Thor’s Biggest Flaw
Noah Syndergaard was phenomenal for the Mets last season, topping the charts in many statistics. However, there was one stat the “God of Thunder” wished he didn’t lead the league in. In 2016, he allowed 48 successful stolen bases in 57 attempts. By far the most allowed in the league, the success rate of 84% is unacceptable. Even though he more than makes up for it by allowing very minimal base runners, there is always room for improvement; even for the great ones.
Two nights ago, against the Miami Marlins, the Mets saw as much of a promising sign as they could of asked for. Rene Rivera was 2-2 throwing out base-runners in big spots. Most noticeably, in the third inning with a 3-2 lead and one out, Dee Gordon tried swiping third. Fortunately, Rivera was ready to dish Gordon out his first speeding ticket of the year. That out was extremely significant because it was the tying run, and we all know a runner on third with one out is not good news. After throwing out Gordon, the Mets never looked back, leading the entire game.
Moving forward, Rivera gunned down J.T. Realmuto trying to steal second for the final out in the inning. Terry Collins made sure to make note that we shouldn’t give Rene Rivera all the credit.
“I’ll tell you when Dee took off for third base, Noah’s time to the plate was pretty good, too,” Collins exclaimed. “It wasn’t 1.7 [seconds] because if you’re 1.7 with him, you’re not going to ever throw him out. Noah gave Rene a chance to make a play, and certainly that’s why he catches. I just think they mesh very good together and teams are going to be a little bit more hesitant to run now that Noah’s speeding things up.”
As good as Noah was tonight, where would this game be without Rene Rivera's two big throws to catch Gordon and Realmuto in the 3rd?— Michael Baron (@michaelgbaron) April 10, 2017
Overall, a fantastic sign for the Mets ace. If you can remember the September game against the Nationals, when they swiped four bags against Thor, they took advantage of the Mets best player’s biggest flaw. For 2017, the Mets cannot allow this to become a theme. Sunday night’s execution on national TV and ESPN was a great start toward solving the issue. We can be excited to keep an eye on this moving forward. In addition, we can watch out for Rene Rivera’s playing time, and not just when Syndergaard is on the mound.
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