When Miguel Batista starts a game for the Mets there really isn’t much hope. Running him out there looks like a sign of giving up a game in my eyes, so I almost didn’t even watch the game on Tuesday night. But the Mets in comeback fashion defeated the Phillies 7-4. They were once down 4-0 in the game, then the Mets rallied with a four run seventh inning and a two run ninth inning, and then Jon Rauch came in to earn his first save as a Met, locking down an important win for the Mets. The Mets completed the sweep last night, busting out the bats with a 10-6 win. The win moves them to 18-13, which is fifth best in the National League.

There were a number of things impressive about last night’s win; the bullpen, Lucas Duda’s two two out hits against left-handers, David Wright with his bat, his glove, and his base running. One thing that stood out the most for me with watching Daniel Murphy. Not at the plate, were he does most of his work, but rather in the field. Last night Murphy looked like a real second baseman. A real really good second baseman.

It’s no secret that Murphy hasn’t had an easy time at second this year. It’s really his first time playing the position on a regular basis. He’s made five errors out there already this year and has an UZR of -4.8. But last night he didn’t look like that fielder. He made a number of nice plays out there ranging up the middle and making the tough throws across his body.

One thing about Murphy is that he always looks very mechanical. He really doesn’t glide over to make plays, everything looks like it’s a struggle. But as long as he makes the plays, that’s a non-issue. His work with Tim Teufel looks like it is paying off, and Murphy’s work ethic is impeccable.

Now I know it’s one game, and when he makes a bad play again we’ll all be thinking there is no hope for him, but it looks like he is showing signs of improvement. In the end Murphy is on this team because of his bat, not his glove. He will win more games hitting, than lose games because of his fielding. But I do think Murphy’s glove will keep improving as he goes along. He has good range, a strong arm, and a solid glove. The errors he has made have been due to inexperience at the position.

On a side note, I was really upset that the Mets didn’t retaliate in someone against the Phillies last night. With the dirty slides of Shane Victorino, and Ty Wiggington taking out Josh Thole, I figured they would have done something to show that aren’t taking this abuse lying down. They did do a lot of retaliating with their bats, but I feel like that isn’t enough. But after the absurd suspension of Cole Hamels for hitting Bryce Harper, who knows how the league would respond to it.

4 comments on “Daniel Murphy showing signs of improvement

  • David Groveman

    I am wondering how highly Murphy might be ranked among 2Bs going into 2013. Is it crazy to think he could crack the top 10?

  • Dan Stack

    The only thing I’m not liking with Murphy at 2B is when he makes a sliding catch, he gets up and fires to first too quickly. On many occasions, he has time to set his feet and throw and subsequently get the runner. Maybe I’m nitpicking, but I think that needs work.

    • Brian Joura

      I know he did this in the Philly series but Rollins was the baserunner and the only chance he had to get the out was to come up firing. Now, you could certainly argue he’d be better off holding the ball and not risk the error to put the runner on second base, but I like that he made a really nice fielding play and tried to complete it by getting the out at first.

      My thing is that even though he has not been good defensively – he hasn’t been the worst 2B in the league like a lot of people were speculating. I think he’s getting better out there and he’s even made a few “in the neighborhood” plays. I see no reason not to keep putting him out there at 2B.

      • Dan Stack

        I agree.

        Like I said, nitpicking.

        My brother (who is a Yankee fan) said our respective team have twins with Murphy and Eduardo Nunez. I said that was blasphemous.

        You think we have it bad with a guy whose offense is overshadowed by his shoddy D, check out Nunez. yech.

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