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Not To Worry, Noah Syndergaard Coming Along Just Fine

Noah Syndergaard - Image Credit: LA Dodgers/MLB

LOS ANGELES, CA — Noah Syndergaard has worked hard to learn his new pitch. He has switched from an 84mph slider to an 89mph cutter this year. The days of him terrorizing hitters with his 92mph nasty slider are gone. So too, is his once 98-102mph blistering fastball.

Understand this: the human arm was not designed to throw a baseball that fast. No matter what you hear from the analytical geniuses who say it is how many pitches that are thrown and not how hard they are propelled from those arms. Limiting the number of pitches will never solve arm injuries in baseball.

It is about pitching and not throwing so hard that your body tears apart. Syndergaard has used the past two seasons to learn how to pitch instead of trying to throw the ball through a brick wall.

Tonight against a very good-hitting Cubs team, Syndergaard was consistently in the strike zone and showed excellent command on all of his pitches. He threw an even mix of 93mph two-seam and four-seam fastballs, 89mph cutters, and 87mph nasty fade and drop changeups.

He still has to work on his quickness to the plate with runners on first. Tonight after a leadoff single to number nine hitter Cubs catcher Yan Gomes, he allowed Gomes to steal second base on an 86mph changeup.

Yan Gomes – Image Credit: USA Today Sports

The next batter, Ian Happ, hit a ground-rule double to right that scored Gomes from second base.

Later the Cubs pulled off a double steal of first and second as if they knew the pitch would be an 86mph changeup.

But you have to be impressed with his transformation from a flame thrower to a real pitcher. His changeup allowed him to strikeout the dangerous Dansby Swanson three times on that pitch.

It is a work in progress, and the big righty is in the best place to be with this organization. They have the depth in pitching here and throughout their system to have the patience to see him through this. Tonight he gave the Dodgers innings and kept it close, striking out nine Cubs, all on changeups. He left the game after six innings trailing 3-1.

The Dodgers got to within a run after the Hot Max Muncy slammed a rocket into the seats in right field for his fifth home run in his last four games.

Only to see the Cubs pull away for good on back-to-back home runs by Happ and Seiya Suzuki followed by a single home run two batters later by Patrick Wisdom. All off of righty Andre Jackson.

Friday’s loss was not Syndergaard’s fault as LA could only get the Cubs starter Justin Steele for three hits and two runs in an 8-2 loss.

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