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That being said, it is possible that the mulch may have either been too "hot" or perhaps "sour". Did it have a strong smell? It is unlikely that the mulch could have created a pH problem. pH changes occur slowly over time - not as quickly as your plants declined.
Problems can arise when mulch is stored in large piles that aren't properly turned and aerated. The centers of these large piles can get hot and the lack of oxygen can cause toxic gasses to build up. These gasses are released when the mulch is spread and cause the damage you noticed on your plants. This is more common with hardwood mulches. The best way around this is to let the mulch air out before you spread it on the garden. This will allow the toxic gasses to dissipate. Damaged foliage can be trimmed off and the plants should recover.