A muscle strain clearly would have prompted fewer comments and less playful clubhouse commentary.
"Everyone's had something to say, but me," Joe Smith said. "All I said was, 'Thank you.'"
Smith has understood since Spring Training that his place on the big league roster was dependent on the health and availability of other relief pitchers. When Duaner Sanchez was unable to begin the season on the active roster, Smith had a big league job. And a week before Sanchez's return -- April 15, Wise finally was assigned to the disabled list, affording Smith extended job security.
But now Wise has rejoined the team, though he hasn't been added to the roster. When he is, Smith will be optioned to Triple-A, despite his effective pitching. That is the plan, a person in the Mets hierarchy said Friday. But the postponement of the Mets' game against the Reds on Friday night, the resulting doubleheader on Saturday and the chance for bullpen overload in two games prompted the club to retain Smith on the roster.
If Smith pitches in the first game, he could be assigned to the Minor Leagues to accommodate Wise on the roster for the second game. If Smith doesn't pitch in the first game, the Mets might not make a roster move until Sunday. And if Smith isn't used in the doubleheader, the club could not make a move with Wise until after Smith does pitch.
"If anything's going to happen," Smith said, "I'd like to get it over with."
He understands the reasoning -- the club has options on his contract. It has none on the contract of Jorge Sosa, who would be the more likely candidate for demotion if options were not a consideration. Sosa's flexibility -- he can pitch three or four innings if needed -- also is a factor.
Wise says he doesn't know what the plan is. How could he? He's delighted merely to be back with the big league team. Port St. Lucie, Fla., can wear on a guy, and he has spent most of the last three months there in the sprawling burg where the Mets train.
"Lots of Chili's and the Outback," he said. "I let the waiters and waitresses order for me. They know I've had almost everything on the menus."
CIN: RHP Matt Belisle (1-2, 6.91 ERA)
David Wright, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado have a .381 average in 21 composite at-bats against Belisle. Right-handed hitters are batting .322 in 30 at-bats against him this season. Left-handed hitters are batting .324 in 37 at-bats. In his career, he has allowed 61 hits in 164 at-bats with runners in scoring position and two outs -- a .372 average. Pelfrey's corresponding figures are 17 hits in 68 at-bats, a .250 average.
NYM: LHP Johan Santana (3-2, 2.91 ERA)
CIN: RHP Bronson Arroyo (1-4, 8.63 ERA)
Santana has allowed 48 baserunners and struck out 47 in 46 1/3 innings. His career numbers against the Reds are poor -- 0-0 record and 6.14 ERA. He twice pitched against them, in 2000 and '01.
Arroyo's most recent start, Sunday against the Braves, was the shortest of his career, 1 1/3 innings. He allowed seven runs in the second inning. His previous start produced his lone victory. Two of his five career complete games have come in his four most recent starts against the Mets. He was 2-1 with a 2.18 ERA in those four starts (33 innings).
NYM: RHP Mike Pelfrey (2-2, 5.27 ERA)
After winning his first two starts, Pelfrey has produced a no-decision and then two losses and hasn't completed the sixth in any one of the three. Moreover, his ERA in the 15 1/3 innings of those three starts is 8.22, and he has allowed 38 baserunners. His ground ball outs to fly ball outs ratio for his first two starts was 26-4. Since then, it has been 23-22.
As expected, the Mets added catcher Ramon Castro to their roster, designating catcher Raul Casanova for assignment. The club hopes Casanova will clear waivers so it can retain his services. He exceeded expectations with his .283 batting average and six RBIs in 46 at-bats. Castro had expected to play Saturday -- a day game after a night game -- but the doubleheader Saturday all but guarantees him a start. ... Catcher Brian Schneider says he now is able to start five of six games, so the Mets were comfortable about activating Castro. Schneider said his legs lost strength and stamina when he was unable to play because of his infected left thumb. ... The lineup for Friday night's game had Delgado batting seventh for the first time since Sept. 30, 1995. He accepted the assignment -- he didn't call it a demotion. The order also had Luis Castillo batting second. The batting order had Ryan Church batting fifth, Moises Alou sixth, Delgado seventh and Schneider eighth, seemingly providing greater depth than any of the other 20 orders Willie Randolph had used in the first 32 games.
Pedro Martinez threw 60 pitches -- some to hitters, some not -- on Friday in the most significant step to date in his recovery from a hamstring strain. The club was encouraged that he threw so many pitches and that he threw his entire repertoire. There is no schedule for his next pitching episode, but it is likely to come Monday, and no speculation about his return to active duty.
This day in Mets history -- May 10: Tom Seaver provided a lesson in overcoming adversity on this date in 1969. He pitched a complete game and beat the Astros despite walking six, throwing two wild pitches an enduring an error and passed ball. The error, passed ball and one of the wild pitches occurred in the seventh inning when the Astros scored their lone run in the Mets' 3-1 victory at Shea Stadium. ... Buddy Harrelson's two-out single against Wade Blasingame in the seventh inning was responsible for the run production in the Mets' 2-1 victory against the Astros at Shea on May 10, 1971. Harrelson had 32 RBIs in 618 plate appearances that year.
Hot-cold, hot-cold. The Mets of 1975 lost, 7-1, to the Reds at Shea on this date, extending their losing streak to six. They had played 24 games and already had losing streaks of six and five games and a winning streak of seven. A victory against the Reds on May 11 was the beginning of a five-game winning streak. June brought two winning streaks of four games and one seven-game losing streak. The Mets of '75 finished with an 82-80 record, as did the Mets of 2001. No Mets team has finished with a .500 record.
On this date in 1982, Padres manager Dick Williams had left-handed reliever Gary Lucas intentionally walk Mets pinch-hitter George Foster with a runner on second base and first base unoccupied, putting the winning run on base with two out in the ninth inning. A double by pinch-hitter Bob Bailor scored Elis Valentine and pinch-runner Wally Backman, and the Mets won, 3-2, at Shea. Randy Jones, prospering under the tutelage of manager George Bamberger, pitched a complete game, putting his record at 4-1 and beating his former team for the first and only time in his career.
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Sunday: Mets (Oliver Perez, 2-3, 4.63) vs. Reds (Johnny Cueto, 2-3, 5.27), 1:10 p.m. ET
Monday: Mets (Nelson Figueroa, 2-2, 4.81) vs. Nationals (Odalis Perez, 0-3, 3.43), 7:10 p.m. ET
Tuesday: Mets (John Maine, 4-2, 3.00) vs. Nationals (John Lannan, 3-3, 3.40), 7:10 p.m. ET