Mets pitcher Noah Syndergaard had himself a day for the ages yesterday against the Phillies. He flourished on the mound, striking out six batters while allowing just six hits in 7.1 scoreless innings. But what he did in the batter’s box garnered serious national attention.
Syndergaard went 3-for-3 at the plate and hit a 430-foot home run to dead center in the fourth inning. In doing so, he becomes just the 28th pitcher in Mets history to hit a home run and the first since Jeremy Hefner in 2012. Only 48 home runs have ever been hit by Mets pitchers, and there have been just six since the turn of the century. Some of the more recent Mets to accomplish the feat were Steve Trachsel, John Maine, and Johan Santana.
While Syndergaard’s day at the plate yesterday is absolutely one of the best offensive outputs by a pitcher in Mets history, one single-game performance stands alone at the top of this category. In August of 1983, Walt Terrell became the only pitcher in Mets history to homer twice in one game, as he did so both times against of Hall of Famer Fergie Jenkins.
While Terrell is typically remembered more for hitting home runs than he was for his prowess on the mound, several legendary Mets pitchers were actually very well-versed in hitting. Dwight Gooden has the most pitcher home runs in Mets history with seven, and Tom Seaver is second on that list with six. Even Ron Darling and Jerry Koosman each hit a pair during their Mets tenures.
This is not the first time that Syndergaard has hit a professional home run. He hit one in Triple-A earlier this season, as he recorded five hits in eleven at-bats for Las Vegas before being called up to the major leagues. He has continued the hot streak at the plate in the majors with four hits in his first nine at-bats. If Syndergaard hits another home run at some point in his Mets career, he would become just the tenth pitcher ever to hit multiple home runs for the team. With the way he has swung the bat this year, odds are he will move up the list.