A-Ball Sunday: All About Noah Syndergaard’s Best Start of 2013

A+: St. Lucie Mets 9, @ Tampa Yankees 2 

Syndergaard Head ST '13Noah Syndergaard was excellent: 7 IP, 5 H, 1 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. Apparently, it was the first time he’s thrown seven innings since high school. One of the major reasons that the Mets like their six-man rotations is that they can let their pitchers throw more pitches in any single game.

St. Lucie Pitching Coach Phil Regan told MiLB.com,

“Today, he really located his fastball really well over both sides of the plate. Kept the ball down and was pretty much in command of all his pitches,” St. Lucie pitching coach Phil Regan said. “He also had two strikeouts on curveballs and two on changeups, and these are the things we have been working on.

He’s throwing mid-90s gas too. His last two starts, both on the road: 13 IP, 8 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 3 BB, 11 K.

25-year-old Robbie Shields, who’s spending his fourth season with St. Lucie was 4-for-5 with two doubles.

A: @ Savannah Sand Gnats 3, West Virginia Power (PIT) 2


The Gnats won their sixth straight thanks to a nice day from 3B Cole Frenzel. Frenzel, the Mets’ 6th round pick out of Arizona, either scored or drove home each of the three Gnats’ runs. With two down in the ninth, he saved the teams from extra-innings with a single to left that drove home C Kevin Plawecki, who had been hit by a pitch to start the game-winning rally.

Plawecki was also 1-for-4 with a double, his league-leading 12th.

Matt Koch, who had been piggy-backing behind Logan Taylor in the Gnats’ rotation got to make his first start of 2013 with Taylor on the sheld with a strained oblique. His line: 3.2 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K. Both runs he allowed were in the first. With one out and the bases clear, SS Philip Evans dropped a grounder that should have been the second out for his ninth error of the year in his 22nd game. The next three batters all singled to produce the runs. Koch still relies heavily on his fastball. He throws hard (usually 93ish) but his command is spotty. I’d like to see more of the slider and changeup before writing about them.

Evans has had a rough April (.182/.264/.221 with nine errors) in 22 games.

Like so many minor league Sunday afternoon games this one had a slow feel. Both teams had failed to turn a doubleplay that lead to a run for the opposite side. The Gnats trailed from the first through the eighth inning despite drawing eight walks. It was only a close game because Savannah was 2-for-15 with runners in scoring position. The Gnats lead the SAL in OBP and walks drawn and thus have been generating lots of baserunners. It was an unsurprising comeback against a walk-prone West Virginia pitching staff.

The play before Frenzel’s game-winning single was unusual too. With Plawecki at first, C Jeff Glenn, swung and broke his bat. Both the bat head and ball traveled toward WV 3B Eric Wood. Wood got a little confused (?) and froze, and the bat looked like it hit him in the shoulder. It was a glancing blow and he stayed in the game and did not even require his trainer’s assistance.

Daily Nimmo
CF Brandon Nimmo is in the midst of his first slump of the year. He was 0-for-4 with a HBP Sunday and is now 1-for-23 with 10 strikeouts in his last six games to slip to .337/.437/.453 overall in 22 games.

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