Noah Syndergaard, New York Mets overpower Kansas City Royals

The Sports Xchange

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Noah Syndergaard did not have to nibble at the corners, he just blew the Kansas City Royals away.

Syndergaard struck out nine, walked one and yielded three hits in six innings as the New York Mets topped the Royals 2-0 on Tuesday afternoon.


Syndergaard's slider overwhelmed the Royals.

"It's a quality pitch," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "He had it last year at times and the changeup. It's got to be the hardest thing in baseball, hitting a 92-94 slider when you've got to hunt 98 mile per hour fastballs.

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"The point is, he makes pitches. The difference is in everything he throws is that he has confidence to throw the pitch when he needs to make it instead of just relying on the fastball. That's what's made him so effective."

Neil Walker hit a two-run homer in the fourth inning for the only runs that Syndergaard and the Mets' bullpen needed.

The Royals loaded the bases in the sixth against Syndergaard but came away empty when Kendrys Morales struck out on three pitches.

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"They're a very aggressive team," Syndergaard said. "I tried to use that against them and tried to throw breaking pitches down in the zone."

Syndergaard picked up a 9-3 victory in Game 3 of the World Series, holding the Royals to three runs and six hits in six innings.

"When he's throwing 99 mile per hour fastballs, 94 sliders and 90 changeups, you're going to swing and miss," Royals manager Ned Yost said. "He was throwing unhittable pitches. Syndergaard's stuff was so good, just trying to put in play was not easy."

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Jim Henderson and Addison Reed each worked a flawless inning after Syndergaard departed. Jeurys Familia, who blew three saves in the World Series, threw a 1-2-3 ninth for the save.

"Yeah, I think it's good for him," Collins said. "Certainly with their left-handed lineup and lefties can give him trouble sometimes. Today, granted, there were a lot of things going on. He's a real, real good pitcher and today's a good step forward."

Alcides Escobar led off the first inning with a triple to right center that rolled to the fence, but the Royals failed to get him home.


"To be honest, I just pretended the runner wasn't on third," Syndergaard said. "Travis (d'Arnaud, Mets catcher) and I just went out there and made quality pitches and sure enough we got out of the inning, no runs allowed."

Syndergaard responded by striking out the next three batters -- Mike Moustakas, Lorenzo Cain and Eric Hosmer -- to strand Escobar.

"He was unbelievable," Yost said. "He elevated a pitch to Esky in the first inning and he drove it in the gap for a triple and the pitches from that point on in the first inning were just tremendous power stuff, down in the zone."

Syndergaard, who topped major league rookies with 166 strikeouts last year, struck out five in the first three innings.

Royals right-hander Chris Young, who threw five no-hit innings against the Cleveland Indians on Sept. 27 in his final regular-season start last year, held the Mets hitless until the fourth when he yielded a home run to Walker with Yoenis Cespedes, who had walked, aboard.

"That was the difference in the game today," Young said. "I got outpitched today. I didn't make as good as pitches as Syndergaard."


Left-hander Danny Duffy replaced Young at the start of the sixth. Young gave up two runs, three hits and three walks while striking out four. He threw 54 strikes in 93 pitches.

After Escobar's leadoff triple, Syndergaard did not allow another hit until Morales doubled over center fielder Curtis Granderson's head to start the fifth. Syndergaard responded by striking out Alex Gordon and Salvador Perez and retiring Omar Infante on a weak comebacker.

NOTES: RHP Greg Holland, who remains an unsigned free agent after reconstructive elbow surgery in September, was invited back for the ring ceremony. ... The Royals have 11 foreign born players and the Mets have 10. Only the Mariners (13) have more. ... Both clubs are off Wednesday and Thursday. The Mets will start RHP Jacob deGrom on Friday for the home opener against the Phillies, but that is tentative with his wife expecting a baby this week in Florida. ... Royals RHP Yordano Ventura will start Friday against the Twins, who will counter with LHP Tommy Milone. ... Alex Gordon has started nine straight Royals openers, the past six in left field with the first three at third base.


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