Noah Syndergaard dominates Dodgers on mound, hits two home runs

first_imgNo, you don’t. And there were no signs of impending eruption from Syndergaard.Coming into the game, the Mets right-hander was 0 for 8 with six strikeouts this season and had nine hits (including one home run) and 32 strikeouts in 51 major-league plate appearances. But he took Maeda deep when he led off the third inning, jumping on a first-pitch fastball and sending it 400-plus feet over the wall in right-center field.Corey Seager matched that for the Dodgers in the bottom half of the inning and Yasmani Grandal gave the Dodgers a 2-1 lead when he returned the favor to Syndergaard, jumping on his first-pitch fastball in the fourth inning and sending it into the right-field pavilion.But this would be the worst start since Maeda joined the Dodgers. He hit Eric Campbell with a pitch to start the fifth inning and walked Rene Rivera to put two runners on for Syndergaard.Notwithstanding his third-inning home run, Mets manager Terry Collins asked Syndergaard to bunt the runners over. But the count got to 2-2 without Syndergaard getting a bunt down.“It crossed my mind (to just let him hit away from the start of the at-bat),” Collins said. “I had him bunt. Then I had him hit a homer.”Great strategy. Syndergaard crushed a slider down and away from Maeda, clearing the fence in left-center for a three run home run that left Maeda visibly stunned on the mound.“For the pitcher to hit a breaking ball, backdoor, down and away and hit it out of the ballpark — you probably won’t see that again all year,” Roberts said. “I was in disbelief.”Other than the Seager and Grandal home runs, the Dodgers managed just four more hits in eight innings off Syndergaard. After Carl Crawford’s two-out single in the fourth inning, the next 11 Dodgers went down before Seager dropped a soft single into center field with one out in the eighth. A double-play ball nipped that in the bud.The Dodgers did push across another run against Mets closer Jeurys Familia. But since ending a three-game series in Colorado with a five-run ninth inning rally on April 24, they have lost 10 of 15 games with a lineup that has hit .218 and averaged 3.1 runs per game.They had just one at-bat with a runner in scoring position against Syndergaaard (Grandal struck out to end the first inning and strand runners at the corners) and have hit .150 (15 for 100) in those situations over the past 15 games.“There were some balls hit hard tonight that we didn’t have anything to show for,” Roberts said. “The idea was to get balls up in the zone and give ourselves a chance. We weren’t giving at-bats away by swinging at balls in the dirt. I thought we competed well tonight.“When you look at Maeda vs. Syndergaard, you’re thinking low-scoring game. But you don’t expect Syndergaard to hit two home runs.” Oh, sure. Bartolo Colon hits a home run and now every pitcher thinks he can do it.Nicknamed for the Norse god of thunder — Thor — lightning struck twice for Noah Syndergaard. He hit two home runs at Dodger Stadium on Wednesday night, providing all of his own offense in a 4-3 victory as the New York Mets beat the Dodgers.Syndergaard became the first pitcher with a multi-homer game since Micah Owings did it for the Arizona Diamondbacks at Turner Field in Atlanta on Aug. 18, 2007.• PHOTOS: Syndergaard does it all for Mets “That this is a dream. It’s not real,” Syndergaard said when asked what he thought as his second home run cleared the fence. “I don’t think I ever hit two home runs when I played Little League. To be able to hit two home runs in a big-league ballgame — especially with a pitcher like (Kenta) Maeda out there — is an awesome experience.”It wasn’t quite the same Maeda who transitioned easily into the major leagues in April. He didn’t retire a batter in the sixth inning, giving up two hits before he was pulled for the shortest outing of his nascent Dodgers career.After giving up just one run in 25 1/3 innings over his first four starts, Maeda has given up 10 runs in 17 2/3 innings over his past three (all losses for the Dodgers).“He wasn’t as sharp as he has been with his fastball command or his breaking-ball sharpness,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He still found a way to limit damage outside of that (Syndergaard’s two home runs).“The No. 9 hitter hit two home runs, drove in four runs. You don’t expect that. You don’t see that every day.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img