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.
Wild Card teams get to set their roster for the one-and-done game and then reset it for the Division Series if they advance. As such, you sometimes see some weirdness with the wild card roster. The Yankees, who just set theirs for tonight’s game, are no exception.
Masahiro Tanaka will be tonight’s starter, but Luis Severino, also a starter, will be around as well in case Tanaka gets knocked out early and they need more innings. In all, the Yankees are carrying nine pitchers and three catchers. In addition, they have Rob Refsnyder, Slade Heathcott, and pinch-runner Rico Noel as bench players. In case you forgot, pinch running can matter a lot in a Wild Card Game.
It was inevitable that someone would report on what, specifically, was going on with CC Sabathia in the run up to his decision to go into rehab yesterday. And today we have that story, at least in the broad strokes, from the New York Post.
Speaking to an anonymous source close to Sabathia, the Post reports that the Yankees’ starter more or less went on a bender from Thursday into Friday and continued on to Saturday, which resulted in his Sunday afternoon phone call to Brian Cashman in which he said he needed help.
Notable detail: Sabathia is referred to as “not a big drinker” in the story. Which is something worth thinking about when you think of others who have trouble with alcohol. It’s not always about massive or constant consumption. It’s about the person’s relationship with substances that is the real problem. Many who drink a good deal are totally fine. Many who don’t drink much do so in problematic ways and patterns. For this reason, and many others, it’s useful to avoid engaging in cliches and stereotypes of addicts.