Noah Syndergaard to start opening day, per Mickey Callaway. To buy Jacob deGrom a little more time following delay with back stiffness, he’ll go the second game, despite earning a chance at opening day, Callaway said.— James Wagner (@ByJamesWagner) March 13, 2018
Let’s get real for a moment: It doesn’t matter who starts Opening Day.
Sure, it’s a great honor to be on the hill for the home opener, but I want my frontline starter ready for game 162. If anything, I’m more concerned that Jake is possibly being rushed after a tweaked back derailed his throwing program earlier this spring.
I’ll just have to put some faith in this new training staff that he’s ready to rock. All signs have looked positive since he picked up a ball.
You could make argument that Jason Vargas, a soft-tossing lefty, should’ve been placed in between the two flamethrowers to provide a change of pace, along with a righty-lefty split. But Callaway’s reasoning for going with Noah-Jake is simple, logical, and one I happen to agree with: Putting these two back-to-back should help in taking some strain off the bullpen, at least right out of the gate.
Yes, that can have an adverse effect on the back-end of the rotation. I just refuse to believe that what happened last year would repeat itself. Harvey, Vargas and Matz/Wheeler should hold down the fort just fine to not deplete the pen on the flip side.
Plus, this is Noah freakin’ Syndergaard. This isn’t 2013 with Jon Niese on the mound. Thor is one of the most dominant pitchers in the game. There’s nothing that gets the blood pumping on a cold, bitter March day than seeing Noah light up the radar gun.
Let’s not be upset deGrom isn’t getting the start. Rather let’s focus on the excitement we should have to watch Noah and Jake take the ball (fingers crossed) in back-to-back games all year!
If you're hitting the final home game on Thursday at Citi Field, swing by the Marina Lot to see some friends, maybe meet some new ones, and responsibly wash down your sorrows before heading inside.