The once-intimidating Syndergaard saw his ERA inflate to 6.54 after allowing five runs on seven hits — including three home runs — in Wednesday’s loss to the last-place Nationals.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts would not say whether Syndergaard would make his next start, and the former All-Star admitted that the mechanical adjustments he has attempted have not been effective.
“It really sucks,” Syndergaard told reporters. “Right now I just feel like I’m the weakest link on this team. I want to go out there and compete and be successful for the other guys in this clubhouse, but it’s just not working out.”
Syndergaard, whose early-career exploits with the Mets earned him the nickname Thor, said he would do anything to once again be a dominant pitcher with a 100 mph fastball.
“I would give my hypothetical firstborn to be the old me again,” he said. “I’ll do anything possible to get back to that. I’m expected to go out there and compete, and today I just fell behind a lot of hitters.”
But Syndergaard has allowed multiple runs in nine consecutive outings — not counting one appearance that lasted only one inning because of injury — and the Dodgers have gone 3-7 in his 10 starts this season. Roberts would not commit to Syndergaard making his next scheduled start next week against the Reds.
“As an organization, we’ve got to continue to figure out which guys give us the best chance to win on a particular day as far as starters,” he said. “I don’t know right now the plan as far as Noah, when he’s going to start next.”
Syndergaard, 30, missed all of 2020 after undergoing Tommy John surgery and has a 4.71 ERA over the past two-plus seasons. The right-hander went 10-10 with a 3.94 ERA last season with the Angels and National League-champion Phillies.
Although the they have two upcoming off-days on their schedule, the first-place Dodgers also are beleaguered by injuries to their starting rotation — including Julio Urias and Dustin May, which could provide some short-term security for Syndergaard. Dodgers star catcher Will Smith acknowledged Syndergaard is “struggling right now” but said he was confident the nine-year veteran will bounce back.
“I know Noah specifically is going to keep working his [behind] off,” Smith said, according to MLB.com. “That’s what he does. No doubt he’ll come back at some point, whether that’s his next start or his start after that. He’s too good of a pitcher not to come back.”
Noah Syndergaard says he is ‘weakest link’ on Dodgers