As if Noah Syndergaard hadn't already solidified himself as one of baseball's emerging young hurlers last season, the 23-year-old kicked-off 2016 with a dominating performance over the World Champion Kansas City Royals in a 2-0 Mets win, the team's first of this regular season.
Syndergaard held the Royals to six scoreless innings of three hit ball with nine strikeouts, escaping jams in the first and sixth innings via the punch-out to keep Kansas City off the scoreboard. Thor was so impressive that he retired 15 of 16 batters at one point, including a dozen straight.
Syndergaard's overpowering presence on the mound Tuesday afternoon appeared to be one of his more dominating outings in his short-lived career thus far. His fastball and sinker topped out at 100 mph three different times, showing his utilization of warp speed velocity, while his slider took responsibility for six of the Royals' nine strikeouts.
Let's not forget that Kansas City prides itself on a successful contact-oriented approach, meaning rarely do Royals hitters see strike three at the plate. I'm sure the first to understand that was Syndergaard, who showed that power-pitching can win ball games, too.
Solid starting pitching may have been a missing factor for the Mets in the World Series because of the way the Royals executed deep in counts at the plate, but outings like this is what the organization and fan base have come to expect on any given day, even if it's a new year. If Syndergaard can mow down the Royals, it's unimaginable what his potential upside is moving forward with virtually the entire season remaining.
Even recent Hall of Fame inductee Pedro Martinez suggested that Thor has the chance to become unhittable, as if he hasn't practically achieved that already.
That's some high-praise from one of the all-time greats who knows just what it takes to become unhittable.
For the Mets, though, 2016 is like any other clean slate; a brand new season filled with great anticipation precisely because of performances like Syndergaard's.
Tuesday's shutout victory was a blatant reminder of why the Mets found themselves in the World Series against the Royals. And just like that, the 2016 season provides an early statement from the defending National League Champions saying that last year was no fluke.