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Mahle solid, but one pitch proves costly vs. Mets

@ladsonbill24
May 2, 2019

NEW YORK -- Right-hander Tyler Mahle was dealing on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field, but one bad pitch proved to be his downfall as the Reds were blanked by the Mets, 1-0. After throwing 29 pitches in the first inning and missing off the plate, Mahle was able to get

NEW YORK -- Right-hander Tyler Mahle was dealing on Thursday afternoon at Citi Field, but one bad pitch proved to be his downfall as the Reds were blanked by the Mets, 1-0.

After throwing 29 pitches in the first inning and missing off the plate, Mahle was able to get his act together and struck out the side in the second. But counterpart Noah Syndergaard led off the third inning and took Mahle deep for his second home run of the season. It was a fastball away. Yes, the Reds knew Syndergaard was one of the best-hitting pitchers in the Major Leagues, but Mahle was simply trying to get ahead in the count.

“It wasn’t a very competitive pitch, and he made me pay for it,” Mahle said. “Then we kind of went after him that second at-bat like we should have in the first [at-bat]. Obviously, it was too late.”

It proved to be enough as Syndergaard became just the seventh pitcher since 1908 to toss a shutout and hit a homer in a 1-0 win.

After the home run by Syndergaard, Mahle retired nine of the next 10 hitters he faced. For the game, Mahle struck out seven batters.

“He was throwing everything for strikes,” Reds catcher Curt Casali said about Mahle. “The only thing we would look back on is [Mahle] laboring through the first time through the lineup, just not getting ahead of guys as well as we wanted to. That limited his ability to go deeper in the game.”

Mahle said he wasn’t surprised to be taken out after five innings. The first three scheduled hitters in the sixth inning -- Dominic Smith, Robinson Cano and Michael Conforto -- were left-handed, so manager David Bell decided to put left-hander Zach Duke in the game.

“It makes sense,” Mahle said. “I don’t want to come out ever. I wasn’t surprised or happy, but that’s the way it is. It’s about matchups. Duke got through the inning and all the relievers did well. It wasn’t the wrong call at all.”

It was a game that saw Reds outfielder Jesse Winker and Bell get ejected in the ninth inning for arguing balls and strikes with home-plate umpire Marty Foster. Winker started arguing after a called strike that made it an 0-2 count.

Bell didn’t want to talk about what occurred at home plate. All he wanted to talk about was the pitching performances of Mahle and Syndergaard.

“The story of the game is never the umpire,” Bell said. “It’s the players. In fact, today, Noah Syndergaard pitched a great game. Our guy pitched just as well. … [Mahle] was very impressive other than the home run to Syndergaard, who can really hit.”

Bill Ladson has been a reporter for MLB.com since 2002. He covered the Nationals/Expos from 2002-2016. Follow him on Twitter and Facebook.