By Hal McCoy
You would think when a team knocks Noah Syndergaard out of the game, they would win.
You would think when a team has 12 runners in scoring position, they would win.
You would think when a team steals five bases, they would win.
YOU WOULD THINK, but you would think wrong in the case of the Cincinnati Reds Monday night in New York.
They did all those things against the New York Mets in Citi Field, but they lost, 5-3.
They were done in by one pitch on this night, a two-run home run in the seventh inning given up by relief pitcher J.C. Ramirez to Mets second baseman Neil Walker.
THE REDS WERE facing Syndergaard, who brought a 2-and-0 record and a 0.90 earned run average in to the game. He throws 98, with a 92 miles an hour slider and a 90 miles an hour change-up.
But when Zack Cozart singled home a run in the top of the seventh to score a run and cut the Mets’ lead to 3-2, Syndergaard was removed.
That erased Syndergaard’s chance to enter the record books. Only one pitcher, Randy Johnson in 1995 with Seattle, ever gave up one or fewer runs and struck out more than eight four times.
Syndegaard had done it three straight and had nine strikeouts and had given up only one run until Cozart singled.
THE REDS STOLE five bases against Syndergaard and they put 12 men in scoring position, but only scored three.
The Reds had runners on first and third with no outs in the second. They didn’t score.
They had runners on first and third with one out in the sixth but Syndergaard struck out Devin Mesoraco and struck out Adam Duvall on three straight sliders.
THE METS TOOK a 1-0 lead on Reds starter Raisel Iglesias in the first after he struck out the first two batters. But the third hitter, Michael Conforto, drilled a home run for a 1-0 lead.
All five Mets runs came on home runs.
The Reds tied it, 1-1, when Billy Hamilton dragged a perfect bunt for a hit, stole second, stole third and scored on Zack Cozart’s sacrifice fly.
The Mets barged ahead, 3-1, in the third when Conforto singled and Lucas Duda homered to right field.
TYLER HOLT LED the Reds seventh with a single and took second on Syndergaard’s wild pickoff throw. Cozart drove him home with a single to make it 3-2.
Antonio Bastardo took Syndergaard’s place and walked Eugenio Suarez on four pitches. Votto singled to tie it, 3-3.
But the tie only last until the Mets came to bat and Walker struck for his game-winning home run, making certain that the Mets beat the Reds for the ninth straight time. Walker’s home run with his eighth, his seventh in the last 10 games.
BRANDON PHILLIPS BEAT an infield single in the second inning, extending his hitting streak against the Mets in New York to 33 games.
But he paid for it. When he batted in the fourth he fouled a pitch off his left toes. He fouled the next pitch off his left ankle and toppled into the dirt. The third pitch, a 97 miles an hour fastball, hit him on the left ring finger and he left the game. X-Rays on the finger were negative.
X-Rays on the Reds also are negative.