By Sean McAdam
ARLINGTON, Texas -- While with the Red Sox, David Murphy never got a chance to experience the postseason.
He appeared in 20 games in 2006, the first time since 2002 that the Sox had failed to reach the playoffs. Then, next summer, months before the Red Sox won their second
World Series in the span of four years, Murphy was shipped to Texas as part of the ill-fated deal for Eric Gagne.
As recently as last month, Murphy had reason to wonder if he might miss this chance at the postseason, too, when he suffered a groin strain that put his availability in
But Murphy played a big role in the Rangers' 7-2 win over the Yankees in Game Two of the ALCS. He belted a solo homer into the upper deck in right in the second off starter Phil Hughes and added an RBI double in the third.
"On the home run,'' recounted Murphy, "I was just looking out over the plate, just trying to get a fastball up. I think he was trying to go away and he ended up going in a little bit. He missed his spot and that's a good spot for me, on a 2-and-0 count, to put a good swing on a pitch.
"On the double, I'm just trying to do anything in that situation to get Nelson Cruz in from third. I think he was trying to go curve ball away and he left it up and in and I
was able to drive him in.''
Murphy sat the first two games of the ALDS against Tampa Bay -- in part because of the groin strain and in part because of lefty David Price in Game One -- but returned in Game Three. Ever since, the injury has improved almost daily.
The experience of contributing to the Rangers' postseason success is a new one. Three years removed from his Red Sox experience, he can appreciate this opportunity.
"I don't think you can really compare this to Boston,'' said Muprhy. "I never really truly felt like I was going to be part of their plans. That's the way it works out. There's
no bitterness or anything. I probably didn't work out like they had planned, but that's the way baseball is -- not everything goes as planned.
"I'm happy I could come here and be a contributing piece in any way.''