Sunday, April 12, 2009

If Johan wants to blame Murphy for loss, credit him for earlier win

On Opening Day, Daniel Murphy drove in both runs as the Mets beat the Reds, 2-1, giving Johan Santana the win.

Today, an error by Murphy ended up costing the Mets two runs, and the Mets lost to the Marlins, 2-1, wasting a brilliant effort by Santana.

After the game, Santana said:

"It was one mistake that he made... It cost us the whole ballgame, but it's part of the game. You've got to give credit to the other guy."

It was an ugly error and Santana's frustration is understandable. And if Murphy starts making errors like that on a regular basis, he won't be the fulltime left fielder for long.

But Santana shouldn't be throwing his teammate under the bus. And if you're going to give credit to the other pitcher, Josh Johnson, who also pitched a great game, don't forget that Murphy deserves credit for helping to win your previous start.

Besides, it is not necessarily the case that Murphy cost the Mets the game.

If Murphy had made the play, assuming everything else stayed the same, the Mets would have gone into the ninth inning tied, 0-0. When Carlos Delgado doubled with two outs, it would have put the go-ahead run on second, instead of bringing the tying run to the plate in Carlos Beltran.

The Marlins left Josh Johnson in to pitch to Beltran, who singled home Delgado. But had the game been 0-0, the Marlins might have changed pitchers, or pitched around Beltran, or both.

We'll never know, just as we'll never know if the Mets might have found another way to win had Murphy not driven home those runs on Opening Day.

What we do know is that it is great to see the Mets' ace in top form at the start of the season after the injury concerns of the spring. Top form on the mound, that is. Pointing fingers after the game, not so much.

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