Sean Murphy won a Gold Glove last year. But even award-winning catchers sometimes go through the seventh inning that Murphy had in the Athletics’ 9-5 loss to the New York Yankees on Monday.
Murphy was called for catcher’s interference twice in a disastrous inning for the A’s, with the errors spurring a six-run frame that helped the Yankees come back from a 5-1 deficit at Yankee Stadium.
“It’s just one of those things that I feel like you’ve never seen,” A’s starter Paul Blackburn said to reporters in New York. “That’s a guy that’s back there every single day, Gold Glove, a leader on this team, a leader of this pitching staff. I feel terrible for him. It’s just one of those situations where it’s just a freak thing you just don't really see. He’ll bounce back from it tomorrow and we’ll come in here and take a series.”
Murphy was the first catcher to have two interference calls in the same inning since Baltimore’s Pedro Severino did it in 2020 - coincidentally against the Yankees and the same two batters: Aaron Judge and Giancarlo Stanton.
The 27-year-old Murphy had just five catcher’s interference calls in his previous 227 games at catcher, and never two in the same game.
The A’s catcher first interfered with Judge to put runners on first and second with one out. A.J. Puk came in to relieve Adam Oller, only to hit Anthony Rizzo, the next batter, on the first pitch.
Then, with the bases loaded, Murphy’s glove got in the way of Stanton’s swing to force in a run.
That cut the A’s lead to 5-4. Josh Donaldson then doubled in two runs to give the Yankees the lead. New York added three more runs in the inning behind RBI hits by Jose Trevino and Marwin Gonzalez.
“Murphy’s just reaching in to get that ball,” A's manager Mark Kotsay told reporters. “He’s one of the best at getting the low strike called. It’s unfortunate it impacted that inning and obviously it’s not something you see from Murph, so it’s kind of an unusual night for that to happen.”