Rob Thomson leads red-hot Phillies into wild-card position
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Rob Thomson is Exhibit A that an in-season managerial change can work.

The former Phillies bench coach (he served in the same role previously with the Yankees) was elevated to manager following Joe Girardi’s firing on June 3. The Phillies will begin a three-game series Friday at Citi Field as one of MLB’s hottest teams, owning a 40-20 record since Thomson’s promotion.

The Phillies held a half-game lead, entering Thursday’s play, for the National League’s second wild-card spot.

Earlier this week Keith Hernandez half-jokingly said on SNY that he requests time off from the broadcast booth for games against Philadelphia because the Phillies “fundamentally and defensively have always not been just up to it.”

The comment wasn’t well-received by Thomson.

“I heard about it,” Thomson told Philadelphia reporters. “[Hernandez] is a good baseball man, and I respect his opinion, but it doesn’t mean I have to agree with it because I don’t. I think we’ve been playing very well defensively the last couple of months. I think we made five errors in the month of July and [Tuesday] night was our first one in August.”

Phillies manager Rob Thomson
Phillies manager Rob Thomson

Dominic Smith’s fate was sealed after the Mets acquired left-handed bats Daniel Vogelbach and Tyler Naquin before the trade deadline.

The Mets reinstated Smith from the injured list on Thursday and optioned him to Triple-A Syracuse, where he had been rehabbing from a sprained right ankle.

It will be Smith’s second stint in the minors this season — he spent most of June with Syracuse after a sluggish start to the season with the Mets.

Smith owns a .194/.276/.284 slash line in 58 games for the Mets this season. His last homer came on July 21, 2021 in Cincinnati.

The Mets announced their full list of expected attendees for Old-Timers’ Day on Aug. 27 at Citi Field. The Mets last staged the event in 1994.

Managers: Terry Collins, Joe Torre, Willie Randolph, Bobby Valentine.

Pitchers: Craig Anderson, Bartolo Colon, David Cone, Dennis Cook, Ron Darling, Steve Dillon, Sid Fernandez, John Franco, Dwight Gooden, Mike Hampton, Jay Hook, Terry Leach, Al Leiter, Skip Lockwood, Ed Lynch, Ken MacKenzie, Pat Mahomes, Pedro Martinez, Jon Matlack, Roger McDowell, Bob Ojeda, Jesse Orosco, Glendon Rusch, Johan Santana, Doug Sisk, Steve Trachsel, Billy Wagner, Turk Wendell.

Catchers: Todd Hundley, Mike Piazza, Todd Pratt, John Stearns, Josh Thole.

Infielders: Edgardo Alfonzo, Wally Backman, Rico Brogna, Kevin Elster, Keith Hernandez, Howard Johnson, Ray Knight, Ed Kranepool, Felix Millan, Daniel Murphy, Jose Reyes, Rafael Santana, Tim Teufel, Robin Ventura, Todd Zeile.

Outfielders: Benny Agbayani, Endy Chavez, Cliff Floyd, Steve Henderson, Cleon Jones, Lee Mazzilli, Kevin Mitchell, Jay Payton, Art Shamsky, Darryl Strawberry, Ron Swoboda, Frank Thomas, Mookie Wilson.

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