ARLINGTON, Texas -- It was a groundout to second base in the seventh inning of a Rangers' 5-0 win over San Francisco back in early June that provided the revelation David Murphy needed to start consistently hitting left-handed pitchers.
"That's when I knew what I was doing was the right approach," Murphy said. "From that at-bat on, I started thinking about a few things to focus on, and it's helped."
Those things? Keeping his weight on his back leg longer, not trying to pull the ball all the time when facing a left-handed pitcher and recognizing pitches better.
It's working. Murphy is hitting .396 in 48 at-bats with five RBIs, three walks and 14 strikeouts against left-handers this season. Last year, Murphy hit just .215 against lefties in 107 at-bats and is a career .266 hitter against lefties.
"I feel like there's a greater margin for error for me against a righty because I can see the ball longer and we play against them regularly," Murphy said. "So I do think there's a different approach for me against lefties. I've focused on not swinging at sliders down and away and just swinging at strikes. I'm doing a better job of that."
Don't be surprised to see Murphy in the lineup tonight or in this series against a left-handed pitcher. He's having good at-bats against them. Oh, and he's hitting right-handers too. Murphy was batting .308 on the season going into Wednesday's game with the Baltimore Orioles.