TC offers alibi for Murph, who declines

Sometimes, Terry Collins said, the player who looks like he bungled a play is not the actual culprit.

Daniel Murphy

Daniel Murphy

#28 1B
New York Mets

2011 STATS

  • GM104
  • HR6

  • RBI48

  • R47

  • OBP.361

  • AVG.319

That was the case, according to the manager, in the third inning Sunday. The Mets had loaded the bases with one out when David Wright sent a fly ball to right field. Jayson Werth made the catch and threw toward the plate, trying to prevent Jon Niese from tagging up and scoring. However, Niese did not ultimately go to the plate. And Daniel Murphy, who began the play at first base, was doubled off there after Michael Morse cut off Werth’s throw and redirected the ball to first base.

“Miscommunication” Collins called it, saying Niese was supposed to tag up. “… We thought Jon was going to try to go to home.”

Said Niese: “I had it in my head that I was going the whole time. I took off, looked up and I saw the ball. And I shut it down because I thought the ball was going to beat me. Hindsight, I saw the ball just die, lob in, and I probably could have scored. But my instincts told me to shut it down, unfortunately. … I’m not a real good baserunner, obviously, as you could see. It was my fault. I should have went. Murph was doing his job by forcing them to cut it off. I would have scored easily.”

Still, Murphy did not want an alibi.

“But I’ve got to run with my head up,” Murphy said. “I can’t get doubled off right there. I was going. With one out I thought we were going to try to send him. I figured either he cuts it and we get the run, or he lets it through and Jose (Reyes) and I both end up in scoring position. I got too far off the bag. Niese stopped, which probably wasn’t a bad play, because it looked like a good throw. I got doubled off. And that wasn’t a very good play.”