ANOTHER EXPLANATION FOR DANIEL MURPHY’S STREAK. Andrew Beaton in the Wall Street Journal (May 18) had another explanation of “How Daniel Murphy Became Ted Williams” (as the headline on the article phrased the question.) Beaton began the article by saying that Murphy’s hot streak in last year’s playoffs “was about as expected as a kangaroo riding the subway”. Beaton then said that “the only thing less predictable than his October rampage was that it would continue into May….” Beaton pointed out that Murphy’s was leading the majors in batting average and that his slugging percentage was in the top ten in baseball.
Beaton attributed the dramatic improvement to implementing two changes suggested by his coaches: 1.move up on the plate so as to deal better with strikes on the outer part of the plate and 2.try to pull more fly balls rather than slapping ground balls to the opposite side of the field.
These changes are hard to implement. Hitting more fly balls would require a reworking of the swing to make it more of an upper cut.
After eight years in the majors, the point in time when the changes were made would have been a random event, making the results of the changes appear to be a random event.