The Mets and Phillies are set to face off for an important four-game series in Philadelphia. With the Phillies acquiring Noah Syndergaard from the Los Angeles Angels at the trade deadline, the pitcher has a chance to face his former team. But that won’t be happening this weekend.
The Phillies are opting to give Syndergaard an extra day off as his comeback from Tommy John surgery continues. This caused some waves in the baseball world, specifically in the NL East around the Mets and Phillies.
WFAN's Evan Roberts had a message for Syndergaard and the Phillies on Audacy's "Rico Brogna" podcast.
“As far as Syndergaard’s concerned, this is a joke. I’m sorry. I get he’s coming off a major injury. I get you want to be careful. Fool me once, shame on somebody. Fool me twice, we’re not a bunch of morons,” Roberts said (10:03 in player above) “For the second time – with a different team – they wanna give Noah extra rest.”
Syndergaard was scheduled to pitch against the Mets on Sunday Night Baseball when he was with the Angels back in June. Instead, they moved his start back for extra rest.
The Phillies are doing the same thing this weekend. Syndergaard last pitched on Monday in Cincinnati. That’d line him up to start at some point over the weekend, especially with a doubleheader on Saturday, but the Phillies, like the Angels, want to manage his workload coming off an injury and give him some extra rest.
“Here’s the bad news for Rob Thomson and for Noah Syndergaard: You can run, but you can’t hide,” Roberts continued. “There is a fair possibility that the Mets and the Phillies will meet in the postseason. What are you gonna do? Not pitch him?”
To be fair to Thomson and the Phillies, they may not have to pitch him in the playoffs, especially in a short series. Zack Wheeler and Aaron Nola are their top two arms with Ranger Suarez and Kyle Gibson as options along with Syndergaard to start beyond that. But Roberts’ point is still a fair one.
“And if there’s some kind of, I don’t want to use the word fear, but if there is some kind of hesitation to Noah Syndergaard facing the Mets, why would you want his first chance of facing the Mets coming in October? It doesn’t make any sense,” Roberts said. “He’s on the Phillies now. He’s not with the Angels where it’s easy to hide him and never see the Mets again. And the game wasn’t even at Citi Field, the game’s in Philadelphia. What do you think is going to happen? “
As the teams currently stand, the NL East rivals would only potentially meet in the NLCS, but the Phillies' position in the standings is fluid. They're only a few games away from possibly facing the Mets in the NLDS, or missing the playoffs altogether.
“I don’t know if the Phillies are going to make the postseason,” Roberts said, “but it’s very possible that the Philadelphia Phillies are gonna make the playoffs and it’s very possible that the bracket is gonna set up to have the Mets play the Philadelphia Phillies.”
The Mets’ have had the Phillies number this season with an 11-4 record heading into this weekend’s four-game series.
“As a Met fan, we can mock Noah Syndergaard, have fun with it, call him names,” Roberts said. “But as a baseball fan, I don’t understand. It’s very likely – possible/likely – that Noah Syndergaard is going to have to face the New York Mets in October, so you don’t want him to face the Mets in August? What are we talking about?”