A nervous J.R. Murphy gets first hit, sets Yankees record
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J.R. Murphy made his big-league debut as a pinch hitter for Robinson Cano at Yankee Stadium late Monday afternoon in front of an announced crowd of 40,125.
Nervous? You bet.
"I was pretty much nervous all the way until I got to the box," said the 22-year-old catcher, who was promoted from Triple-A as a September call-up Sunday. "And then after I took the first pitch I was OK."
In the eighth inning, Murphy drilled a hard ground ball to the right of White Sox third baseman Conor Gillaspie, who knocked the ball down, and beat the throw to first for his first career hit.
"I didn't feel it," Murphy said after the Yankees' 9-1 win over the White Sox. "I was pretty nervous."
Murphy joked that it probably was the fastest he ever busted it down the line.
"I didn't see what happened. I knew I hit it hard, and I saw that he had a play on it, but then I just started running,'' Murphy said. "I didn't know it was a hit until Kelleher told me it was a hit.''
Meanwhile, members of his family repeatedly were shown on YES as they enthusiastically celebrated the debut and then the hit.
Murphy became the 52nd player used by the Yankees this season. That set a franchise record.
Murphy, a second-round pick in the 2009 draft, hit .269 with a .347 OBP, 12 homers and 46 RBIs in 108 games with Double-A Trenton and Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre.
Reliever Cesar Cabral also made his major-league debut Monday. He pitched a scoreless eighth inning, giving up one hit and recording his first two strikeouts.
"It's nice to get some kids their first taste," Joe Girardi said. "You get a first strikeout and you get a first hit; that's always nice."
After the game, Girardi gave Monday's lineup card to Murphy.
"That'll probably be framed by Mom,'' the young catcher said. "It's already in her hands."