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Saturday, June 11, 2011
Murph takes responsibility for decisive runs

By Adam Rubin

Daniel Murphy took responsibility for the decisive two runs scoring on a grounder a half-step to his right in the third inning. Murphy, starting at third base for only the second time this season, had the ball kick off his right knee and into foul territory down the left-field line. Rather than the third out, two runs scored, which proved the difference in Pittsburgh’s 3-2 win on Saturday.

The official scorer generously awarded Andrew McCutchen a double, but the Mets thought otherwise.

“That’s an error,” Terry Collins said. “No disrespect to Dan Murphy at all. He’s a good player, a very good player. The next 10 times it’s hit at him, he’ll make it every time. I have no doubt in my mind. To give that guy [R.A. Dickey] two earned runs on that, it’s unfair.”

Said Murphy: “I thought it was hit harder than that. I think by the time my ears told me it was off the end of the bat, I had already kind of gone to the ground right there. … I saw it coming and it felt like a changeup. I couldn’t get a glove on it. It’s a play I expect to make. I got a bad read. My eyes kind of lied to me there unfortunately. … I just didn’t make the play. It hit my freaking knee brace and bounced to god knows where and they got two runs and it ended up being the difference.”

Collins had placed Murphy at third base so that Justin Turner could rest after starting every game since May 12, and so that Lucas Duda could play first base with Jason Bay returning to the lineup. The manager noted Murphy had played 196 games in the minors at third base, more than at any other position.

Turner was expected to return to the lineup, and to third base, on Sunday even before Murphy’s gaffe.

“This was brought up last week, and to be honest, he’s had as much experience over there playing third base as anybody,” Collins said regarding using Murphy at the hot corner. “He’s played over 200 games at third base in the minor leagues. He played in spring training third base. He’s played it this year third base. I mean, I’m comfortable with him at third base.”

Said Dickey: “You hope that the play’s made. Sometimes it is. Sometimes it’s not. And you’ve got to move on. Of course I want it to be made.”