Murphy making the most of his playoff experience

Murphy making the most of his playoff experience

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.''

Sean McAdam can be reached at Follow Sean on Twitter at http:twitter.comsean_mcadam

David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment


David Price improves command, indicates he's pitching through ailment

BOSTON — David Price and Rick Porcello showed improvement on back-to-back nights Friday and Saturday, important signs for the Red Sox after a difficult month for both pitchers prior to this homestand.

Price on Saturday night went six innings and allowed three runs, two earned, in a 6-3 loss to the Angels. He fanned five and his velocity has been consistently better this year than last year.

But the most important number was his walk total: one. He walked three batters in his previous start, and four in both of his starts prior.

“Two outings ago, the first start here in Fenway,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “There was better timing in his delivery and overall better separation over the rubber. And he carried that through I thought, even though there's a higher pitch count in Houston, and has been able to maintain it here. I can't say there was one specific thing. It's been more the timing over the rubber. And you're seeing him pitch out of the stretch exclusively. Just less moving parts in a better position to repeat it.”

After Price’s final inning, the telecast captured Price calling pitching coach Carl Willis into the tunnel. Neither Farrell nor Price detailed the conversation. 

“Yeah, everything was fine,” Farrell said of the conversation. “Everything is OK there.”

Price made it sound like he’s dealing with some sort of physical ailment, but was vague.

“There's a lot of stuff going on right now,” the pitcher said when asked about the desire to stay out there. “You don't want it to linger into the next start, or two or three weeks from now, and that's why we did what we did.”

Asked to elaborate, Price reinforced that the decision was to save his body for another day.

“You never want to come out of a game. But you have to look forward at the time,” Price said. “You don’t want today to cost you your next start or you know, the start after that. So that’s what happened.

“It has nothing to do with my elbow or anything like that. This is — you get past one thing and there’s another So that’s what it is.”

Price in New York in early June felt a blister develop on his ring finger. He missed an in-between start bullpen because of it.

Asked about the blister Saturday, Price said, “That one’s gone.”

Farrell indicated the blister was diminished, if not entirely gone.

“He's been dealing with that,” Farrell said. “I think while it's still present and maybe not as severe as it was when it first happened, I'm sure he's going to check on it occasionally."

Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels


Red Sox threaten late, but can't come back in 6-3 loss to Angels

BOSTON - JC Ramirez rebounded from his shortest career start with six solid innings, Cameron Maybin doubled home a run and scored another and the Los Angeles Angels held off the Boston Red Sox 6-3 on Saturday night.

The Angels look for their fifth series win in their last six on Sunday.

Mitch Moreland hit a solo homer for the Red Sox, who lost for only the third time in their last 13 home games.

Ramirez (7-5) allowed one run and four hits with five strikeouts after lasting just three innings and giving up five runs in his previous start.

Blake Parker struck out pinch-hitter Chris Young with the bases loaded for the final out for his first save of the season after Boston scored twice in the ninth.

Red Sox manager John Farrell was ejected by third-base umpire and crew chief Bill Miller after Fernando Abad was called for a balk, scoring a run that made it 5-1 in the seventh.