Although Noah Syndergaard pitched just one inning last week because a blister/cut on his right index finger burst open, he avoided going on the 15-day injured list and made his scheduled start for the Los Angeles Dodgers in the series opener against the Minnesota Twins.
Manager Dave Roberts expressed confidence Syndergaard would get through the outing without issue and that it would not need to be a shortened start. However, the right-hander wound up completing just four innings on 59 pitches of a no-decision against the Twins.
“With Noah, just kind of trying to bank health,” Roberts explained after the Dodgers’ walk-off win. “I think we’re still going to see how he comes in. I’m certain he feels that he’s good to go, but until we see it tomorrow, the training staff looks at it to make sure we’re really out of the woods, we don’t know.
“So we’ll take a look at it, see how he came out of it and just try not to push it too much. He only threw 20 pitches in two weeks, so I felt getting to 60 pitches, I thought the stuff started to curtail and wasn’t as sharp.
“There was a lot of hard outs late, so assuming we’re going to play nine innings, I felt really good where we were at. It just didn’t work out that way. No. 1, I thought he was very good. I thought early, very sharp, teethy, gave us what we needed.”
Syndergaard’s fastball velocity ticked up to 94 mph in a scoreless first inning and he struck out Carlos Correa, much to the delight of the Dodger Stadium crowd. His velocity dipped as the night progressed, but Syndergaard still finished with five strikeouts and allowed two runs on four hits.
One of those hits was a Jorge Polanco solo home run that Roberts factored into his decision to remove Syndergaard, rather than simply relying on a pitch count.
“I think it was just layering everything: what he’s thrown the last two weeks; what he gave us; and what the stuff, with my eyes, was starting to do,” Roberts explained. “There were some hard outs the last time through, so we’re still trying to win a baseball game too.”
What is Noah Syndergaard using for blister?
Syndergaard again used Dermabond to keep his blister/cut sealed, but Roberts referenced the Dodgers’ prior history with Rich Hill as reason to still have some concern.
“It got him through the start, but we’ve seen these things over the years, and once we think we’re safe, then we’re not. We’ll re-assess tomorrow,” Roberts said.
He added the Dodgers would consider placing Syndergaard on the 15-day IL as part of possible roster moves Tuesday to get fresh pitchers on their active roster.
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