Noah Syndergaard, accurately nicknamed Thor both because of resemblance and fact that both can really drop the hammer, is the hardest throwing starting pitcher in the league. In his second year, the 24-year-old right hander is, at his most average, nearly unhittable. He’s likely the front runner for the National League Cy Young Award this season (though Max Scherzer’s 20 wins and Kyle Hendricks near 2.00 ERA may tantalize voters, only the dearly departed Jose Fernandez and Syndergaard’s league leading fWAR exceed 6.0 for pitchers).
Opposite of him tonight is a former World Series MVP, who’s planted himself firmly in the Cy Young picture himself (5th in fWAR, one rung down from teammate and former Red Johnny Cueto). Madison Bumgarner is no stranger to high pressure, win-or-go-home playoff baseball, you’ll remember.
This is going to be a good one.
Of interest to those of us perusing Red Reporter: Jay Bruce will be on hand for the Mets in this one. As you are all aware, Jay Bruce commenced a patented Jay Bruce Slump directly after the trade that sent him to Queens in exchange for Mets prospect Dilson Herrera. In his last 10 games, however, Bruce has slashed an incredible .400/.455/.833. So, maybe as the weather has begun to cool, Jay has begun to warm.
Bruce has struggled against the Bumgarner throughout his career, to the tune of a .130/.130/.261 line in 23 plate appearances. He did hit his one and only home run off of Bumgarner earlier this season, just days before the deadline.
Since we all know nothing and are drooling over the starting pitching matchup, this game is destined to be a 9-7 slugfest by the end of the night. But hey, those can be fun, too.
Go baseball team! You have my favorite former Reds!