Wednesday, June 13, 2012
Mitch Moreland, David Murphy bounce back
By Clint Foster
ARLINGTON, Texas -- After a lackluster California road trip, Mitch Moreland and David Murphy were able to to put together strong offensive outings in Tuesday night's 9-1 win over the Arizona Diamondbacks.
Moreland went 2-for-4 with two RBIs and a run and Murphy went 3-for-5 with two RBIs and a run scored. Both played a major role in the Rangers' five-run offensive explosion in the sixth inning, with Murphy's two-run home run kick-starting the rally.
"Any time you have a good game it gives you confidence," Murphy said. "More than anything it just shows me I had the right approach out there. It's been up and down over the course of the last few weeks and hopefully this is something I can stick with for a while."
Murphy was a dismal 1-for-12 over the five games leading up to Tuesday. His three-hit game vs. the D-backs was only his second multi-hit game since the Rangers' May 8 contest at Baltimore. His home run Tuesday night was his first in 17 games.
Moreland's bat was equally cold in sunny California. He was 5-for-31 over a 12-game stretch. He had a hitless streak of six games dating back to a May 27 game against Toronto. But his game Tuesday night did a lot for his confidence.
"It was a lot of fun," Moreland said. "We just need to keep playing our game."
Murphy and Moreland have struggled against left-handed pitchers this year, posting averages of .217 and .136, respectively, against lefties leading up to the D-backs series. How they fare against lefty Wade Miley in the second game against the D-backs could be vital to their continued success and improvement.
"We've shown what we can do, one through nine," Moreland said. "You're going to have the ups and downs, but we're playing good ball right now."
The more ups players like Moreland and Murphy have, the better. The Rangers have proven time and again that when the bottom of their lineup is producing, their offense can be unstoppable. When everyone is hot, like they have been in the past, opposing defenses don't get a break, as a ball could go over their heads and past the outfield fence at any time.
For the Rangers, the cliche that you're only as strong as your weakest link seems to fit well. And when "weak links" perform as well as Moreland and Murphy did Tuesday, the Rangers are truly a force to be reckoned with.
If the bats stay hot and and the pitching staff keeps doing half as well as Colby Lewis did Tuesday, the Rangers could be on the verge of a nice run through the next couple of weeks.