Noah Syndergaard hasn't been pitching up to his lofty self-imposed expectations after starting the season so well.
It's safe to say Drew Pomeranz is exceeding his.
Syndergaard looks to get back on track as his New York Mets face Pomeranz and the host San Diego Padres on Friday night.
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After posting a 0.90 ERA through his first three outings, Syndergaard (2-1, 2.51 ERA) has allowed seven runs in 12 1/3 innings over his last two after falling 6-1 to San Francisco on Sunday. His six strikeouts were his fewest of the season.
"It was just kind of a disappointing start," Syndergaard said. "My last two starts, I haven't felt very comfortable on the mound."
The right-hander felt just fine the last time he faced the Padres, striking out nine and giving up three hits in eight innings of a 4-0 win July 28. His only outing at Petco Park didn't go as well, though, with seven runs allowed in four innings of a 7-2 loss June 2.
Pomeranz (2-3, 2.48) hasn't faced the Mets (17-10) since 2012, the last year he started exclusively with Colorado. He worked mostly as a reliever and made only nine starts last season with Oakland before coming over in a December trade and earning a spot in the Padres' rotation.
The left-hander was a tough-luck loser Sunday, allowing the game's only run and three hits in seven innings against the Los Angeles Dodgers. It marked the fourth time in his five starts that he's allowed fewer than three runs and third time he's received fewer than two of support.
"Getting deep into games, as long as I'm efficient, I feel like I do pretty well," Pomeranz told MLB's official website. "Usually when I'm in the game longer, I'm feeling pretty good with all my pitches."
Part of the reason Pomeranz hasn't received much run support is because he's been up against some of the game's best pitchers. He opposed Madison Bumgarner on April 25, went against Kershaw in his last outing and gets Syndergaard in this one.
"In my mind, I'm facing the ace, no matter what," Pomeranz said. "I'm trying to give up the least amount of runs possible. It doesn't really change my mindset out there. It is kind of fun, though, getting to face some of these No. 1s."
Colin Rea isn't exactly considered an ace, but he shut down the Mets on Thursday. He lost a no-hitter with two outs in the seventh and gave up a leadoff homer to Curtis Granderson in the ninth before being removed in a 5-3 win.
New York has dropped three of five since winning eight in a row.
"None of us were actually trying so much (to end the no-hitter)," said Yoenis Cespedes, who broke up Rea's no-hit bid. "We were aware of what was going on and the job was just try to go to home plate as a team and get the job done to get a hit."
The Padres (12-17) have won five of seven following a five-game skid after Derek Norris fell a triple shy of the cycle. He went 3 for 38 with 13 strikeouts over his previous 11 but is now 8 for 8 with two homers and a walk in his last two against the Mets.
San Diego has won five of the last six meetings, with the only loss being Syndergaard's gem in July.