Murphy's Bat Provides a Win for Santana as New York Mets Move into First

Jonathan RagusCorrespondent IMay 27, 2009

NEW YORK - MAY 11:  Daniel Murphy #28 of the New York Mets looks on against the Atlanta Braves on May 11, 2009 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. The Braves defeated the Mets 8-3.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)

Was it gone or did it drop? Frankly the argument doesn’t make much of a difference. The umps reviewed Murphy’s hit and said it went off the Subway sign in right. The third time the crew chief came back onto the field waving their finger this week.

I know this team lacks the home run numbers, but is it really that bad that they keep having to need the umpires help?

Okay so this home run is a debatable call, but for those of you who might be confused, here is why the ruled it. To the naked eye watching on the television, the ball looks like it dropped softly onto the ground. The ball dropped straight down onto the warning track instead of on an angle how a ball usually drops.

If the ball never reached the sign, it would have landed right below in the stands. The only thing that shocks me is that we never got to see a good enough angle of the ball coming close to hitting the sign.

It looked like the ball just sort of died somewhere. You immediately think if a ball comes into contact with a sign, wouldn’t it make a sound or ricochet on an angle? Just didn’t seem like 100 percent positivity on that ball leaving the park was plausible. Nevertheless, it helped Santana and the Mets win the ball-game.

While Santana looked dominant striking out eleven batters, he was certainly not at his best. After the monster shot that landed in Brooklyn hit by Adam Dunn, he kind of lost his composure. I don’t blame him, that bomb made everyone in the ballpark a little uneasy.

Santana is primarily a fly ball pitcher, but he usually does a good job keeping the ball from leaving the park. Five home runs on the season and one in each of the last three games is nothing to worry about. The four walks in the forth inning was a bit unsettling.

To no avail was he at his best during this game, but this was another perfect example of how great he is. Great pitcher’s will turn mistakes into outs. Although he walked in a run with the bases juiced, he buckled down and made sure that was it.

Then he came out and pitched two great innings after that. What more can you ask for? If he’s not at his best, this team puts in that little extra effort to give him a good win. Makes up for all the fantastic wins of his the bullpen spoiled last season.

Daniel Murphy had a great game, but I wouldn’t call it his coming out game. A five RBI night with a big call go your way is fantastic, but he also made two errors at first base. Daniel isn’t quite at top of what his game could be.

It does take a while for a young man of his age to get comfortable with being on a major league  ball club and I think that’s all it is with him. He still looks kind of nervous at the plate because he knows every at-bat counts towards his playing time at the moment.

Soon we are going to see him breakout, it’s a matter of time before it happens. He just needs to find himself, then he’ll do just fine.

Speaking of youth and nervousness, it doesn’t seem like Fernando Martinez is ready to be a big leaguer quite yet. There are certain things in the minors that are supposed to get drilled into your brain.

Three of them are: Run out every ball put in play, don’t be afraid to dive to make a catch, and just be patient at the plate. It just doesn’t feel like F-Mart has the fundamentals of baseball down just yet and you can tell that from his body language.

Every single year he has been in the minors he’s endured an injury where he barely played 90 games of the full season. It takes a full years work at least to get the fundamentals drilled into your head.

When that happens, you no longer have to think before making a play. That folks is when you can finally have your Bar Mitzvah, become a man and play in the majors. He isn’t at that point quite yet and should be the first player sent back down.

One last thing about tonight’s game. During the later innings of the game, I witnessed a chant in the crowd during the Mets at-bat’s. I was unclear about what the first part was, but the second was a loud eruptive “you suck!”

Then I realized they were doing this when Ramon Martinez was at-bat and on base. Pro-Jose Reyes chants would then proceed the you sucks chants.

Listen, I know Ramon Martinez is certainly not a suitable replacement for Reyes, but he’s a part of this team no matter what. He doesn’t have the greatest bat in the world and his glove hasn’t been the best, but he’s really not all that awful.

He made a great diving stop at short today, had a nice double off the wall in left, the guy is really trying to play ball. Ramon Martinez at 36 years old is playing with all heart and is just enjoying the fact that he has this short opportunity to play in the majors.

No, he’s not the most talented player in the world, if he was he’d have a full time job. I just think the Met fans should really take time to respect a guy who no matter what he does, he just wants to play ball.

Isn’t that enough? No, he’ll never be Jose Reyes, but how many people in the league are? Ramon Martinez is a Met for the time being, and just like any other Met that goes out and gives 100 percent everyday, he should be given the same respect.

Both Mets and Phillies have the day off on Thursday. Take the entire day to brag around the office, to your friends at school, wherever it may be. Say to them, the Mets are in first place, How ‘Bout Them Mets!?!?

Randy Sobel is a contributor to and can be reached at