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Murphy and Thole out

The post-midnight word from Bisons manager Ken Oberkfell is this: Catcher Josh Thole is sitting out today's game for precautionary reasons after getting cranked in the head with an errant bat Wednesday night and should be OK. But second baseman Daniel Murphy is almost certainly headed for the disabled list with what looks like a longterm knee injury.

Murphy was carried off the field in the seventh inning after Syracuse's Leonard Davis roll-blocked him sliding past second base on a double-play pivot. Dirty play. You wonder if it's season-ending. Especially since it's the same knee Murphy injured in spring traing. At any rate, the Mets' experiement with Murphy as a utility man is over for a while.

"I don't think it's real good," Oberkfell said. "I haven't heard anything from back there [the training room] yet but he was pretty banged up on the play. The way he turned the double play was nice. He made the right pivot. It just looked like the guy got there late and when Murph came down he never got out of the way once he planted his foot.

"It was a roll slide but it was one of those things where he kind of watched the throw rather than getting out of the way. It sucks. It's tough but it's part of the game. He was pretty sore and he was mad too, mad at himself for anything for not getting out of the way. It's tough to lose him and lose his bat out of the lineup."

Murphy was in the right position on the play, on the left-field side of second. Perhaps he watched his throw too long but Davis' slide was late and dirty. Brutal play. Murphy, of course, was unavailable for comment.

Thole got hit in the head with the backswing from Syracuse's Josh Whitesell in the first inning and was pretty woozy. It set the stage for a bizarre fourth inning when Buffalo starter Bobby Livingston was ejected for hitting Whitesell in the head -- with a 77-mph curveball -- while holding a no-hitter for 3 1/3 innings with seven strikeouts.

"He got hit pretty good," Oberkfell said of Thole. "It's unfortunate a guy has a long backswing and our guy has to come out of the game for it. And then a guy gets hit in the head with a slider and we get a guy thrown out of the game. It doesn't make sense."

"If pitchers are going to get ejected for situations like that, for me I think hitters should be ejected for having  real long backswings where they hit a catcher even if it's not intentional. That's the game. Maybe they make hitters not have long backswings, they'll become better hitters."

Another bad bullpen night too. Three runs apiece from Adam Pettyjohn and Manny Acosta, with three walks killing Acosta in the eighth.

The Bisons are 3-6 in their last nine and will lose their first home series of the season unless they beat Stephen Strasburg today.

---Mike Harrington


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About Inside Pitch

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has covered the Buffalo Bisons since 1992 and Major League Baseball since 1995. A member of the Baseball Writers' Association of America, Harrington has reported on more than 30 MLB postseason series — including every game of the World Series in this century — and all three of the Bisons' championship runs in their modern era. He is a connoisseur of the famous Stadium Mustard at Cleveland's Progressive Field.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has covered the Bisons for The Buffalo News since 2002. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |