It really comes as no surprise. Sean Murphy the Oakland Athletics catcher has easily the worst at-bat in Major League Baseball this season against the New York Yankees.
For Murphy it wasn’t a situation where he took a close pitch for strike three to end the game. He wasn’t even in the point of the at-bat where he needed to swing at anything. His problem is he swings at almost every pitch he sees at the plate no matter location and he tries to pull everything. It’s the reason he is hitting only .214 on the season.
So yesterday Murphy finds himself in a situation in the top of the ninth inning where he doesn’t need to swing. This is due to Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman walking Tony Kemp and Jed Lowrie to put the first two runners on.
Chapman also didn’t seem comfortable on the mound the Yankees brought out their trainer to talk to him. So what happens? Murphy takes the first pitch for a ball.
So what does Murphy do on the next pitch? He swings at a low 98 miles-per-hour fastball on the inside corner that likely gets called a strike, yet since he swung all he manage was to hit the ball right to the third basemen to start the game ending triple-play.
This meant that out of the 11 pitches Chapman threw only two were for strikes. Still the blame goes squarely on Murphy who shouldn’t have thought about swinging unless the count got to two strikes. Manager Bob Melvin should have also been in his ear telling him not to swing as well. Even a strikeout, pop out, fly out, or a sacrifice at that point is a better option when there are runners on first and second and no outs in the top of the ninth inning in a one run game. Which is why that at-bat is the worst one of the 2021 Major League Baseball season.
Here’s a look at the at-bat.
Sean Murphy grounded into a triple play to end the game 😱 pic.twitter.com/914q7NDKm7
— A’s on NBCS (@NBCSAthletics) June 20, 2021