Athletics third baseman Matt Chapman was ejected by home plate umpire Mike Everitt in the bottom of the fourth inning of Wednesday’s afternoon game. As Chapman stepped into the batter’s box he had a few words with Angels catcher Juan Graterol, who stood up and flipped his mask up to confront Chapman. Chapman was ejected and manager Bob Melvin came out to argue with Everitt on his player’s behalf.
The confrontation apparently started because the Angels felt Khris Davis was tipping pitches from second base in the second inning, per Jeff Fletcher of the Orange County Register.
Chapman was replaced by Renato Nunez, who struck out.
The game is only in the fifth inning. Hopefully the drama ends there, but there’s plenty of ballgame left. The Athletics hold a 1-0 lead thanks to a solo home run from Davis, who now leads the American League with 39 home runs.
The Phillies announced that they’ve optioned right-hander Hector Neris to Triple-A Lehigh Valley.
Nerris, who saved 26 games as the Phillies closer in 2017 and ten games in that role this year, has struggled this year, posting a 6.00 ERA in 30 appearances. While his strikeout and walk rates aren’t too far off what he was doing last year his hit rate has spiked and he’s currently allowing 10.3 safeties per nine. The wheels have come off of late, as he has allowed nine runs on 15 hits — five of them homers — over his last eight innings of work. Yesterday he allowed four runs in the ninth inning of a game the Phillies had led by five.
It was clear that Gabe Kapler had lost faith in Neris as a result, using him almost exclusively in low-leverage situations. That changed on Saturday, as Kapler used him in a save situation and said after the game that they were easing him back into his role. That plan obviously changed after yesterday’s meltdown.
Seranthony Dominguez had been getting the call in save situations. He’ll get them more now.