ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 24: David Murphy #7 of the Texas Rangers makes a diving catch on a ball hit by Nick Punto #8 of the St. Louis Cardinals to end the second inning during Game Five of the MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 24, 2011 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
For reasons unknown to everyone but God and Ron Washington, the Texas Rangers trotted out a starting lineup in Day 1 of their "post-Cruz" era with David Murphy as the team's starting right fielder, the position formerly occupied by Cruz.
In recent days when Cruz was being used as a designated hitter, and on Cruz off-days this season, the Rangers used Leonys Martin in right field and Craig Gentry in center. Gentry was off on Monday as the outfield consisted of Murphy, Martin in center and Engel Beltre in left field.
It was easy to assume, before the lineup was released, that Martin would be the team's right fielder with Gentry, or Beltre, playing in center and Murphy occupying his regular position in left field. But for some reason, Washington shook things up.
It didn't work.
Murphy misplayed two balls, one of which led to an Angels run, and looked awful doing it, not to mention totally uncomfortable and unprepared.
The second misplay of Murphy's night came when he slid to avoid contact from Ian Kinsler, who was still 15 feet away, and happened to slide early, if not unnecessarily, only to see the ball bounce off his outstretched leg. It didn't result in any runs or hurt the Rangers, but it sure could have.
"The second [play] was just embarrassing," Murphy told ESPN Dallas. "It's easy to laugh about because it didn't end up meaning anything. Obviously it wasn't a great first night out there."
You'd have to think Martin will be in right field when the lineup for Tuesday's game is released. Martin has the strongest arm of any of the Rangers' current outfielders, and that's usually where you want your strongest outfield arm. It makes sense, not to mention the fact Martin has done it plenty of times this season.