After being called up from Triple-A Scranton on April 15th to replace the injured Francisco Cervelli (hamstring) Yankees’ catcher John Ryan Murphy had the game of his life yesterday, in which he went 2-for-4, with a two-run single, and hit his first career home run. The solo homer, coming in the fifth, broke a tie and proved to be the game-winner in the Yankees’ 4-3 victory over the Angels at Yankee Stadium. Afterwards, he was more than grateful to get back the ball from the fan who caught it. “I’m giving the (home run) ball to my mom (Carolina),” Murphy said. “She can figure out what she wants to do with it.”
In the fifth inning, Murphy jumped on a first-pitch, 90-mph fastball, sending it (as John Sterling would say), high, far, and gone, into the left field seats. Murphy, 22, has surpassed fellow catcher Austin Romine on the Yankees’ depth chart, after outplaying him late last season. “The progress that he made last year really impressed,” manager Joe Girardi said. “Defensively, offensively, I think he has a real good feel about what he wants to do behind home plate and when he’s at the plate. We think he’s a pretty good player.” “I wanted to be aggressive,” said Murphy, who after yesterday’s game, is batting .308 (4 of 13). “Not playing a lot, I wanted to be aggressive when I do play and that was a good fastball to hit.” If he keeps hitting the way he did yesterday, he will surely get to see a lot more playing time.