Getty Images

Noah Syndergaard throws shutout, homers in Mets 1-0 win vs. Reds

14 Comments

Noah Syndergaard did it all on Thursday, tossing a complete game shutout and hitting a solo home run in the Mets’ 1-0 win over the Cincinnati Reds. According to the Elias Sports Bureau it’s the first time a pitcher has tossed a CG shutout and hit a dinger in a 1-0 win since Bob Welch did it for the Dodgers back in 1983. Which also came against the Reds.

Syndergaard was dominant on the mound, needing only 104 pitches en route to a four-hitter. He struck out ten Redlegs batters and walked only one. This after posting a 6.35 ERA in his first six starts. There was reason to believe the early speed bumps were a function of some bad luck — his strikeout and walk rates seemed fine — but today he looked like the Thor of old.

For the second straight game Mets batters slept through the proceedings, so Syndergaard took offensive matters into his own hands as well:

Not a bad day, Noah. Not a bad day.

Umpire Cory Blaser made two atrocious calls in the top of the 11th inning

Alex Trautwig/MLB Photos via Getty Images
20 Comments

The Astros walked off 3-2 winners in the bottom of the 11th inning of ALCS Game 2 against the Yankees. Carlos Correa struck the winning blow, sending a first-pitch fastball from J.A. Happ over the fence in right field at Minute Maid Park, ending nearly five hours of baseball on Sunday night.

Correa’s heroics were precipitated by two highly questionable calls by home plate umpire Cory Blaser in the top half of the 11th.

Astros reliever Joe Smith walked Edwin Encarnación with two outs, prompting manager A.J. Hinch to bring in Ryan Pressly. Pressly, however, served up a single to left field to Brett Gardner, putting runners on first and second with two outs. Hinch again came out to the mound, this time bringing Josh James to face power-hitting catcher Gary Sánchez.

James and Sánchez had an epic battle. Sánchez fell behind 0-2 on a couple of foul balls, proceeded to foul off five of the next six pitches. On the ninth pitch of the at-bat, Sánchez appeared to swing and miss at an 87 MPH slider in the dirt for strike three and the final out of the inning. However, Blaser ruled that Sánchez tipped the ball, extending the at-bat. Replays showed clearly that Sánchez did not make contact at all with the pitch. James then threw a 99 MPH fastball several inches off the plate outside that Blaser called for strike three. Sánchez, who shouldn’t have seen a 10th pitch, was upset at what appeared to be a make-up call.

The rest, as they say, is history. One pitch later, the Astros evened up the ALCS at one game apiece. Obviously, Blaser’s mistakes in a way cancel each other out, and neither of them caused Happ to throw a poorly located fastball to Correa. It is postseason baseball, however, and umpires are as much under the microscope as the players and managers. Those were two particularly atrocious judgments by Blaser.