NEW YORK (AP) - Noah Syndergaard is making the New York Mets see double, and that’s not good.
Slow to the plate from the stretch, Syndergaard keeps turning singles and walks into virtual two-base hits. The San Francisco Giants swiped three bases off him Sunday, taking advantage of his mechanics to score four runs in a 6-1 victory that stopped the Mets’ eight-game winning streak.
“It’s very frustrating for me,” Syndergaard said.
Madison Bumgarner pitched through rain to extend his Citi Field scoreless streak to 18 innings, and Hunter Pence homered and drove in three runs.
Syndergaard allowed five steals in his previous start against Cincinnati and runners have swiped 12 bases in 13 attempts against him this year, five more steals than against any other pitcher in the majors, according to STATS. Runners are 27 for 29 against Syndergaard since he reached the major leagues last May, with the only ones caught being Miami’s Christian Yelich at third base on April 23 and Cincinnati’s Todd Frazier at second last June 26.
“You can’t be that deliberate, that slow to the plate,” Mets manager Terry Collins said. “You’ve got to change your pace. You’ve got to give the runner something different to look at.”
New York wants the 23-year-old right-hander to develop a slide step. Bumgarner understands why.
In Bumgarner’s first three-plus seasons in the major leaguers, runners swiped 47 bases in 70 attempts on him. Since he started to develop a slide step, they’ve stolen 20 in 41 tries.
“If you give up a single, you might be giving up a double,” Bumgarner said. “There’s no fun when you’re giving guys 90 feet.”
San Francisco went ahead after Matt Duffy singled with one out in the fourth, stole second and took third when Buster Posey singled. With Posey running on a full-count pitch, Brandon Belt hit an RBI grounder to second that otherwise would have likely been an inning-ending double play.
Two pitches later, Pence drove a 98 mph fastball to the opposite field and over the right-field fence for his fifth home run this season and the first off Syndergaard. After striking out Brandon Crawford to end the inning, Syndergaard slapped his glove in frustration.
San Francisco made it 4-0 in the sixth after Duffy singled and stole second, and Syndergaard walked Belt with two outs. Hansel Robles relieved, and Pence’s single to right drove in Duffy.
“I’ve been working each and every day, making sure I’m quicker towards home plate and continue on trying to fine-tune my mechanics,” Syndergaard said.
Pitching in replica uniform from the Mets’ 1986 World Series champions, Syndergaard’s velocity was down slightly from the 100 mph he reached earlier this season. He allowed four runs and five hits in 5 2/3 innings as his ERA climbed from 1.69 to 2.51. New York lost for just the third time in 16 games.
Bumgarner (3-2) gave up six hits in six innings, struck out seven and walked three. He is 4-0 with a 0.62 ERA at Citi Field and has the longest shutout streak by an opposing pitcher in the ballpark’s eight-season history.
New York went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position, getting its only run on David Wright’s RBI single in the seventh.
“The name of the game is to go out there and win series,” Wright said. “So, we’ll take the series win. You get a little greedy when you’ve won the first two, certainly. You want to be able to close out, but you’ve got a tough guy on the mound for them, a very good team, and very rarely can you finish those out.”
Eric Campbell started for the first time this season, at first base. Juan Lagares made his first start in right field since 2013.
Michael Conforto went 0 for 5 with three strikeouts, ending his career-high, eight-game hitting streak. The left-handed hitter was 0 for 3 against Bumgarner.
“Having that experience is huge,” Conforto said. “I have that to go back to if I ever face him again or any other tough lefty.”
Mets: Bartolo Colon (1-1 with three no-decisions), is slated to start in the opener of a series against Atlanta, a team the Mets swept at Turner Field from April 22-24.
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