To be among the best, you have to work extra hours.
The same mantra applies to MLB players: the very best pitchers don’t just go to the mound and throw seven dominant innings every five days.
There is a lot of gym work, weights, cardio, stretching exercises, and a lot of throwing.
Some of the requirements to stardom, however, go beyond the physical activities.
Pitchers also like to game-plan their next outing, study their opponents, and prepare every little detail.
Sam Blum of The Athletic, who covers the Angels, had spotted Syndergaard mimicking his pitching motion.
“Noah Syndergaard, tonight’s starter, out on the mound mimicking his pitching motion. Possibly working on leg kick — the source of some of his issues with holding runners on,” Blum said via Twitter, wondering the potential reasons for the pitcher’s routine.
Noah Syndergaard on why he does this: "I just try to get a lay of the land. I don't want my first time out there to be at game time. I get comfortable, do some visualization. I went out to the bullpen, actually, and did some shadow bullpen work." https://t.co/w2ycyxP1cV
— Sam Blum (@SamBlum3) June 28, 2022
Getting Inside Syndergaard’s Head And Pregame Routine
Like the good reporter he is, Blum went straight to the source and asked “Thor” about the situation.
“Noah Syndergaard on why he does this: ‘I just try to get a lay of the land. I don’t want my first time out there to be at game time. I get comfortable, do some visualization. I went out to the bullpen, actually, and did some shadow bullpen work,'” Blum tweeted.
It appears Syndergaard wants to go to the mound with a clear idea of what he is going to find: the land, the field, how much space there is in the foul territory, outfield dimensions, the wall, the mound itself, the dirt…and many more things.
The right-hander has a 3.86 ERA in 65.1 innings this year with the Angels.
He still has some potential to improve considering past performance, but overall, it hasn’t been a bad first season with the Angels for him.