Legends On Deck

Mets Thor Reminiscent Of Doc Gooden’s Sophomore Season Start


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In 1985, the New York Mets had a young pitcher who entered his sophomore season with amazing stuff that hitters couldn’t touch and he would finish with a dominate all-around season.  That pitcher was none other than Dwight “Dr. K” Gooden, also known as Doc.

In the previous year, Gooden finished his rookie season at 17-9, with a 2.60 ERA and 276 strikeouts in 218 innings. The impressive numbers earned him an All-Star appearance, Rookie of the Year honors, along with placing second in the voting for the seasons Cy Young award winner.

But his sophomore season was even better as he won a league leading 24 games, against only four losses, with a 1.53 ERA , and 268 strikeouts in 276.2 innings.

Flash forward 31 years and the Mets now have a pitcher named Noah Syndergaard, aka Thor, and his stuff reminds me so much of Doc Gooden, that watching him pitch brings me back to my youth and the Mets Glory Days. Thor has the stuff to blow away a batter and the breaking pitch to make their knees bend just like Doc used to do in his hay days.

But when you look at both pitchers sophomore seasons, Doc in 1985 and Thor now in 2016, their first two starts seem to be reminiscent of each other.

In Gooden’s first game on April 9 against the St. Louis Cardinals, he tossed six innings, allowing four runs (three earned), on six hits, walking two and striking out six. And in his second start, he upped it to another notch as he pitched a 4-0 complete game shutout, allowing four hits, two walks and 10 strikeouts to earn his first win of the season.  He would go on to have a record-breaking season and win the Cy Young award and finish in fourth place for the league MVP.

Now the Mets have a pitcher that can be as explosive as Doc was and possibly win as many games.  In Thor’s first game on April 5th against the 2015 defending World Series Champion Kansas City Royals, he rose to the occasion, throwing six shutout innings, allowing just three hits, walking one, with nine strikeouts to earn his first win of the season. In his next appearance on Tuesday, Syndergaard dominated as Doc did in 1985, lasting seven innings, allowing just one run on seven hits, one walk and 12 strikeouts, while earning a no decision but proving to Mets fans that there can be a rebirth of the once great Dwight Gooden.

There is no telling at this early point in the season how good will Syndergaard be, or will he win enough to be considered a Cy Young candidate.  But it is evident that he has the dominate pitches to blow away hitters, and soon enough he will propel himself to the top of the rotation and eventually the Ace of the Mets staff.  Syndergaard is that good and at only 23-years old, he has many more years to be even better.

David is the Co-Founder and Executive Editor of Legends On Deck®, as well as a Co-Host on Legends On Deck Podcast. David was a Senior Editor for MetsMerizedOnline.com, MetsMinors.net and Contributor for Hardballchat.com that spanned from 2010 to 2014. David made his MLB Debut as a writer in June 2014, while covering the NY Mets at Citi Field, for MetsmerizedOnline.com. David also coaches baseball for ages 13-15, a Babe Ruth League team in his local community. David's passion is coaching the game he loves to the future Legends of Tomorrow as well as making available a website that people can have fun sharing and reading. David is also passionate about his career as a Mortgage Loan Officer which allows him to help many families reach their dreams of owning a home. Connect with David via his Social Media pages as he loves to chat all about baseball.

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