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YORK -- When reliever D.J. Carrasco was ejected in the seventh inning of the Mets' 8-0 loss to the Brewers after hitting left fielder Ryan Braun with the first pitch in the at-bat, it also had an indirect impact on David Wright.
To protect Wright, manager Terry Collins pinch-hit for his star third baseman, setting up a heated argument between the two in the dugout in between innings.
Collins said he didn't want Wright and the hot-hitting Daniel Murphy, who was also pinch-hit for in the seventh inning, getting thrown at, thus risking an injury. Braun's status as the reigning National League MVP went into Collins' decision to remove Wright.
"I got news for you, in this game there are unwritten rules," Collins said. "And one of the unwritten rules is you hit my guy, I'm hitting your guy. They're not hitting my guy tonight. I'm not exposing him to being hit."
Even though the two were arguing before the bottom of the seventh and were later seen in the game still talking about the issue, Collins and Wright discounted the argument as frustration at the situation and not at each other. The war of words was over Wright's comment that if anyone was to get hit, he wanted to assume the responsibility.
"I guess my thinking at the time was, Ryan gets hit and then I go up there and get hit and then everything is settled," Wright said.
While Collins said he didn't think Carrasco hit Braun on purpose, he was not surprised that his reliever was thrown out given the situation. Prior to Braun's at-bat, Rickie Weeks hit a line-drive home run to left field, extending the Brewers' lead to 8-0.
Carrasco claimed the pitch was a splitter that got away from him. He said the pitch was not meant as retaliation for the home run.
"I don't think D.J. hit him on purpose. I really don't," Collins said. "But if I'm the umpire, it sure looked like that. ... Mike Nickeas said, 'I don't think, we didn't intend to hit him.' And I said, 'Mike, I believe that.' But if that's on the other side of the field, if Kirk Neiuwenhuis hits a homer and David Wright gets drilled on a game like tonight with the next pitch, somebody better be ejected."
Wright also added he was not surprised by home-plate umpire Gary Darling's decision to eject Carrasco.
After stating his case with Darling, Collins replaced Carrasco with right-hander Ramon Ramirez, who finished the inning without allowing a runner on base.
"Well, we ended up being in a tough position," Collins said. "I will tell you what, I tip my hat to Ramon Ramirez tonight. He had to go out there, and our bullpen is somewhat worn out, and he had to give us innings, and I'm very proud of him. He went in and sucked it up for us."