NEW YORK -- A bizarre game grew surreal for the Mets in the eighth inning Tuesday, when third baseman David Wright pulled his right hamstring on a stolen-base attempt. The short-term ramification was that the Mets played the ninth inning of their 6-5 win over the Phillies with a backup catcher manning third base. The long-term consequence is that Wright may be headed to the disabled list with a hamstring strain for the second time in three years.
"If it wasn't major, David Wright wouldn't open his mouth," manager Terry Collins said. "He would come in tomorrow, do his stuff, throw on six Ace bandages and go play. I'm not sure that's going to happen tomorrow."
As it was, Wright stayed in the game for five additional pitches, testing out his leg on some secondary leads off the second-base bag. Though he successfully stole the base, Wright felt a tug at his hamstring a few steps away from it, resulting in an awkward feet-first slide.
"Anytime you feel something like that, you hope that it goes away," Wright said. "This just didn't go away."
Wright will go for an MRI on the hamstring Wednesday morning. Late Tuesday, he sounded almost resigned to a DL stint, referring to a previous right hamstring injury he suffered in 2013. In that instance, Wright tweaked his muscle but attempted to play on it, ultimately tearing it to the extent that he "could barely walk." He missed the final seven weeks of the season.
To prevent this from turning into his fourth major injury in the last five seasons, Wright said he will be more cautious with his leg. The Mets are already preparing to miss him, flying utility man Eric Campbell to New York from Triple-A Las Vegas. Though the team has not officially activated Campbell, it will almost certainly do so before Wednesday's game.
"Real frustrating," was how Wright described the situation. "I pride myself on going out there and trying to play every day, and this just sucks."
While worry was the night's overriding emotion, the immediate aftermath of Wright's injury produced mostly chaos. Playing their first eight games of the season with a four-man bench, the Mets used every bench player except for Anthony Recker in the first seven innings. So when Wright left the game, the Mets had three choices: use Recker at third base; use Recker at first and move Lucas Duda to third; or use a pitcher such as Jacob deGrom in the infield. Not wanting to risk a pitcher to injury and preferring not to move two players out of position, the Mets went with Option 1.
So it came to be that Recker -- a backup catcher who has pitched mop-up relief in the big leagues, but never played third base even in Little League -- wound up at the hot corner. At the start of the inning, second baseman Daniel Murphy advised Recker to shift forward onto the infield grass, thereby discouraging the Phillies from testing him with bunts.
"Obviously, we don't want to go without David ever," Recker said. "But we have all the confidence in the world in all the guys that are in here to come in, step up and play third base. Obviously, it's not going to be me tomorrow. But whoever it is, we'll have confidence in them to come in, step up and fill the void as best they can."
Anthony DiComo is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.