Noah Syndergaard's inconsistency continues to baffle Mets

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<a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="/mlb/players/9597/" data-ylk="slk:Noah Syndergaard">Noah Syndergaard</a>'s inconsistent season continued on Friday night. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)
Noah Syndergaard's inconsistent season continued on Friday night. (AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

NEW YORK — On Friday night, Noah Syndergaard was battling both his mechanics and his mind.

In each case, he lost.

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So too, did the Mets.

Syndergaard allowed six runs on 10 hits — including two more homers — and the Mets’ winning streak ended at four following their 9-8 loss to the Detroit Tigers at Citi Field.

The 26-year-old righty has now surrendered 10 homers in 2019 (69.1 innings) — already one more than he gave up all of last season (154.1 IP) — and his ERA stands at an unsightly 4.93.

“Pitching’s really freaking annoying sometimes,” said Syndergaard, who left to a mixture of boos and applause when his manager, Mickey Callaway, took the ball with one out and two on in the sixth inning.

“It kinda reminds me of my golf swing a little bit. One day you go out there and you feel like you have it figured out, then you go out there the next day and feel like you’re just repeating yourself but not getting the results you want.”

Syndergaard — the team’s No. 2 starter behind Jacob deGrom heading into the 2019 campaign — has been a model of inconsistency all season.

“I think tonight he felt like his mechanics were a little off,” Callaway said. “Saw him down there kinda fiddling with his mechanics in between innings. Just a tough game for him.”

The frustrating part is that Syndergaard has the type of weapons and plus velocity to dominate each time out. But he hasn’t been able to find his slider all season, and it has him out of whack and overthinking, according to one evaluator.

In 2016, opponents hit .165 against Syndergaard’s slider, according to brooksbaseball.net. But this season, they came into Friday night’s game hitting .263 against the pitch.

“He used to be so good at pitching backwards — using his off-speed stuff and finishing with the fastball late,” the evaluator said.

Right-handed hitters have particularly feasted on Syndergaard. He has already allowed eight homers to righties in 2019 after allowing only 20 to them in his entire career heading into the season.

On Friday night, righty JaCoby Jones blasted a misplaced sinker from Syndergaard 447 feet for a two-run shot in the second, while fellow righty Miguel Cabrera took advantage of a hanging slider for a 386-foot solo shot in the fifth.

As he was warming up before facing Cabrera — with the Mets having turned a 4-0 deficit into a 5-4 lead — Syndergaard said the thought crept into his mind, “Don’t give up the lead.”

“You don’t want to have that kind of mentality,” said Syndergaard, who noted that his front side kept flying open mechanically. “You want to go out there and continue to throw pitches with a lot of conviction and throw competitive pitches, and I didn’t do a very good job of that tonight.”

So it goes for the Mets, who have also had to deal with inconsistency from deGrom and Zack Wheeler.

But Syndergaard has been the most baffling of them all — allowing at least five runs in five of his 11 starts.

“It’s pretty high,” Syndergaard said of his frustration level. “Just about as normal as anyone when it comes to riding this rollercoaster. It would’ve been real nice to get five (wins) in a row. But I’m going to take full responsibility for this loss tonight because I didn’t get the job done.”

It’s happened far too often.

And Noah Syndergaard has given no indication that’s going to change anytime soon.

“As far as Noah kinda going back and forth at times, we’re battling consistency," Callaway said. “We’ve got to be more consistent with that.”

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