Noah Syndergaard came out firing in his Spring Training debut, striking out a pair in two scoreless innings while hitting 99 on the radar gun. After the game, Noah made note of an old approach he’s looking to bring back this season.
Noah Syndergaard breaks down his spring debut, in which he hit 99 mph against the Astros: pic.twitter.com/6RX8fmr9ml— Anthony DiComo (@AnthonyDiComo) February 25, 2019
"Yeah, I fell in love with the two-seamer last year," Syndergaard told reporters Monday, "just because it's an artsy pitch. It's cool when you harness it, but sometimes if you've got a little tweak in your mechanics the two-seamer might move way too early and so it just ends up drifting to the middle of the plate."
"So, yeah, I just want to establish myself with the four-seamer. It was encouraging to see some swings and misses against my four-seamer today."
If you’re wondering what exactly Noah is referencing, this is what it looked like when he lost control of his two-seamer last season.
Thor, Ridiculous 97 MPH Fastball movement. 😂😱 pic.twitter.com/aOOLGC3tkz— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) April 15, 2018
Yeah, that looks like a wiffleball coming in. The thing about throwing a wiffleball is that you only have a broad idea of where the ball is going to end up, but damn is it fun when you throw it just right. I can't blame the guy for trying all year to master it.
Now I’m ready for Thor to return. That’s the last time I ever want to hear Syndergarrd use the word “artsy” when referring to his arsenal. I’m ready for “meet me 60 ft, six inches” Syndergaard to take his mound back.
I’m not saying I need Syndergaard throwing every pitch at 110% with his sights set on striking out every single batter. I also don’t need him taking a finesse approach either. Power is his strength and his power pitching style is what has brought him so much early-career success. If Syndergaard takes back the inner half of the plate with his four-seamer, the rest of his repertoire will take care of the rest. That's where his two-seamer would excel as a secondary option.
It’s as simple as that in my eyes for a successful 2019 campaign.
About 2019, Syndergaard likes this squad.
"The thought of approaching this 2019 season as a whole, it gives me goosebumps," Syndergarrd would later add. "It gets me excited, brings me back to that feeling we had in 2015. It's tough to describe with words, but there's a lot of excitement. A lot of guys are holding each other accountable, pulling for one another, trying to make each of us the best baseball players we can be."
And with that, I’ve got goosebumps thinking about Noah’s performance throughout the 2015 playoffs and what returning to that mentality with a more mature Syndergaard could mean this season.