Noah Syndergaard will try to pitch the Mets into the NLDS in Wednesday’s Wild Card game against the Giants. He’ll oppose Madison Bumgarner, as MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo reports, in what should be a highly entertaining matchup.
Bumgarner, of course, is revered as much for his hitting as his pitching. The four-time All-Star finished the 2016 season with three home runs and has hit 12 since the start of the 2014 season, easily the most in baseball among pitchers in that span of time. The 27-year-old lefty also found himself in the running for the NL Cy Young Award, compiling a 15-9 record with a 2.74 ERA and a 251/54 K/BB ratio in 226 2/3 innings. The venerated lefty has an outstanding postseason track record as well, owning a 2.14 ERA across 12 starts and two relief appearances.
Syndergaard, 24, will bring his trademark golden locks and his 100 MPH fastball to Wednesday’s meeting. No one threw a fastball harder on average than Syndergaard, as he averaged 98 MPH. Yordano Ventura, in second place, registered at 96.1 MPH. Syndergaard finished 14-9 with a 2.60 ERA and a 218/43 K/BB ratio in 183 2/3 innings, helping buoy the Mets’ otherwise tattered starting rotation, as the club lost Jacob deGrom, Steven Matz, Matt Harvey, and Zack Wheeler throughout the year.
The NL Wild Card game starts at 8:00 PM on Wednesday and will be broadcast on ESPN.
The Orioles and Blue Jays have announced their starting pitchers for Tuesday’s Wild Card game. The visiting O’s will go with Chris Tillman while the Jays will send Marcus Stroman out to the hill, per each team‘s Twitter. That game will start at 8 PM EDT and will be broadcast on TBS and Sportsnet.
Though a tad inconsistent, Tillman finished the 2016 campaign with solid numbers. The 28-year-old posted a 3.77 ERA with a 140/66 K/BB ratio in 172 innings. He reached the sixth inning in 17 of 30 starts and yielded two or fewer runs in 18 of 30.
Stroman, 25, was able to pitch a full year after making only four starts last season due to a knee injury. He compiled a 4.37 ERA with a 166/54 K/BB ratio over 204 innings. Compared to Tillman, Stroman went deeper into games more often, reaching the sixth inning in 22 of 32 starts but yielded two or fewer runs in 15 of 32.
Tillman has two postseason starts in his career while Stroman has three under his belt.
Neither Rockies second baseman D.J. LeMahieu nor Nationals second baseman Daniel Murphy started in their respective team’s regular season finale which boded well for LeMahieu winning the National League batting title. LeMahieu entered with a .348 batting average to Murphy’s .347. Murphy pinch-hit for Jose Lobaton in the fifth inning, but flied out. That sealed the deal for LeMahieu.
A Rockie winning the batting title is nothing new. Justin Morneau was the last to win it back in 2014 and Michael Cuddyer won it the year prior. In fact, since 1998, a Rockie has won the batting title in nine of the last 19 seasons. Thank you, Coors Field.
Jose Altuve won the American League batting title with a .338 batting average. It’s Altuve’s second batting title, with the other coming in 2014.
Other league leaders:
- AL: Trout – 9.4
- NL: Bryant – 8.4