Per Adam Rubin (emphasis mine):
In Game No. 162 against the Marlins on Sept. 28, reliever Joe Smith was summoned to replace Oliver Perez with the bases loaded and one out and the Mets trying to keep their deficit at 1-0. The problem? Smith had not been instructed to be warming up at the time. He had been up earlier in the sixth inning, but had been sitting idle for three to four batters when the call to the bullpen came, the Daily News has learned.
Smith, hurrying after getting the unexpected news, actually smacked his head while leaving the bullpen, a source said. The sidearm reliever proceeded to walk Josh Willingham on five pitches to force in John Baker as Florida took a 2-0 lead. That game turned out to be Smith’s final appearance as a Met. He was the lone Met to land with the Indians in the three-team deal that brought J.J. Putz, Sean Green and Jeremy Reed to Flushing.
Carlos Beltran’s two-run homer a half-inning later tied the score, but eighth-inning homers by Wes Helms off Scott Schoeneweis and Dan Uggla offLuis Ayala resulted in Florida’s 4-2 win and lifted the Brewers to the wild-card crown. Schoeneweis subsequently was traded to the Diamondbacks, with the Mets eating $1.6 million of the $3.6 million owed to him. Ayala, a free agent, signed with the Twins.
Smith had even been given a cover story in case the reliever was questioned by the media after the game about entering without warming up. Television cameras apparently never caught Smith idle before being inserted, or smacking his head, and the episode went unquestioned. The temperature was 71 degrees at the first pitch, so it wasn’t a frigid day. Still, relievers generally aren’t conditioned – physically or mentally – to sit for several batters and then enter cold.
Smith, reached at his West Palm Beach, Fla., home before leaving for Cleveland’s spring training complex in Arizona, declined to comment.
Basically, I just miss Joe Smith