Next Mets casualty could be Manuel

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The New York Mets deserve a new sponsor. How about Chico’s Bail Bonds?

After sleepwalking through another loss on Monday, this time to the mighty Arizona Diamondbacks, manager Jerry Manuel took the time to rip his players, and for good reason, too.

“We were a bad team tonight,” Mets manager Jerry Manuel said. “We didn’t pitch well. They had a couple of hustle plays on us. Very poor game. Very poor effort on our part. There has to come a time where there is some consistency. We are just not getting that.”

The mistakes included Daniel Murphy failing to cover first on a routine double play ball, which led to an error, and other mental mistakes. According to David Lennon of Newsday, Manuel took a few players aside after the game for a private “wake-up call.”

Lennon theorizes that more efforts like the one on Monday could cost Manuel his job, despite a statement of support from Jeff Wilpon in June.

With Omar Minaya taking most of the heat this season for the Mets’ lack of organizational depth – along with his news conference meltdown – the crosshairs could soon find Manuel, who is only signed through 2010.

The Mets have 10 players on the disabled list, including five former All-Stars. But even with the team out of contention, it still reflects badly on Manuel that they can’t muster a big-league effort over the final two months. The Mets already are 1-4 on this road trip.

One possible solution for Manuel to save his job? Pull a hammy.

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Travis d’Arnaud’s position in Wednesday’s box score read “3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B-3B-2B”

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The Mets had to scratch both Jose Reyes and Wilmer Flores an hour before Wednesday’s game against the Yankees due to ribcage injuries, so Travis d'Arnaud — normally a catcher — borrowed David Wright‘s glove and played third base for the first time in his career. He had played some third base in spring training, but as far as an official professional game goes, he’s never been there.

The first two batters the Yankees sent up to the plate in the first inning were left-handed. But when the right-handed Aaron Judge came up, manager Terry Collins swapped second baseman Asdrubal Cabrera with d’Arnaud. It became a thing. The two swapped once more in the first inning, three times in the second, once in the third, five times in the fourth, once in the fifth, three times in the sixth, four times in the seventh, once in the eighth, and twice in the ninth. It worked, as d’Arnaud didn’t have an opportunity to make a play until catching Todd Frazier‘s pop-up for the first out of the ninth inning — as a second baseman. Cabrera had a handful of opportunities, including immediately after having swapped with d’Arnaud.

The Mets lost 5-3. At the plate, d’Arnaud went 0-for-3 with a sacrifice fly. Cabrera was 1-for-4.

Matt Reynolds and Gavin Cecchini are being recalled from Triple-A Las Vegas so the Mets don’t have to do the “3B-2B shenanigans,” as MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo put it, again.

John Lackey stole the first base of his career

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Cubs starter John Lackey stole the first base of his 15-year career on Wednesday against the Reds. Of course, he spent the first 11 and a half years of his career in the American League, where opportunities to bat, let alone attempt to steal a base, were rare. Lackey entered Wednesday having taken 250 plate appearances, reaching base just 31 times on 17 singles, seven doubles, and seven walks for a .134 on-base percentage. One can imagine the 38-year-old is not exactly the swiftest base runner.

Still, Lackey managed to swipe a bag in the fourth inning. He singled with two outs against Homer Bailey. Then, with an 0-1 count on Ben Zobrist, Lackey broke for second even before Bailey began his windup. Tucker Barnhart stood up to alert Bailey that Lackey was running, so Bailey wheeled around and threw to second base, but Lackey slid into the bag easily safe. It wasn’t a pretty slide, but it did the job.

Lackey, however, was picked off of second base by Barnhart later that inning. Bailey threw a 3-2 fastball wide of the strike zone, walking Zobrist. Lackey had wandered too far off of second base, so Barnhart threw behind Lackey and the tag was applied by Zack Cozart. Lackey was called safe initially. The play was reviewed and the ruling on the field was overturned, ending the fourth inning.

Base Ba’al giveth and Base Ba’al taketh away.