Arizona Diamondbacks’ catcher John Ryan Murphy finally broke out of his five-week-old hitless slump with a bunt single.
Over the last few weeks, catcher John Ryan Murphy has barely seen the field for the Arizona Diamondbacks. The reason? Well, Murphy was not hitting, flat-out.
Immediately after the All-Star break, manager Torey Lovullo game Murphy a decent amount of playing time (four starts between July 21st and July 30th). In the entire month of August, however, he’s only started twice. Combined, Murphy had an 0-for-33 slump going into Tuesday night’s series opener against the Angels — not the worst of all-time but more than Derek Jeter‘s legendary 0fer streak in 2004.
Despite not starting the game, Murphy came in as a defensive replacement in the top of the seventh inning. His first at-bat resulted in a ground out, extending his slump to an awful 0-for-34. Fortunately, he got another shot in the batter’s box at Chase Field in Phoenix, Arizona.
Tied 4-4 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Murphy was due up second after outfielder Jon Jay. Cam Bedrosian, a relief pitcher for the Halos, hit Jay to lead-off the inning, bringing Murphy up in a huge spot.
With a runner on first and nobody out at home in the bottom of the ninth, this was an obvious bunting situation. The first pitch, coming as the D-Backs’ announcers made note of Murphy’s slump, was fouled straight back in a failed bunt attempt. The second one resulted in a beautiful bunt up the first-base line. Murphy, as always, busted it out of the box and beat the throw. Streak over. Weight lifted.
From there, the game didn’t last much longer. A.J. Pollock also sacrificed but the Angels made a throwing error which allowed Jay to score.
The Diamondbacks won 5-4 and now hold a 1.5-game lead over the Colorado Rockies in the NL West. Murphy is hitting .207 on the year after his bunt single.