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Syndergaard has zoomed past all those men to the top of this rotation.


Vincent Valentine Authentic Jersey Meanwhile, Syndergaard has zoomed past all those men to the top of this rotation. His teammates seem highly amused by his pronouncement (by the hardest-throwing starter in the big leagues, you understand) that he’s intent on throwing even harder this year. Not that they’re putting it past him.

“You know,” Collins deadpanned, “there are freaks in this game.”

“No. I probably shouldn’t say that. … But when we went to the World Series two years ago, our starting pitching carried us. So to me, it’s all about pitching.”

Terry Collins, on whether the Mets can win the World Series if their starters don’t stay healthy
If all goes according to plan, there might eventually be five freaks in this rotation. The Mets are taking steps this spring to help all of them save their bullets for the moments when they come in handiest. They’re all on a revamped throwing program that gives them an extra day of rest between bullpen sessions, includes strict orders not to throw to any base during fielding drills and has introduced more running to build up their legs this spring — because “you pitch from the ground up,” Collins said.

Authentic Craig Conroy Jersey At least some of that program is a result of conversations the manager had with former Braves great John Smoltz about how those celebrated Braves staffs prepared every spring to pitch deep into October.

“Playing bad isn’t fun,” Nats teammate Trea Turner says. “It doesn’t matter what you’re hitting — if you’re not living up to your own expectations, then it’s hard to have fun. I think Bryce had fun from the standpoint that we won the division and went to the playoffs, but on a personal level, I’m sure it wasn’t nearly as fun as when he won the MVP.”

“Those are some tough moccasins to walk in,” adds the NL exec. “Bryce is so good, and so much has been put on him so early. Mike Trout didn’t have those expectations, but this guy did, and he’s also put a lot on himself. He wants to please everyone and he feels like he’s got something to prove. He loves when he does well, but when he doesn’t do well, it really pisses him off.”