The Los Angeles Dodgers were not able to fix Noah Syndergaard, who was having the worst season of his entire career in LA. As a result, Los Angeles flipped Syndergaard to the Cleveland Guardians for their underwhelming player of the year, Amed Rosario, who has been solid with the Dodgers.
Syndergaard took some subtle jabs at the Dodgers and his other previous teams that tried to "change" him after the trade and it became bulletin board material for many Dodgers fans. Tuesday's game against the Guardians suddenly became a very intriguing interleague matchup, as Syndergaard was making his first start against his former team.
All things considered, Syndergaard had a good start against his former team and it was not what Dodgers fans were expecting. After allowing two runs in the first inning, Syndergaard settled down to turn in a quality start — allowing three runs on four hits in six innings for the quality start.
This performance might seem like a massive win for Syndergaard while being very disappointing for Dodgers fans. While the end result is not what Dodgers fans wanted, Syndergaard still did not pitch very well in this game.
Statcast proves Noah Syndergaard was bailed out with crazy luck against the Dodgers
The Dodgers were mashing the baseball all around the park against Syndergaard and simply could not find a hole in the defense. This was not a case of Syndergaard slicing through the Dodgers' lineup, this was the Dodgers' lineup getting unlucky with hard-hit balls.
According to Baseball Savant, Los Angeles had an xBA (expected batting average) of .370 through six innings against Syndergaard and only had a .182 actual batting average with the four hits. The team's BABIP (batting average on balls in play) was .177. For comparison's sake, the Dodgers' BABIP heading into the game in 2023 was .286; Syndergaard's BABIP was .311.
The Dodgers had 11 balls with an exit velocity of 98 MPH or higher, eight of those 11 were hit for over 100 MPH. Nine of those 11 batted balls resulted in an out. Six of those nine outs had an xBA of .500 or higher.
It might be frustrating considering the final stat line, but Dodgers fans should sleep easy knowing that the bats were doing their job against Syndergaard. He simply had his best luck of the entire season against his former team.