Josh Smoker saved the Mets bullpen on Tuesday night with a four-inning relief outing after Zack Wheeler lasted only 1 2⁄3 innings in a 14-3 loss to the Cubs.
Smoker appears to have paid the price, however.
The Mets announced before Wednesday night’s game that Smoker has been placed on the 10-day disabled list with a left shoulder strain.
Smoker threw a career-high 81 pitches. His previous high in the majors was 48.
The Mets recalled righthander Rafael Montero from Triple-A Las Vegas instead of Hansel Robles, who is flailing at Las Vegas with a 7.56 ERA in seven appearances going into Wednesday.
“[Robles] is really struggling with command of his fastball,” manager Terry Collins said, “which is why we sent him down there. He’s the one guy I’m trying to keep an eye on a little bit because this guy was pretty effective for a couple of years with us.”
Michael Conforto reported improvement in his sore back and struck out as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning.
“I feel good today,” Conforto said. “It tightened up a few days ago. I think we’re pretty sensitive to those types of things lately, so we just wanted to make sure we were being smart with it and just kind of knock it out right away. So that’s kind of where we’re at, just being cautious, but today I feel great.”
Yoenis Cespedes, who left Tuesday night’s blowout loss to the Cubs after five innings, was not in the lineup as expected. Collins said he hopes to play Cespedes three games in a row starting Thursday night.
The Mets drafted Edgardo Alfonzo’s son, Daniel, in the 38th round on Wednesday. Daniel played third base — his father’s position, though he also played second base — at Bayside High School in Queens.