Monday, October 3, 2011
Notes: David Murphy to start Game 4
By Richard Durrett
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- David Murphy will be back in left field for Tuesday's Game 4, according to Rangers manager Ron Washington. Texas faces right-handed pitcher Jeremy Hellickson and Washington wants Murphy's left-handed bat in the lineup.
"Murphy's been swinging the bat," Washington said. "He's been doing what he's been doing to this point. I've wondered how I can get Endy [Chavez] in there, but it's goign to happen when it happens."
Murphy hit .351 in September with four homers and 15 RBIs. He is 1-for-3 with two strikeouts in the first two ALDS games.
Washington said he's glad to have the left-handed hitting Chavez, who hit .292 in September, off the bench. It gives him someone who can pinch-hit, pinch-run and play solid defense when or if needed.
"He can do a lot of things," Washington said. "I certainly haven't forgotten about him."
* Nelson Cruz convinced Washington not to take him out late in Game 2. But the manager said he would still probably go with a pinch-runner late in a tight game if Cruz was in scoring position. Adrian Beltre is clearly ahead of Cruz with his hamstring and Washington would be less likely to take Beltre out.
"Beltre showed you he has some power in his legs when he scored on that ball the other day," Washington said. "I saw good reaction."
* The Rangers' outfielders made sure to work get some work watching balls into the roof and the lights at Tropicana Field during Sunday's workout. That includes Craig Gentry, who will be in CF. It helps that the team played afternoon games at Tropicana Field this season, so they've seen how the light goes through the roof and what it's like on the field.
"We needed to get our eyes acclimated to being inside here," Washington said. "The infielders took grounders to get a feel for the hops. But we've played here. We know what it's like."
* Washington said his club finally got some breaks in the second half of Game 2. But reiterated that momentum is still about the pitcher. He believes Colby Lewis can determine whether the Rangers have momentum today.
* Michael Young is the Rangers' nominee for the 2011 Hank Aaron Award.
Fan voting begins today exclusively online at MLB.com and the 30 Club sites. For the second straight year, a special panel of Hall of Fame players led by Hank Aaron will join fans in voting for the award, which is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and has recognized the most outstanding offensive performer in each League since it was established in 1999.