WASHINGTON -- The Mets signed right-hander Jon Rauch over the winter to pitch in some of their highest-leverage situations. But with Tuesday's game on the line, a right-handed hitter at the plate, and closer Bobby Parnell already in the clubhouse, manager Terry Collins passed over Rauch in favor of Pedro Beato.
Turns out there was a reason. Rauch said he was in "quite a bit of pain" Tuesday due to his knees filling up with fluid, "to the point where I could barely even walk." Around game time, a doctor came to the clubhouse to drain both knees and give Rauch a cortisone injection, which reduced the pain.
Because of the procedure, Collins believed that Rauch was unavailable in the 10th inning Tuesday -- even if Rauch disagreed.
"I could have pitched," Rauch said. "I could have pitched through pain. It wouldn't have been the first time."
Rauch has undergone surgeries to both knees in his career and endured arthritis for years, prompting him to receive an injection of synthetic cartilage on July 8. But he had a bad reaction to the procedure and his knees filled up with fluid, which a doctor drained Tuesday.
Calling it "an oil change," Rauch said he felt significantly better Wednesday and was available to pitch if needed.