NEW YORK - Minutes before the first pitch Thursday night, the enormous Citi Field video board showed Noah Syndergaard in the Mets dugout. He pulled a hooded sweatshirt over his head to reveal his No. 34. He adjusted his flowing blond hair under his hat. The fans began to cheer.
Then, 11 of the first 14 pitches he threw zipped at 98 mph or faster. He struck out the first three Phillies hitters. One of the game's most dominant pitchers fired triple-digit fastballs on the corners against a sluggish lineup.
That is why a 6-4 Phillies win could qualify as their best, less than three weeks into the season.