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Noah Syndergaard was one of the better pitchers in baseball from 2015 to 2019 (really 2018), but completely fell apart over the last few years. The 30-year-old, who they call ‘Thor,’ had Tommy John surgery in 2020 and has never quite returned to form.
After beginning his career with six years in New York, Syndergaard signed a one-year deal with the Angels for 2022. He was traded to the Phillies halfway through the year and later signed a one-year deal with the other Los Angeles team for 2023.
Although his 10-10 record and 3.94 ERA last season wasn’t great, the start of this year has been worse. Syndergaard is 1-3 through his first six starts with an ERA up to 6.32. Not ideal.
While the numbers are one thing, his stuff is another. Syndergaard’s fastball is down more than five miles per hour from four years ago, and something isn’t right.
Both he and the Dodgers are frustrated, and looking for answers. Syndergaard blames it on his subconscious.
I try to throw it as hard as I used to. It just doesn’t come out the same.— Noah Syndergaard, via Los Angeles Times
To try and overcome his psyche, according to the L.A. Times, Syndergaard has turned to hypnotism. Seriously. Does it get any more Los Angeles than that?
Syndergaard enters the team “nap room,” puts on an eye mask and tries to relax. From there, mental skills coach Brent Walker hypnotizes him.
Syndergaard “simply dozes off” as Walker tries to reach his pitcher’s inner-self. There isn’t any sort of swinging clock or anything like that. No magic spells or wizardry.
Walker simply attempts to talk Syndergaard out of his struggles through his subconscious.
I’ll try just about any resource I have. Just to snap out of it.— Noah Syndergaard, via Los Angeles Times
Is it fair to say that Syndergaard has the yips? Maybe not. Is it fair to say that he has a mental block that is keeping him from throwing at his full potential? Absolutely.
That’s the problem that he is trying to fix, and Syndergaard hopes that hypnosis is the answer!
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Last week Matt “The Dark Knight” Harvey calls it a career …. Now “Thor” is desperate…. De Gromm is on IR AGAIN … and Scherzer is on the ropes …… Is there a curse on anyone who pitches for The Mets ????