Daniel Murphy has hit out of the #2 spot in the Mets’ lineup throughout most of the season, but manager Terry Collins decided to shake things up today by moving up to lead-off. Murphy responded with an eighth-inning solo home run that gave the Mets a 4-3 lead. The jolt of offense seems to have motivated Collins to keep Murphy at the top.
Collins on Murphy, via ESPN’s Adam Rubin:
“He gets on base, because he can hit. And when he’s swinging good, he can get some walks. We’ve got to get some people on ahead of David [Wright]. That’s for sure.”
While it is true that Murphy can get on base — his on-base percentage has ranged from .332 to .362 over the last three seasons — he isn’t really someone who draws walks as his career rate is a meager 6.5 percent. Given the Mets’ dearth of options however, Murphy is one of the better players to put up there.
The Red Sox are the latest team to extend the protective netting at their ballpark this winter. According to a statement by club president Sam Kennedy, the exact dimensions of the netting have yet to be determined, but it will likely stretch “all the way to Field Box 79, down the left field line and then all the way down to almost Canvas Alley in the Field Box 9 area.”
Fenway Park received additional protective netting prior to the 2016 season, when the netting behind home plate was lengthened to the home and visitor dugouts. Per Kennedy’s statement, the current expansion should cover everything but the outfield corners, making it nearly impossible for a line drive foul to reach fans in the lower boxes.
After a toddler sustained serious injuries from a 105-MPH foul ball to the face at Yankee Stadium last September, over half of all MLB teams decided to take more extreme preventative measures in advance of the 2018 season. The Brewers, Cardinals, Braves, Astros, Royals, Pirates, Rangers, Padres, Nationals, Mariners, Phillies, Mets, Reds, Blue Jays, Giants, Yankees, Twins and Indians are among the organizations to address the issue over the last several years, while others have yet to take significant action.