Noah Syndergaard throws unique complete game in Phillies debut

Noah Syndergaard #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
Noah Syndergaard #43 of the Philadelphia Phillies (Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

Phillies fans hoped for a Noah Syndergaard complete game … and they got it.

It may have been just a coincidence, but lightning struck as Noah Syndergaard — nicknamed “Thor” after the Marvel superhero — made his Philadelphia Phillies debut against the Washington Nationals Thursday evening at Citizens Bank Park.

The Phillies acquired the starting pitcher from the Los Angeles Angels earlier in the week for two prospects — one including former top pick Mickey Moniak, who crushed his second career home run the same night.

Syndergaard did not necessarily have the “electric stuff” as during his prime seasons while teammates with Zack Wheeler on the New York Mets. But, with a little help from Mother Nature, the right-hander’s five innings and 79 pitches were enough to secure his first complete game since the 2019 season.

The game was delayed (2 hours, 6 minutes) longer than the actual time the Phillies and Nationals played on the field (1 hour, 39 minutes). Ultimately, the game that just barely became official was eventually called after the top of the fifth inning and the Phillies were credited with the 5-4 win — their 57th of the season.

Syndergaard yielded four runs (all earned) on 11 hits, while striking out two batters and walking none. He didn’t have his best stuff, but the Phillies offense came through to pick him up. Trailing in the third, a three-run home run from Alec Bohm — followed by Nick Castellanos throwing out a Nationals baserunner at home in the fifth to preserve a one-run lead — is what ultimately sealed the rain-shortened victory. Rhys Hoskins was also instrumental — hitting a solo home run followed by an RBI single in his lone two at-bats of the night.

Syndergaard surely would have exited after his five innings pitched, but since no Phillies reliever entered the game after him, he was credited with a win and complete game — the club’s first complete game of the season.

Thursday was pretty crazy for the Phils, considering earlier in the day they made the surprise decision to release veteran shortstop Didi Gregorius in favor of Jean Segura, who made his long-awaited return from the injured list.

With St. Louis winning both doubleheader games against the Chicago Cubs on Thursday, the Cardinals, Phillies, and Brewers all have the same 57-48 record. Yet, the Phillies hold the tiebreaker over both National League Central clubs.

The Phillies have won seven of their last eight games and are a season-high nine games over .500. Without a doubt, the last couple of months of the season will be interesting.

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