October 9, 2018 at 6:06 am #136
Noah Syndergaard was back on the mound for the New York Mets and made it clear he wants to stay.
With his name bandied about in trade talk ahead of the July 31 deadline Geoff Swaim Jersey , Syndergaard pitched out of trouble during a rusty return from the disabled list and helped himself with an RBI single as New York beat the Washington Nationals 4-2 on Friday night.
”If they wanted to trade me tomorrow, I really have no say in what they do,” Syndergaard said. ”I can’t say it enough – love my time being a New York Met. I love the city, I love embracing it, I think they’ve embraced me.
”I said last year I wanted to be a Met my entire career. But like I said, that’s outside of my control.”
Amed Rosario tripled and doubled, both times over Bryce Harper’s head in center field, and the Mets won for only the sixth time in their last 26 home games. Brandon Nimmo had three hits for New York, which built a three-run cushion in the first inning against struggling starter Tanner Roark.
Matt Adams homered for the inconsistent Nationals, who went 1 for 12 with runners in scoring position and fell back to .500 at 47-47.
After missing seven weeks with a strained ligament in his right index finger, Syndergaard (5-1) came out firing 99 mph fastballs. But he gave up seven hits in five innings and never retired the leadoff batter.
Still, the 2016 All-Star held the Nationals to one run while striking out three and walking two.
”I thought he was really good,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said. ”He did a tremendous job.”
Wilmer Difo made things easier on New York by running into the first out of the third inning at third base. Syndergaard then retired Anthony Rendon and struck out Harper with two on to limit damage.
”I felt pretty good,” Syndergaard said. ”A step in the right direction. It’s encouraging. I came out of it healthy and that’s all that matters.”
Difo had doubled to drive in Roark, who opened the inning with the first triple by a Washington pitcher since Joel Hanrahan in 2007.
Syndergaard also got Harper to ground into an inning-ending double play with two aboard in the fifth. Perhaps frustrated after hitting the ball hard right to Rosario at shortstop Womens Jordan Reed Jersey , Harper didn’t hustle down the line.
”That’s a conversation that Bryce and I will have tomorrow. Yeah, he didn’t run that ball out the way I want him to,” Nationals manager Dave Martinez said. ”Look, I’ve got no beef with Bryce. I mean, Bryce comes every day to play.”
Syndergaard, making his first major league start since May 25, was pulled after 75 pitches. The right-hander threw 71 in a rehab outing Sunday for Class A Brooklyn.
”It felt great getting back out there today in a competition setting and on a big league mound,” he said. ”It’s a funny thing with fingers. Kind of need those, pretty important to pitch. I’m just happy to be back out there and healthy.”
Seth Lugo overcame a wild start to his relief outing and worked two hitless innings. Robert Gsellman gave up Adams’ second-deck shot in the eighth but got six outs for his fourth save.
Roark (3-12) settled in after a rough start but allowed four runs and eight hits in five innings. He and Baltimore right-hander Alex Cobb are tied for the most losses in the majors.
Roark has lost his last five starts and is 0-6 since beating Tampa Bay on June 6. Washington has dropped his past seven starts and nine of the last 10.
”Keep going, keep plugging away, keep fighting and scratching – whatever it takes,” said Roark, who gave up singles to his first three batters. ”We battled today. Tough loss.”
Jose Bautista and Devin Mesoraco each had an RBI single in the first, sandwiched around Wilmer Flores‘ sacrifice fly. Rosario tripled off the center-field wall to open the second and scored when a smiling Syndergaard lined a single to right field.
”I think I surprised myself a little bit,” Syndergaard said.
Nationals: RHP Koda Glover is scheduled to pitch Saturday for Class A Potomac after his rehab assignment was moved up from the rookie-level Gulf Coast League. The reliever has been sidelined all season by right shoulder tendinitis and will probably require eight or nine appearances before he’s ready to come off the disabled list Darius Leonard Jersey , Martinez said.
Mets: OF Yoenis Cespedes (right hip flexor) ran the bases at the team’s complex in Florida and was scheduled to do so again Friday, according to Callaway. ”He came out of it really good. He feels good and is progressing,” Callaway said. Cespedes has been out since mid-May. … LHP Jason Vargas (strained right calf) is set to make another rehab start for Brooklyn on Saturday.
To open a spot for Syndergaard, the Mets optioned LHP P.J. Conlon to Triple-A Las Vegas.
Nationals RHP Austin Voth makes his major league debut Saturday against Zack Wheeler (2-6, 4.42 ERA) and the Mets. The 26-year-old Voth, a fifth-round draft pick in 2013 out of Washington, was 4-5 with a 3.55 ERA at Triple-A Syracuse. Wheeler, pitching in some poor luck, is 0-5 over 13 outings since his last win April 29 at San Diego. That’s the longest stretch without a win for a Mets starter since 1998. The right-hander is 2-8 in 11 career starts against Washington, including 0-6 with a 5.71 ERA in six games at home.
Joel Bitonio doesn’t know if he’ll play left tackle or guard in Sunday’s opener.
“I just do what I’m told,” he said.
No one has told him anything.
Cleveland’s offensive line remains in limbo 鈥?and mysterious 鈥?just days ahead of a Week 1 matchup with the rival Pittsburgh Steelers. Coach Hue Jackson, who last week said he may shift the left side again, refused to disclose any plans following Monday’s practice.
“Right now, it is the way that is has been,” said Jackson Authentic Adrian Peterson Jersey , who slid Bitonio from guard to tackle during training camp. “Nothing has changed in that way. We have a week. We do not play until Sunday. We are going to figure it out and put the best five guys out there.”
Jackson said he “has a pretty good idea” of what he wants to do, but he’s not ready to share his strategy publicly 鈥?or, it seems, with his players.
Bitonio laughed when asked if he’s still a left tackle.
“That’s a good question,” he said. “I think coach is going to come back Wednesday and give us a definite answer. I’m ready for both, though. Whatever they put me at, I’m ready to go and play some football finally.”
The Browns knew left tackle would be a major issue after 10-time Pro Bowler Joe Thomas retired in March. The team gave former right tackle Shon Coleman and rookie Austin Corbett a crack at taking Thomas’ old spot before switching to Bitonio, who did well during three exhibition games at a position he hadn’t played since college.
Now, Bitonio might go back to guard and replace Corbett with undrafted rookie Desmond Harrison starting at tackle.
It’s hardly an ideal scenario to be so unsettled this close to the opener.
“I wouldn’t say it’s awkward,” Bitonio said. “I think it’s just trying to get the best five guys out there and it’s taking a little more time than we would have hoped.”
The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Harrison has emerged as an option in recent weeks following a solid camp. Harrison played at Texas before sitting out two seasons and transferring to West Georgia.
“He has improved,” Jackson said. “It gives you another option to look through to see who are the best five guys to put out there 鈥?him, (OL Gregg) Robinson. Robinson has improved. I have seen a lot of good things over the last week and a half. My job is to make sure that we put the best players out there, period. Whatever position it is, that is what we are supposed to do. In those situations Roman Josi Jersey , that is what we are going to do.”
Bitonio said Harrison is the team’s most athletic lineman.
“He can move, man,” Bitonio said. “He’s athletic. He has the length. He has the size. He’s the prototypical left tackle when you think of a left tackle. He’s like 6-6, long arms, can get back and set. He’s done some good things. I know he hasn’t played against the ones (starters) all the time but when he’s been out there he’s made some good plays. We’re just making sure he has the right mindset and understands what he’s doing every play.”
As he waits to see which position he’ll play, Bitonio took a friendly swipe at Thomas, one of his close friends.
Bitonio was asked what it says that an undrafted free agent could replace a future Hall of Famer.
“He’s a little overrated, huh?” Bitonio quipped.
NOTES: WR Josh Gordon returned to practice for the first time since minicamp in June, and appears on track to play in the opener. Gordon missed more than three weeks in camp to get counseling and treatment in Florida connected to his substance abuse problems. He tweaked a hamstring while conditioning and was held out last week. Jackson reiterated Gordon will not start, “but he is going to play.” Gordon was suspended for the 2015 and 2016 seasons and the first 11 games last year. He came back and caught 18 passes for 335 yards in five games. … TE Seth DeValve (quadriceps), S Damarious Randall (knee), rookie LB Genard Avery (hip) also returned to practice. DeValve missed the entire preseason.
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