Terry Collins wasn't about to chance it, not with his team down by seven runs and already resembling a M*A*S*H unit.
Once D.J. Carrasco was ejected by plate umpire Gary Darling after he felt the Mets reliever hit Brewers star Ryan Braun on purpose one pitch following Rickie Weeks' seventh-inning homer, Collins figured it was time for a pre-emptive strike.
No way he was going to let the Brewers potentially retaliate Tuesday night.
So the Mets manager yanked David Wright out of the lineup in the Mets' half of the seventh, refusing to send Wright out to lead off the inning. The third baseman was visibly ticked, showing the most emotion the Mets had during their 8-0 loss to Milwaukee on a misty night at Citi Field.
"In my opinion, why I took him out of the game, he wasn't getting hurt," Collins said. "I'm not accusing anybody for the possibility of retaliation. But I don't blame the umpires for doing what they do. I don't blame the other team for any perception they had of what happened.
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"But I've got news for you: In this game, there are unwritten rules. And one of the unwritten rules is you hit my guy, I'm hitting your guy. They are not hitting my guy tonight. I'm not exposing him to being hit.
He said, 'If anybody gets hit, I want it to be me.' I said, 'I'm sorry, it's not going to be you . . . He's not getting hit. He's not getting hurt in that game tonight."
Wright, who was caught by SNY cameras looking fired up and upset as he talked to Collins in the dugout, said he respected the decision.
"Terry's the manager and I try to go to battle for Terry every day," he said. "He's got to make the move that's best for the team and he obviously did that. Whether I agree or disagree with it, he's got to make the move he thinks is best for the team and he obviously did that . . . I respect him. I love playing for him, the short amount of time that we had together. You get caught up in the moment and things probably looked worse than they really were, and we go on from here. But Terry and I have no issues. It's just one of those things where in the heat of the moment, it probably looked worse than it really was."
Carrasco said he didn't intentionally throw at Braun and was stunned Darling gave him the heave-ho.
"It was a really quick decision," the reliever said. "It was not even a time to read my emotions or take into account the score of the game or the situation there. I was there to throw a few innings out of the bullpen. I'm not trying to get tossed out two or three hitters into the inning."
Braun seemed to shrug the whole ordeal off. "Honestly, I have no idea whether it was intentional or not, so you got to ask him," he said. "In a situation like that, first pitch after a homer, it looks questionable obviously. But I can't say what his intent was or wasn't."
Those late-game fireworks came after the Brewers had roughed up Dillon Gee, touching him for seven runs on eight hits -- including a pair of home runs by Travis Ishikawa -- in 5 1/3 innings. Gee got no help as the offense was ineffective against Zack Greinke, giving the Mets a split in their two-game series against the Brewers.
Gee couldn't explain why he had such a rough outing.
"I felt great today, really," Gee said. "I don't know, man. I'm at a loss for words today. I felt good out there. I felt like I made a lot of good pitches. In my mind, I only made a couple of mistakes . . . I don't know. I've got to find something to do different."