Washington Nationals Reaction: Nats Rally For Opening Day Victory
Murphy Shines In Nats Debut
When the Nats signed Daniel Murphy to a three-year deal this winter , they knew they were getting a hitter that was going to make contact and work the pitch count up on opposing pitchers. Murphy did both of those things yesterday as he ended up being the hero in his first game.
First up, in Murphy’s four at-bats, he saw a total of 25 pitches. The only other Nats player that saw more pitches in the game than Murphy was Harper (27).
Murphy contributed to Teheran’s 30-pitch first inning by drawing a five-pitch walk in the first. Then, three innings later, he showed off the power that everyone remembers from last October with the Mets when he hit a 2-0 fastball from Teheran to dead center field.
After back-to-back six pitch at-bats in the sixth and eighth inning (walk and strikeout respectively), Murphy came up in the tenth against Eric O’Flaherty. He worked the count 3-0 and then took a 3-1 fastball and hit it into left for the game-winning double. With that double, Murphy is now 4-for-11 against O’Flaherty with a home run and three RBI’s in his career. It was surprising, based on the numbers, that Fredi Gonzalez let O’Flaherty (left-hander) face the left-handed Murphy in that situation rather than go to Jim Johnson, who eventually finished the inning.
With Murphy hitting fifth in the lineup, it brings more protection to the offense for Harper, but the Nats got a player that is going to make the pitcher work, not strike out as often, and show off that power swing which clicked for him in the postseason last year. All in all, it was a great first game for the Nationals’ new second baseman.
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