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Tuesday, May 28, 2013
Murphy comes through on emotional night

By Kieran Darcy

Daniel Murphy was robbed in the sixth inning Monday night, but didn't have to wait long to get revenge.

Murphy's two-out RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning, off Yankees reliever David Robertson, proved to be the game-winning hit in the Mets' 2-1 victory in the 2013 Subway Series opener.

Murphy
Daniel Murphy hit the game-winning RBI single in the bottom of the eighth inning.
The Mets' second baseman slammed his bat to the ground as the ball landed in front of Yankees center fielder Brett Gardner.

"I was really excited," Murphy said. "I meant no ill will towards the Yankees. I'm excited. It’s a big hit, it’s the bottom of the eighth, two outs, against the best setup man in baseball."

"I don't have an issue," Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. "It is an emotional game. Some guys are going to show more emotion outwardly than other guys. I only have a problem if I feel a guy is doing it to show up the other guy. I didn't see anything out of the ordinary."

Murphy had reason to release some frustration. Two innings earlier, it appeared he had hit a two-run homer to left-center field, giving the Mets a 2-1 lead. But Gardner made a spectacular leaping grab in front of the 385-foot sign, snatching the ball from beyond the wall.

When asked what he thought of Gardner's catch after the game, Murphy said, "I thought I was unhappy to be at the other end of it."

But David Wright tied the game an inning later with a no-doubt home run to left. And thanks to a Mike Baxter double and a Jordany Valdespin walk with one out in the eighth, Murphy got another chance to put the Mets in front.

After Baxter was thrown out at home on a fielder's choice, Valdespin advanced to third. With two outs, Murphy lined a 3-1 cutter from Robertson into center field, bringing home the winning run.

"[Robertson's] one of the best in the game, certainly in that eighth inning," Mets manager Terry Collins said. "Murph is a guy, you want to get him up there in that situation."

"I was able to get in a positive count," Murphy said. "I got the benefit of a borderline 2-1 pitch to get me 3-1, I got a pitch up in the zone, and was able to center it. And good thing Gardner wasn’t able to catch that one."

The Mets are the second-worst hitting team in the entire National League, with a team batting average of .228, just slightly ahead of the woeful Miami Marlins.

But Murphy has been one of the few bright spots in the lineup this year. He leads the team at .299 and has delivered in the clutch -- now 8-for-14 (.571) with runners in scoring position and two outs.

He did it again Monday night, giving the Mets a much-needed victory against their crosstown rivals.

"It felt like it was a big moment," Murphy said.

Indeed it was.