run lead to work with.

First, Randal Grichuk took him deep to cut the lead to 4-3. Later, Jedd Gyorko doubled home the tying run. Finally, with the bases loaded, Familia walked home the potential winning run, trying to do his part in extending New York’s spring futility streak to 8 games.

Luckily, the Mets saved-face by tying the game 5-5 in the bottom half of the ninth. Still, they are winless in eight-straight spring ballgames.

I wouldn’t worry.

The Mets head over to Champion Stadium in Kissimmee, FL on Saturday to play some meaningless divisional baseball against the Braves. First pitch is scheduled for 1:05 pm ET. You can catch the game at MLB.TV.

 

NEXT: Syndergaard Staring Adds Perfect Drama

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