Texas Rangers: Kansas City
Murphy started the Kansas City series with a .322 batting average, which trailed only Mike Trout of the Angels (.333) and Miguel Cabrera of the Tigers (.331).
Murphy, however, made it clear he is focused on team accomplishments rather than individual accomplishments. A batting title would be nice, but a World Series title would be nicer.
“Where I’m hitting in the lineup, the most important thing for me to do is drive in runs,” Murphy said.
The left-handed-hitting Murphy climbed into contention for a batting title largely because of his ability to hit lefties. His .393 batting average against lefties is the highest in the AL for a left-handed hitter.
“To focus on that ( a batting title) and not focus on the team would be pretty selfish,” Murphy said. “It would take away from what each guy in here brings to the table. There’s no guarantee that because I qualify on Sept. 3 that I’m going to qualify after game 162. But it’s not like it really matters."
* With left-hander Bruce Chen on the mound and with Ian Kinsler feeling good, manager Ron Washington didn’t start Jurickson Profar in the Kansas City opener. But Washington was quick to say that the switch-hitting Profar will get his opportunities and he’s anxious to see what Profar will do hitting right-handed. Profar homered in his first major league at-bat on Sunday while hitting left-handed.
* Washington said he’s not concerned at this point about the recovery progress of catcher Mike Napoli, who went on the disabled list Aug. 11 with a left quadriceps strain. Washington said that if Napoli doesn’t have time for a lot of at-bats on a rehab assignment, he’l l just have to rely on his major league experience upon his return.
* Derek Holland’s recent stretch of stout pitching has Washington encouraged. Washington noted that Holland did his best work down the stretch last season.
103.3 FM ESPN PODCASTS
Play Podcast Rangers GM Jon Daniels joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to tackle the tough questions after his team failed to advance to the playoffs.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss having Nelson Cruz back in the lineup and how the Rangers are feeling heading into their wild-card play-in game against the Rays.
Play Podcast ESPN Insider and senior MLB analyst Jim Bowden joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett to discuss the wild-card race and the Rangers' chances of making the playoffs.
Play Podcast Chuck Cooperstein joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss why he feels Rangers pitcher Yu Darvish isn't an ace.
Play Podcast Elvis Andrus joins Galloway and Company to discuss the Rangers' stretch run and the morale level in their clubhouse.
Play Podcast Nolan Ryan joins Galloway and Company to discuss the latest Rangers news, including the team's struggles, Ron Washington's job security and a rumored trade with the Braves.
Play Podcast Ron Washington joins Ian Fitzsimmons and Tim MacMahon to discuss the Rangers' dismal September, who's to blame for their September struggles and his status as the team's manager.
Play Podcast Fitzsimmons and Durrett discuss how some people are calling for the Rangers to fire manager Ron Washington.