While Jason Bay got a chance to show what he’s got in the cleanup spot, Daniel Murphy took a seat on the bench last night.
Manager Terry Collins rested the struggling Murphy — who had been hitting fourth — against lefthander Gio Gonzalez. The first baseman was replaced by Lucas Duda, another lefthanded hitter.
“He’s got really good numbers against lefthanders. I thought I’d get Duda in there today,” Collins said. “I thought he needed to keep getting some at-bats. Murph is struggling a little bit so I wanted to make sure he gets the chance to work on some things with Dave . Try to get some righties in there, and with our situation at first base, we’re going to need a lefthanded hitter.”
Collins said Murphy, in a 3-for-29 slump since June 14, is so aggressive he sometimes expands the zone, especially against lefties.