Noah Syndergaard made his second start for the Los Angeles Dodgers since having trouble with a blister/cut on his right index finger, and he initially struggled before finding his groove against the St. Louis Cardinals.
The right-hander nearly completed a scoreless first inning after Paul Goldschmidt’s single and a Nolan Gorman walk, but Willson Contreras’ two-out RBI single gave the Cardinals a 1-0 lead.
The Dodgers then fell into a 3-0 deficit in the second inning following Alec Burleson’s RBI double and a Lars Nootbaar sacrifice fly. From that point on, Syndergaard was nearly unhittable as he retired 11 of the next 12 batters, including seven in a row to end his night.
Syndergaard was relieved to be able salvage his outing and provide five innings for the Dodgers, via Joe Harris of MLB.com:
“Just huge, because the first two innings, I was like, ‘Here we go again, another crappy outing,’” Syndergaard said. “But it was nice to bounce back and put up some zeroes.”
Syndergaard, who has historically struggled in the first two innings of his starts, attributed his turnaround to simply executing pitches rather than focusing on his delivery:
“I just got more external,” Syndergaard said. “First two innings, it’s been my Achilles’ heel my whole career. It’s just like paralysis by analysis trying to feel certain things with my delivery as opposed to just focusing on executing pitches. But it was nice that I was able to bend a little bit and not break.”
Syndergaard threw 80 pitches against the Cardinals, which was his most in a start since April 25. In doing so, he showed that the cut on his right index finger is no longer an issue so long as Dermabond has been applied with ample time to cure.
Syndergaard seemingly being back to full health is a boon to a Dodgers rotation that will be without Dustin May for the foreseeable future. Julio Urías is also going to miss some time after he was placed on the 15-day injured list with a left hamstring.
Dodgers disappointed by ‘unfortunate’ strike three on Betts
The Dodgers were in the process of mounting a comeback against the Cardinals in the ninth inning before Mookie Betts struck out looking to end the game on a pitch that should have been ball four, with the tying run on second base.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts was disappointed with the call, noting Freddie Freeman, one of the team’s hottest hitters, was on deck and could have potentially delivered the go-ahead hit.
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