Sunday, August 18, 2013
Extra Bases: Murphy focused on today
By Todd Wills
ARLINGTON, Texas -- David Murphy isn't worried about yesterday. He isn't worried about tomorrow.
He's only concerned with how he can help the Rangers on Sunday against Seattle in another huge game on his team's schedule.
It's a testament to the kind of guy and the kind of teammate Murphy has been throughout his Rangers' career.
It's been a dismal season. He takes a .225 batting average into Sunday. There have been few hot streaks. He hasn't hit with runners in scoring position.
Then he has a clutch hit like he did in Saturday night's 15-3 victory -- a two-run double against Felix Hernandez to give the Rangers a 3-2 lead in the second inning -- and the questions come flying again.
Has he turned a corner? Is this going to be the hit to get him started?
Murphy's been asked these questions a million times this season. He's handled a sub-standard season in a contract year with class and dignity. He's not worried about how Saturday's game might help him Sunday.
"I could careless at this point about how my season ends personally," Murphy said. "There's a lot of good that I can do for this team."
Don't take that as Murphy doesn't want to finish off this season on a high note for himself. But he also knows if he has more big hits like the one he had on Friday night, the Rangers will win the American League West and be back in the playoffs.
"Obviously personal success is fun for anybody," Murphy said. "Everybody is shooting to play to their potential, but sometimes it works out and sometimes it doesn't.
"It's been a weird year for me, but the bottom line is this team is in a great place and we've got about 25 percent of the season left and there's some great things we can do and I just want to be a part of it."
Murphy has his teammates and his manager pulling for him because he can help win games just like he did by getting Hernandez again. Murphy's two-run double gave him a career high 16 RBIs off King Felix, his most against any pitcher.
His manager knows Murphy can compete against the best.
"I'd like him to come in tomorrow and do the same thing," Ron Washington said. "Because it would certainly set things off if we can get Murphy going. It's been a battle for him all year, but you know he's a good teammate and he comes every day and works hard."
The bottom line for Murphy. He helped his team win Friday night. His manager still has faith in him. So he's still living for each day. Not the past or the future.
"There's a few different ways to look at it," Murphy said. "I could dwell on what's happened and be upset or I can look at the positive. I haven't had the best season but my team is in a great spot and I'm getting to play. A lot of guys if they're having the season I've had, they might have played themselves into a bench role. So I'm thankful to still be having the opportunities I'm having and the key is make the most of them."
WHAT'S UP NOW: Rapid Reaction from the Rangers' 15-3 victory over Seattle. Plus, Alexi Ogando had an injection Saturday morning and will miss a start. And a post-game blog on the Rangers' big scoring night without a home run.
ON DECK: The Rangers finish off a three-game series against Seattle with ace right-hander Yu Darvish (12-5, 2.64 ERA) versus right-hander Erasmo Ramirez (4-0, 7.06) at 2:05 p.m. Sunday afternoon at Fox Sports Southwest and ESPN Dallas 103.3 FM and 1540-AM.
QUESTION OF THE DAY: How many strikeouts will Yu Darvish have on Sunday against Seattle? And can he possibly at 207 strikeouts reach 300 for the season?