Rod, Louie play through discomfort

Rod Barajas, who was whacked on his glove hand by an Eli Whiteside swing on a botched pitchout Friday, returned to the lineup Sunday and went 0-for-4.

Barajas noted his left hand wasn’t exactly comfortable.

“It’s like you have a bruise and 200, 220 times a game somebody walks up to you and pushes it,” Barajas said. “I felt it pretty much the whole game, but it’s what we do.”

Barajas wasn’t the only Met toughing out the game.

Second baseman Luis Castillo had been held out of the starting lineup because of a bone bruise on the bottom of his left foot that forced him out of Saturday’s game in the eighth inning. But he entered in the eighth inning Sunday after Fernando Tatis pinch hit for Alex Cora.

Castillo said the problem is actually toward the front of his left foot, on the bottom.

“I don’t feel 100 percent, you know?” Castillo said. “But the game is tied and we didn’t have any more players left. And I play for the team.”

Barajas and Castillo’s ailments didn’t stop Jerry Manuel from managing differently than the previous series in Cincinnati.

When Manuel removed Wright for the final half-inning in Cincinnati on Wednesday, he reasoned that he needed to leave Tatis in the game at third base instead because the Mets otherwise wouldn’t have an emergency catcher.

Well, Manuel apparently has rethought the need for an emergency catcher. With Tatis already out of the game Sunday following his walk as a pinch hitter in the seventh, and with Cora out of the game as well, Manuel sent up Henry Blanco to pinch hit in the eighth. Blanco never did step into the batter’s box, though. The Mets skipper replaced him with Frank Catalanotto as a pinch hitter when opposing manager Bruce Bochy inserted right-handed closer Brian Wilson to replace left-hander Jeremy Affeldt.

“I thought the catchers were the thing this series. I was going to take a shot,” said Manuel, alluding to the consecutive walk-off homers by Barajas and Blanco the first two games of the series.