Reds-Mets Preview

David Wright offered an interesting description of one of the New York Mets' young arms.

To him, Noah Syndergaard is all but equivalent to a video-game creation.

Strong starting pitching has the Mets rolling as Syndergaard tries to lift them to their ninth straight win over the visiting Cincinnati Reds on Monday night.

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Syndergaard (2-0, 0.90 ERA) has surrendered two runs in 20 innings over his first three starts. He's allowed 15 hits while walking four and striking out 29.

After his latest outing last Monday in which Syndergaard allowed one run while striking out eight in seven innings of a 5-2 win over Philadelphia, Wright drew a curious but perhaps apt comparison.

"When you used to play video games as a kid, if you build the player that you want to build, put all the abilities up to like max 10, he's that guy," New York's third baseman told MLB's official website.

Syndergaard, who according to FanGraphs tops the major leagues in average fastball velocity at 98.4 mph, had a pitch leave an imprint of catcher Kevin Plawecki's cross necklace on his chest where it struck him last Monday.

It will be a full week between starts for Syndergaard due to Thursday's off day and Jacob deGrom's return to the rotation Sunday. The right-hander has hardly been thrown off by that change in routine, though, posting a 2.62 ERA with 80 strikeouts in 65 1/3 innings over 10 starts with six or more days' rest.

He'll open a nine-game homestand for the Mets (10-7), who are looking to improve on their 2-4 record in Queens.

While Sunday's 3-2 victory at Atlanta was New York's third straight and eighth in 10 games, Cincinnati (9-10) dropped three of four at home to the Chicago Cubs over the weekend in lopsided fashion.

The Reds were outscored 33-1 in the defeats and no-hit by Jake Arrieta in Thursday's opener. They did manage a 13-5 win Saturday, getting 15 hits, but were held to three in Sunday's 9-0 loss.

The Reds are 1-5 away from home and begin a six-game trip looking to snap an eight-game skid in this series. They've lost 13 of 15 against the Mets, including five of six in New York.

Their two matchups with Syndergaard last season don't evoke much confidence for the next one. They lost both while totaling three runs and 10 hits in 15 2/3 innings, striking out 16 times without drawing a walk.

No current Reds player has an extra-base hit against Syndergaard. Brandon Phillips, Jay Bruce and Eugenio Suarez are the only three with singles, combining to go 3 for 19, while Joey Votto, Tucker Barnhart, Adam Duvall and Billy Hamilton are 0 for 15 in the matchup.

A New York lineup that averaged 6 runs and 11 hits during a 7-2 trip will face Raisel Iglesias (1-1, 3.09). He pitched a season-high 6 2/3 innings during Wednesday's 6-5 win over Colorado, surrendering two runs and striking out eight.

"It's a really good feeling because ... I was working in spring training with the trainer, with the coaches, and I feel really good this season is starting that way," Iglesias said through an interpreter.

While Wright was given the day off Sunday, Yoenis Cespedes was unavailable for the second straight game due to a sore leg. Manager Terry Collins said it "could" linger into Monday.