NEW YORK (AP) — Noah Syndergaard has sent plenty of 100 mph fastballs toward home plate. One of these days, he figured one might come back his way.
The New York Mets star pitcher is feeling lucky his run-in with a hard line drive Saturday didn’t turn out worse.
Syndergaard left the game after he was hit by Cesar Hernandez’s liner in the seventh inning. Still, he managed to slow the Philadelphia Phillies’ playoff run despite allowing a career-worst 12 hits and five walks in the Mets’ 10-5 victory.
“That was really the one right there,” Syndergaard said, adding that “most of them have been pretty softly hit or on the ground. But it comes with the territory of playing baseball and being a pitcher.”
Syndergaard (11-3) tried to brace himself but was hit on the right lower rib cage when Hernandez lined a 98 mph pitch. Syndergaard picked up the ball but held onto it. The Mets said X-rays were negative.
The ball came off Hernandez’s bat at 103.7 mph.
“When it happened, I saw my life flash before my eyes a little bit, and at that point I just assumed I was done,” Syndergaard said.
He matched his career high for walks and allowed four runs in 6 2/3 innings.
Mets rookie second baseman Jeff McNeil, who has reached base safely in his last 21 starts, had three hits, including a triple. His four triples since Aug. 18 lead the league.
“He’s added another dimension to the way our lineup looks,” Mets manager Mickey Callaway said.
“He has a little bit of different skill set than some other guys. He’s able to spray the ball around the field. He’s great left on left.”
Zach Eflin (9-7) gave up six runs, four hits and three walks in three innings, dropping to 0-3 in his last four starts.
He struggled after striking out two to retire the Mets in order in the first inning.
“I think I just got away from my fastball after that,” Eflin said. “Was really relying on other pitches I shouldn’t have been relying on when my fastball was as good as it was in the first inning.”
Philadelphia, which led the NL East before play Aug. 12, fell 3 1/2 games behind first-place Atlanta and also trails in the NL wild-card race. The Phillies have lost 16 of their last 25. Atlanta beat Arizona 5-4 in 10 innings.
“This certainly was not our night but I thought there were some real positive things,” Phillies manager Gabe Kapler said.
Tomas Nido hit a three-run double in the second inning and Todd Frazier had a three-run homer in the third. Jay Bruce made it 7-0 with an RBI single in the fourth and Michael Conforto added his 21st homer as the Mets won for the fifth time in their last seven games.
Rhys Hoskins led off the sixth with his 29th homer and Hernandez singled in a run later in the inning, the first of his three RBIs.
Syndergaard also walked five against Washington on July 22, 2015. His gave up 10 hits against San Diego and San Francisco in 2015 and also vs. Atlanta this May.
Phillies: INF Mitch Walding was recalled from Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Mets: C Jose Lobaton’s contract was selected from Triple-A Las Vegas. RHP Bobby Wahl was placed on the 60-day DL to clear a spot on the 40-man roster.
Mets: 3B David Wright played in a simulated game and is slated for another Tuesday. He then will speak to chief operating officer Jeff Wilpon to review his status. … LF Dominic Smith was pulled from the game prior to the sixth inning due to a tight left groin. Callaway said Smith tweaked his groin while stretching out to make a play at first base on Friday night.
Phillies: RHP Vince Velasquez (9-10) is 1-3 with a 3.78 ERA in seven starts against the Mets going into Sunday’s outing.
Mets: RHP Jacob deGrom (8-8, 1.68) has allowed three runs or fewer in a big league record 27 starts this season.
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