Phillies take lead as Reds melt down in epic fashion

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Well, that bottom of the seventh inning was probably one of the worst meltdowns I have seen in quite some time. And this is coming from a Mets fan. The Phillies now lead the Reds 6-4 in the eighth inning.

It all started when Chase Utley reached first base on a questionable HBP against Aroldis Chapman. The replays were pretty darn inconclusive, but you’d think Utley would have reacted a bit more had hit actually been hit by a 102 mph fastball. Maybe his life was just flashing before his eyes or something. Either way, he reached first base.

After Chapman fanned Ryan Howard for the first out, Jayson Werth hit a ground ball to third, which should have been thrown to first for the second out, but Scott Rolen decided to throw to second, instead. Again, replays were inconclusive, but Utley was ruled safe at second base.

Then, things went completely haywire. Jimmy Rollins hit a flyball to right field and Jay Bruce completely lost it in the lights, or more likely, the sea of white towels being waved at Citizens Bank Park. If that wasn’t bad enough, Brandon Phillips dropped the cut-off throw, allowing two runs to score. And to complete the trifecta of “I just don’t know,” it sure looked like Utley may have missed third base.

In summary, the Phillies have scored six runs thanks to six hits, four errors, four walks and three hit-by-pitches. Five of their six runs are unearned. The Reds are basically saying, “here, you can have it.”  

Mets activate Travis d’Arnaud, place Tommy Milone on disabled list

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The Mets announced on Wednesday that catcher Travis d'Arnaud has been activated from the 10-day disabled list and pitcher Tommy Milone has been placed on the 10-day DL.

d’Arnaud, 28, was placed on the DL on May 5 (retroactive to May 3) with a bone bruise on his right wrist. The Mets’ backstop appeared to have suffered the injury in mid-April when he accidentally hit his hand on the bat of the opposing hitter when he was making a throw. d’Arnaud resumes with a .203/.288/.475 triple-slash line with four home runs and 16 RBI in 66 plate appearances.

Milone, 30, made three mostly forgettable starts for the Mets, yielding 15 runs (14 earned) on 19 hits and seven walks with 12 strikeouts in 12 innings. Newsday’s Marc Carig says that, with Milone out, either Rafael Montero or Josh Smoker will start on Saturday with Smoker being more likely to get the nod.

Report: John Farrell may be on the hot seat

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The Red Sox, who won the AL East last season with a 93-69 record, have under-performed so far this season, entering Wednesday’s action with just two more wins than losses at 23-21. The club hasn’t had a winning streak of more than two games since April 15-18. As a result, manager John Farrell may be on the hot seat, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reported on Tuesday.

Beyond the mediocre record, Rosenthal cites two incidents that happened this season that caused Farrell’s stock to drop. The first was the brouhaha with the Orioles when Manny Machado slid into Dustin Pedroia at second base, causing Pedroia to suffer an injury. When reliever Matt Barnes intentionally threw a fastball at Machado, Pedroia was seen telling Machado, “It wasn’t me. It’s them.” The word “them,” of course, would ostensibly be referring to Barnes and Farrell.

The second incident happened last week when pitcher Drew Pomeranz challenged Farrell in the dugout after being removed with a pitch count of 97. Rosenthal suggests that some of Farrell’s players aren’t on the same page as the skipper.

Rosenthal also mentions that Farrell didn’t have the entire backing of the Red Sox clubhouse in 2013, when the club won the World Series. So the issues this year may not be unique; they may be part of a larger trend.

The biggest impediment in making a managerial change for the Red Sox is having a good candidate. After letting Torey Lovullo leave after last season to manage the Diamondbacks, the team’s two most likely interim candidates would be bench coach Gary DiSarcina and third base coach Brian Butterfield. DiSarcina has one year of managing experience above Single-A (Triple-A Pawtucket in 2013). Butterfield hasn’t managed in 15 years.