Fired-up D-backs fall short in finale

Fired-up D-backs fall short

PHOENIX -- For Jon Rauch, it was two pitches in the eighth inning that lit his fuse.

For D-backs manager A.J. Hinch, though, it was what happened in the first five innings that raised his blood pressure.

Both were ejected in the eighth inning and were not around to see the final out in the Mets' 6-4 win over the D-backs on Wednesday afternoon at Chase Field.

The loss prevented the D-backs from sweeping the Mets, though they finished the season series with a 5-2 mark against them.

Rauch (2-1) was the first to depart the game.

The big right-hander was unhappy with two pitches during the eighth, one to Fernando Tatis and the other to Luis Castillo. Both of the pitches would have been strike three, but the at-bats instead continued and they each wound up getting hits and scoring.

"I don't think I got squeezed," Rauch said. "I just think [home-plate umpire Mike Everitt] flat-out missed two calls. I mean, two calls out of 20-some-odd pitches, that's not getting squeezed. He was pretty consistent the whole game calling pitches a little bit off the plate, a little out of the zone maybe, and I felt like he all of a sudden changed and I wasn't too pleased with it."

Rauch waited until after the inning was over to blow his top.

"I said something obviously that he didn't appreciate and he tossed me right away, and then I tried to get my money's worth," Rauch said. "I kind of let my emotions get the better of me there, but I had some things I thought needed to be said, and that's it."

Hinch went out to try and pull Rauch away from Everitt, but at 6-foot-11 Rauch made even the former catcher look small, and Hinch had a hard time prying him away.

"He's a big man, and that's a lot of man to move around," Hinch said with a smile.

"He didn't really hold me back too much," Rauch said. "He tried, and I went in and apologized for manhandling him."

Once Rauch departed, Hinch continued the argument with Everitt, and he too found himself ejected for the second time in six games.

"I felt my player was right, and that got me kicked out of the game," Hinch said. "I will tip my hat to [Rauch] in terms of getting through the inning, because a lot of guys wouldn't have been able to hold their frustration or their anger until the end of the inning."

Whether the calls were missed or not, Rauch wound up allowing a pair of runs during the inning as the Mets grabbed a 5-3 lead.

"Obviously, I didn't make good pitches when I needed to," Rauch said.

In fact, though, the D-backs let this game slip away before the eighth when they left 11 men stranded in the first five innings against Mets starter Oliver Perez.

The left-hander walked six while allowing six hits during that span, and yet the D-backs could only muster one run when Ryan Roberts doubled home Augie Ojeda in the third.

In Hinch's mind, the game should easily have been 5-0 rather than 1-0.

"We had runners in scoring position, we had Perez on the ropes in every inning," Hinch said. "We never cashed in, so the frustrating part is that we were in control of that game and we had every opportunity and we didn't score any runs and didn't separate ourselves. We kind of kept them in the game and it ended up biting us."

Steve Gilbert is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.