Through the first three innings of Friday's game between the Mets and Dodgers, Noah Syndergaard looked to be at the top of his game, allowing just two hitters to reach base while striking out four.
But in the fourth inning, Syndergaard made a pair of mistake pitches that ultimately handed him his eighth loss of the season in the Dodgers' 9-2 victory.
With one away, Cody Bellinger walked, followed by a Corey Seager single. AJ Pollock then sharply grounded a ball up the middle, just out of the reach of Robinson Cano, scoring Bellinger and tying the game.
Then came the big blow. On a 3-2 pitch, Syndergaard left a curveball up in the zone, and Gavin Lux didn't miss it, crushing a three-run shot to center field that hit just about the orange line, giving the Dodgers a 4-1 lead.
"Breaking pitches, I'm still trying to get a feel for them," Syndergaard said after the game.
"I think tonight, in terms of mechanics, was a step in the right direction. Just got to continue to put in the work in between starts.
Much has been made in recent days of Syndergaard's battery mate and why his numbers have been better with Tomas Nido behind the plate. On Friday, it was once again Wilson Ramos behind the dish, and Mickey Callaway said he thought the pair worked well together.
"I thought they did fine. I thought the rhythm was good … except for two pitches, it seemed to work out pretty good," said Callaway. "I'm sure Noah would like to have those two pitches back, and those three at-bats of Bellinger's where he's fouling tough pitches off. Those were some of the best pitches he threw all night were to Bellinger, and he kept grinding it out and fouling balls off and it ran his pitch count up."
"I felt really good. I felt like I was able to keep my tempo up. I thought Wilson called a really good game," added Syndergaard. "I thought we were really meshing out there. I just wish I had that one pitch back. My pitch count got quite a bit elevated early in the game just because that's a good offensive team. They know what they're doing up there at the dish and they were making me work out there."
Syndergaard's night came to an end after just five innings, allowing those four earned runs on five hits while striking out four.
He threw 102 pitches on the night, but said afterwards that he felt very comfortable with the way Ramos called the game.
"I think we were really meshing and flowing out there, so it's a step in the right direction in us building a strong relationship and I look forward to many more outings with him," Syndergaard said.
As for the recent reports of Syndergaard voicing his displeasure about who's been catching him, the right-hander referred to the whole situation as a "misunderstanding."
"I just think there's a little bit of a misunderstanding with the whole situation. For me, I definitely don't want to go out there and throw any of my teammates under the bus or be critical of them," said Syndergaard. "My whole point was trying to figure out an understanding of why my splits are so different and how to fix that, because we really need (Ramos') bat in the lineup."
Asked if he apologized to Ramos for how the whole incident came to light, Syndergaard said he felt there was no need.
"I wasn't really anticipating leaked information getting out," he said.
The right-hander is now 10-8 on the season with a 4.15 ERA.