The situation was first and second with two out in the top half of the eighth inning. The New York Mets were playing at a venue that has been nothing but a house of horrors for them since it opened in 1997. Daniel Murphy was just 12 years old then. With one swing of the bat, Murphy drove a ball to the deepest part of Turner Field and gave his club the team for good.
The sad thing in all of this was that it took Fernando Tatis being lost for the season to let this kid play everyday. And even tonight he was on the bench while fellow rookie Nick Evans, who provided a home run, patrolled left field for the orange and blue. But what a story this Daniel Murphy is. It seems that in whatever position he is called to, starting left field, late inning replacement, or pinch hitter, the man delivers.
His stats so far in his short major league career are startling. Since debuting on August 2, 2008 Murphy has compiled 36 hits in just 98 major league at bats entering tonight's game. Two of those hits were home runs. And several of those hits produced his now 15 RBI. When taking a peak at his percentages the story gets even scarier. In those same 39 games Murphy has produced a .367 batting average, .452 OBP, and a .541 SLG.
Will he cool off? Only time till tell. But every time you expect to see the kid cool off he ropes a laser that shows just how scorching hot he is. Or could it be the case that the guy is just that good of a ballplayer? Met fans certainly hope for the later.
Born in Jacksonville, Florida on April Fool's Day in 1985 may make one wonder, if this ball player who came out of Double-A Binghamton is actually fooling his employers and fans. One thing is for sure, if he keeps hitting like this the only fools will be the opposing pitchers he faces. That year of 1985, is also significant because that makes Murphy younger than a lot of people who contribute to this form. He is certainly the envy of those typing about the sport who would give just about anything and everything to be in his position, helping his ball club down the stretch in one of the most exciting pennant races in years.
But here we all are, and there he is. And any Met fan would admit, better him there than us. Dan Murphy is laying down the law for the New York Mets. His 2 RBI double, certainly made the difference in tonight's game, which vaulted the Mets back into first. And it may even make the difference in this race for National League East Division Champion.
Memo to Jerry Manuel: Let the kid play.