CHICAGO — Jake Arrieta was impressed with Noah Syndergaard. He already knew all about Kris Bryant.
Arrieta pitched eight sparkling innings, Bryant homered for the second straight day and the Chicago Cubs spoiled Syndergaard’s anticipated debut with a 6-1 victory over the New York Mets on May 12.
Arrieta (4-3) had a season-high 10 strikeouts and allowed one run and three hits. The right-hander had dropped each of his last two starts.
“We knew it was gonna be a tight game,” he said. “We were able to get some things going offensively later in the game.”
Showing off his electric fastball and sharp curve, Syndergaard had moments where he looked ready to join Matt Harvey on top of a fearsome rotation for New York. But the 6-foot-6 right-hander faded in the sixth and was charged with three runs and six hits in 5 1-3 innings.
“They’ve got a lot of thunder in their lineup,” Syndergaard said. “But it instills a lot of confidence in me when I can go there throw five innings against them.”
Arrieta also thought Syndergaard did quite well. “He was electric,” Arrieta said. “We kind of knew what we were up against and he came out strong.”
Bryant had three hits, including his first major league triple. The slugger belted a lead-off shot against Hansel Robles in the eighth, sending a towering shot to the back of the bleachers in left.
Bryant, another top prospect who made his major league debut on April 17, is hitting .303 with three homers and nine RBIs in his last nine games.
“He’s extremely polished for his age,” Arrieta said. “He’s just a special talent and it’s fun to watch him play every day. I look forward to watching him grow.”
The Mets said essentially the same thing about Syndergaard. The 6-foot-6 right-hander struck out six and walked four while throwing 103 pitches.
“I was very impressed. I thought he threw the ball well,” New York Manager Terry Collins said. “Obviously, he’s got good stuff and I was certainly impressed with how he threw it.”
Chris Coghlan hit a two-run homer for Chicago, which finished with 11 hits. Starlin Castro doubled twice and drove in a run.
Kevin Plawecki drove in New York’s lone run with a sacrifice fly in the eighth inning.
The Cubs jumped in front in the sixth. Jorge Soler led off with a single and Castro followed with an RBI double to the left-field corner. Coghlan then drove a 2-1 pitch from Syndergaard (0-1) over the wall in right for his fourth homer.
Syndergaard left after striking out Arrieta for the first out of the inning. But the Cubs added a fourth run on three walks and Miguel Montero’s infield single against Alex Torres.
“The confidence that I can take away from this game is that I can pitch at this level and have some success,” Syndergaard said.