MLB: Atlanta Braves at New York Mets

Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard took part in game action Wednesday for the first time since 2020 spring training (pre-pandemic shutdown). He took the ball for the Low-A St. Lucie Mets with his first rehab start following Tommy John surgery. It appears to have been a rousing success. 

The final line: 4 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 5 K

That's a great line. Better news: He was very efficient, needing only 44 pitches, 36 of which were strikes, to get through his four innings. He started the outing with his fastball sitting in the 93-94 range, but worked it up to 95.7 mph in his last inning of work (via Jesse Roche of Baseball Prospectus). 

Syndergaard, 28, had Tommy John surgery to repair the torn UCL in his right elbow late last March. He's been slowly working his way back since and all along the way there have been positive reports on his progress in rehab. At this rate, the Mets are eyeing a June return to the rotation for the hard-throwing right hander. 

In parts of five seasons, Syndergaard is 47-30 with a 3.31 ERA (119 ERA+), 1.16 WHIP and 775 strikeouts against 157 unintentional walks in 716 innings. When he's going well, he's one of the best pitchers in the game with some of the best raw stuff in baseball history. He's had issues with consistency, though. 

Currently, ace Jacob deGrom and newly acquired Carlos Carrasco are also on the injured list for the Mets. The full-strength rotation will eventually feature deGrom, Carrasco, Syndergaard, Taijuan Walker -- who appears to be in the midst of a career year -- and Marcus Stroman

The Mets came into Wednesday 20-16, good for first place in the NL East.