Mets closer Edwin Díaz suspended 10 games after ejection for sticky substance on Sunday

Despite losing Edwin Díaz late, the Mets still held on to beat the Cubs 5-2

New York Mets closer Edwin Díaz was ejected before throwing a pitch Sunday after umpires determined he had an illegal sticky substance on his hand, and on Monday MLB handed down a 10-game suspension.

The Mets had brought in Díaz to protect a 5-2 lead in the bottom of the ninth, but second base umpire Brian Walsh didn't like what he saw during the routine hand check when a reliever enters a game. After a tense back-and-forth with Díaz and Mets manager Carlos Mendoza, crew chief Vic Carapazza ejected the pitcher.

One close-up angle clearly showed some sort of substance on Díaz's hand.

After the game, Díaz insisted that he had done nothing wrong.

"I use the same thing always," Díaz said, via ESPN. "I rub rosin, swear, and I put my hand on the dirt a little bit because I need to have some grip on the ball. So that's what I was explaining to them. But they said it was too much stick. I understood, but at the end of the day I was using rosin, sweat and put my hand on the dirt."

Carapazza, however, wasn't buying that argument.

"It definitely wasn't rosin and sweat," Carapazza said after the game, via ESPN's Jesse Rogers. "We've checked thousands of these. I know what that feeling is. This was very sticky."

The Mets confirmed on Tuesday that Díaz won't appeal his suspension.

"We want to move on from it," Mets manager Carlos Mendoza said, via ESPN. "We don't want this cloud to be hanging over the team for too long. And we decided it was best."

Díaz's ejection left Mendoza needing to call in reliever Drew Smith to cover the ninth inning. Smith got the first two outs before allowing a single to Cubs shortstop Dansby Swanson. Mendoza then brought in Jake Diekman, who finished the game with a strikeout of Patrick Wisdom. The final held at 5-2.

It might have been Díaz's first ejection of the season, but it's not the first time things have gone badly after he entered the game. The $102 million man holds a 4.70 ERA this season, with four blown saves in 11 opportunities, and has seen himself both demoted from the closer role and placed on the injured list with a shoulder injury.

Since returning from the IL, Díaz had posted three straight scoreless appearances for the first time since April 4, but he's now facing another step backward.

This is Díaz's first season back after missing all of the 2023 season with a torn patellar tendon sustained in the World Baseball Classic. He has only one more season left on his Mets contract after this season, with a salary of $21.5 million, but he holds player options for 2025 and 2026 at $18.5 million each.