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Ump on Díaz ejection: Substance 'wasn't rosin and sweat'

Erick W. Rasco / Sports Illustrated / Getty

New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz was ejected from Sunday night's game against the Chicago Cubs following a foreign substance check by umpires at the start of the ninth inning.

Díaz and manager Carlos Mendoza pled their case to crew chief Vic Carapazza following the ejection to no avail. He was tossed before throwing a pitch in the inning.

"I just say I use the same thing always; rosin, sweat, and I put my hand in the dirt a little bit because I need to have some grip on the ball," Díaz told reporters.

"I was really surprised because I didn't have anything on my hand, my glove, my belt. They always check my hat, everything."

Close-up shots appeared to show some kind of substance on Díaz's hand.

"They look like that always," Díaz said. "I put my hand in the dirt, that's why my hand got dirty."

Díaz now faces an automatic 10-game suspension as a result of the ejection.

"It definitely wasn't rosin and sweat," Carapazza said, according to Tim Healey of Newsday. "We've checked thousands of these. I know what that feeling is. This was very sticky."

He added: "I told him it's too sticky and we have to take action. I knew right when I touched it. It was way too sticky."

The two-time Reliever of the Year spent time on the injured list with a shoulder issue and, in 23 games this season, he's tallied 33 strikeouts with a 12.9 K/9 rate, but he also owns an unusually high 4.70 ERA and 1.17 WHIP with just seven saves.

Drew Smith replaced Díaz on the mound following the ejection and recorded two outs. Jake Diekman then entered to record a one-out save and clinch a 5-2 victory for New York.

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