The Mets New Whipping Boy: Daniel Murphy

Ladies and gentlemen, I’d like to introduce you to the newest whipping boy of the New York Mets, Daniel Murphy!!

(And…the crowd goes wild)

The Mets were on a roll, taking a four game sweep in Cincinnati and even starting their road series against the Washington Nationals with a win.

Then lose three in a row and all goodwill built up within the fan base is thrown into Flushing Bay.

I’ve often said in the past that Carlos Beltran had to be the most divisive Met. Now, it seems that position is going to be most likely filled by Daniel Murphy. Yes, Daniel Murphy, the good-looking hard-working kid who takes extra batting practice each day to work on his technique, has no position to play. He came up as a third baseman, but as we all know, that position is a little bit occupied right now (and perhaps for a medium-to-long term).

Right now, the Mets are down a few men, to be quite blunt, but possibly the biggest loss to injury this year was Ike Davis, who may be deciding on surgery this week. Which means to the dismay of many fans, that Daniel Murphy will more than likely be manning 1B for as long as that may be.

His base path blunders piss me off. His brain cramps in the field can be mind-boggling, especially the glaring error on Monday night, which caused the bases to be loaded and the subsequent grand slam given up to Mike Stanton by Jason Isringhausen.

Jason Isringhausen, the seasoned professional who was serving up meatballs faster than an Italian grandmother that inning, somehow manages to get off the hook for that one, with the newest whipping boy of Metsopotamia gets hung out to dry in Daniel Murphy.

Look, I make no apologies for liking Daniel Murphy. This is far from an apologist piece. It just really gets me that the mob mentality is really causing a minor riot in the blogosphere among other cyberspacian areas.

The Mets have lost three in a row, two very winnable games in DC and one that was, eh, whatever it didn’t seem like they were trying the first part against the Marlins Monday night.

Has anyone bothered to dig up how the usual suspects have done in that time period?

No? Well, allow me to do it for you.

Jose Reyes: .231/.231/.308
Angel Pagan: .083/.083/.167
Lucas Duda: .100/.100/.400 (inc his big HR from last night!)
Josh Thole: 286/.444/.286

The only people marginally tearing things up are David Wright and Jason Bay, .300/.417/.300 and .333/.333/.583, and even DW’s slugging isn’t all that hot.

What does that say to me? That the Mets are losing because of lack of OFFENSE not because of a mental gaffe on the base paths or in the 10th inning of a game that technically the team was LUCKY to be playing in! (Oh and Izzy gave up a grand slam. Just wanted to make that evident. And Jon Niese had problems in Sunday’s game
…and Angel Pagan got quite ballsy trying to stretch out a long single right before Duda’s home run…)

Yes I get that pitching and defense are important, but over the years we’ve forgotten the importance of bats in the lineup too, perhaps because we really haven’t had one with all the injuries there have been. We’ve been brainwashed into thinking we need a defensive shortstop (like Rey Ordonez) or second baseman (like Luis “Two Hands” Castillo), and yet we get upset when they don’t hit, which is something they don’t have.

This is less of an indictment on Murphy as it is on the team sport. We seem to forget in those shoulda-had-a-V8 moments like Murphy had is that this is a team, and they are on a losing streak not because of Murphy forgetting how to run or toss a ball, but rather that our best player has been slumping and the rest of the team is NOT HITTING.

But sure, go ahead and rip apart one of the best hitters on the team in the meantime, (who by the way has gone 5-for-13 in this losing streak) and see how well he performs then. Remember how well that worked out for Luis Castillo.