Philadelphia Phillies: Rain can’t ruin Noah Syndergaard’s first impression

(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images)
(Photo by Rich Schultz/Getty Images) /

When the Philadelphia Phillies acquired Noah Syndergaard from the Los Angeles Angels, it was a pretty big deal.

Sure, Syndergaard isn’t the same player he once was with the Mets, as his fastball has dropped down from the upper 90s in the late 2010s to a cool 94 in 2022, and giving up Jadiel Sanchez and Mickey Moniak for a starting pitcher on an expiring contract is rich but them again, even in his current state, the former All-Star is very much still a starting-caliber pitcher and considering how the Phillies’ rotation had fared so far this season, that’s not nothing.

Fortunately for fans of the Phillies, that “not nothing” was on full display on Thursday night, where Syndergaard, in his seventh overall start at Citizens Bank Park, debuted in powder blue to resounding cheers raining down from the stadium’s four levels.

The keyword of that sentence? Rain, as any fan who watched the game or actually showed up in person knows all too well. This word cut the game short in terms of innings but not minutes and ultimately gave Syndergaard a very unique way to start his time with South Philly’s finest.

Noah Syndergaard had a wet and wild start to his Philadelphia Phillies career.

What do Cliff Lee and Noah Syndergaard have in common? Well, they were both wickedly talented starting pitchers, both All-Stars, both acquired via trade by the Philadelphia Phillies, and… oh yeah, they both threw complete games in their debut with the Philadelphia Phillies, with Lee accomplishing the feat in 2009 versus the San Francisco Giants and the latter securing the W versus the Washington Nationals in August of 2022.

Lacing up his mitt for the first time in South Philadelphia since April 15th, 2019, Syndergaard gave up two runs over his first two innings and four in total over his first five before being forced into the locker room alongside the rest of his teammates at the bottom of the fifth right before Rhys Hoskins could take the plate for a rain delay.

That rain delay ultimately proved indefinite as, after two hours and six minutes with the tarp on the field, the game was called, and the fans went home having witnessed one of the strangest complete games of all time. Syndergaard pitched 79 balls over five innings, allowed four runs versus 11 hits, and ultimately secured the win a la Lee before him; all things considered, that is pretty darn cool.

Next. Noah Syndergaard reunites with Zack Wheeler. dark

Where will Noah Syndergaard shake out with the Philadelphia Phillies? Will he recapture some of his former glory or look like a middle-of-the-road, solid performer who should play in the postseason but is no longer an ace? Will he pitch second? Third? Fourth? Needless to say, the questions are numerous, but at least one has been answered: August 4th, 2023 marks Syndergaard’s first win in Phillies pinstripes; may it be followed with many more.