|7:10 PM PT8:10 PM MT9:10 PM CT10:10 PM ET22:10 ET2:10 GMT10:10 7:10 PM MST9:10 PM EST9:40 PM VEN6:10 UAE (+1)9:10 PM CT, May 29, 2019
Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, California Attendance: 40,559
Expect fastball clinic when Mets visit Dodgers
The New York Mets and Los Angeles Dodgers will celebrate the fastball when they meet Wednesday night at Dodger Stadium.
While the Mets will feature Noah Syndergaard, the hardest throwing starter in the game right now, the Dodgers will showcase their resident king of velocity in Walker Buehler.
Syndergaard's average velocity of 97.8 mph on his four-seam fastball ranks as the best among starting pitchers in 2019, according to MLB.com's Statcast. Buehler will bring his 96.6-mph four-seamer, which is highly respectable in its own right.
While the radar gun readings are there for both pitchers, the results have been inconsistent. Syndergaard (3-4, 4.93 ERA) has just one victory over his last four starts and will enter off a rough Friday night in Queens, when the Detroit Tigers knocked him around for six runs on 10 hits over 5 1/3 innings.
The right-hander gave up two home runs for the third time in his 11 starts, and his current home-runs-per-nine-innings ratio is at a career-high 1.3. Friday's game was the only one the Mets lost on their most recent seven-game homestand.
Now he faces the Dodgers, the highest scoring team in the National League, who are also among the league leaders in both home runs and walks. Syndergaard has delivered in the past against the Dodgers -- 1-0 with a 1.65 ERA in three starts -- but his margin for error against the 2019 version will be slim.
"Pitching's really frigging annoying sometimes," Syndergaard told reporters after Friday's outing. "It kind of reminds me of my golf swing a little bit. One day you go out there and you feel like you have it figured out, and you go out there the next day and ... the results aren't necessarily great."
Fastball command and the ability to repeat pitches has been Syndergaard's undoing of late, which was exactly the problem that plagued Buehler early in the season.
Buehler (5-1, 3.58) was allowed a light spring schedule, but it showed once the season started. He had an 8.25 ERA through three starts and walked five batters. But in four May starts, he has a 2-1 record, a 1.73 ERA and just two walks in 26 innings.
In his opening start of May against the Atlanta Braves, Buehler not only reached 100 pitches for the first time this season, he also hit 99 mph on the radar gun for the first time since 2018. In his most recent outing Friday at Pittsburgh, he gave up one run on five hits over six innings as the Dodgers won going away by a 10-2 count.
Buehler has never faced the Mets in his young career, but he is sure to use what worked for Clayton Kershaw on Monday against New York, when he gave up three runs over six innings to the Mets on Tuesday.
"Obviously the guys that have started games for us, it's pretty impressive what those guys can do," Buehler said. "... I think that's been the strength of us for a long time. This is just a continuation of that. We expect this out of ourselves. That's just kind of the way it goes."
The Mets' 7-3 victory over the Dodgers on Tuesday was just their third in the last 17 games between the teams going back to the 2016 season. The Mets have won seven of their last nine games overall.
--Field Level Media
Updated May 29, 2019