Multiple times this season, I've noted either on Twitter or in our weekly power rankings that Mets starting pitcher Noah Syndergaard should be better. He's a physical beast at 6-foot-6, throws nearly as hard as anyone in the game and has a 90-plus mph slider. That stuff alone should mean he's an elite-tier pitcher, yet heading into Thursday, he was 1-3 with a 6.35 ERA.
Further, the Mets had lost five of seven games and their bullpen was in disarray. The offense wasn't exactly firing on all cylinders, either.
The man we call Thor took matters into his own hands on Thursday and damn near single-handedly won a game. He went deep:
And he didn't need any help on the mound, either. He worked a four-hit shutout, needing only 104 pitches in order to do so. The Mets won, 1-0.
Yes, Syndergaard threw a shutout and homered for the only run scored of the game. That's quite a solo effort. That's the stuff of aces.
Since 1908, this was just the seventh time in MLB that a pitcher threw a shutout and homered in a 1-0 win, per Baseball Reference. It hasn't happened since 1983, when Dodgers hurler Bob Welch pulled it off.
What's more, as noted above, the Mets were in a bind regarding the bullpen and manager Mickey Callaway wasn't shy about pointing that out after the game:
Callaway: “I don’t know how we get through the rest of the game if (Syndergaard) doesn’t complete it, so great job by him.”— Mike Puma (@NYPost_Mets) May 2, 2019
There aren't many more superlatives we need to say here. There's not much more a player can do to help this team win than Syndergaard did on Thursday.
This is the version of Thor I've been begging for and I'm hardly alone. He has the stuff. He has all the God-given physical tools. Now let's see this much more often. It's so fun to watch.