The sky is not falling. This wasn't some season-altering loss or even something that will likely matter two days from now, but what you see above is quite honestly just another example of why I don't want to see David Murphy in a Texas uniform anymore.
I like David Murphy. He's always seemed like a good guy, and a guy that players in the clubhouse respect. Unfortunately, being a good guy doesn't necessarily translate to winning baseball, and while this ball club is on a winning track right now, by no means is it because of David Murphy. At times, it's a wonder that the team is this successful with such a huge hole anytime Murphy plays.
When Murphy has limited success against lefties last season, it was widely proclaimed that he had somehow "figured it all out" and was worthy of an everday spot. Then, when awarded the spot, he proceeded to watch his number go into a freefall, and this season has simply been a continuation of that. While he's mainly being used as a platoon option these days, I'm not even sure that reduction is enough. With Engel Beltre in AAA and Craig Gentry already on the active roster, I simply can't figure out how that platoon could possibly be worse. David Murphy provides next to no value at the plate, constantly grounding out to 2nd base. In the field, he's timid and unagressive, approaches every ball flat-footed, and his noodle-arm leaves a lot to be desired.
Then, you have moments like tonight, where Leonys Martin clearly called for the catch in left-center field in the bottom of the 9th inning, and yet Murphy went on to catch it anyways. While it can certainly be argued that perhaps Murphy didn't hear Martin, there has to be a greater awareness in that situation, and anyone in baseball knows you always yield to the center fielder in that situation.
What bothered me the most was the pissed off glare that David Murphy gave after making the catch, almost seeming to be irritated that Martin had attempted to make the catch he was rightfully entitled to make. According to Washington, Martin's ankle sprain doesn't appear to be serious, and while I hope that's the case, there's just no way to justify David Murphy being anything more than an emergency backup at this point. He hurts the team by being in the lineup or on the field, and it's time to stop being nostalgic about the good times Murphy has provided over the years and accept that those days are gone, as is (likely) Murphy at the conclusion of this season.
After that blunder in the outfield, Tanner Scheppers went on to have yet another struggle-filled performance. Scheppers has now allowed 10 runs over his last 19 2/3 innings, and between him and Robbie Ross, the once strong bullpen is now showing signs of wear and tear. Chicago walked-off 3-2, and combined with an Oakland win today, the AL West lead now sits at 2.5 games.
Perhaps I'll wake up in the morning and feel a bit differently, but for tonight, I'm simply frustrated with David Murphy, and more than that, I'm frustrated that he's even been allowed to struggle this long. I don't want to see David Murphy play for the Texas Rangers anymore, and in some ways, that makes me sad given that he seems like such a good guy.