PHILADELPHIA -- One day after an MRI eased whatever fears Daniel Murphy had regarding his sore right shoulder, Murphy was in Tuesday's lineup, batting second and playing second base for the Mets.
Murphy said he felt no discomfort prior to the game, two days after tweaking his shoulder while swinging the bat. An MRI on Monday came up negative, leading the second baseman to treat his shoulder with nothing more than anti-inflammatory medication.
Murphy, who has appeared in 124 of the Mets' 129 games, described the news as "a relief."
"But it just confirmed what I thought," he said. "I didn't think there was anything wrong with me. I'm excited that I'm healthy, but it's pretty much what I thought it was going to be."
Of greater issue to the Mets was the fact that Murphy entered Tuesday's series opener against the Phillies mired in a 4-for-44 slump, with no extra-base hits and just two walks over that span. It is his second major slump of the season, following an 8-for-61 stretch that consumed most of his month of June.
"Never in my wildest imagination did I ever think Daniel Murphy would [slump that badly], with as good a hitter as he is and as good a swing as he's got, the way he uses the field to hit," manager Terry Collins said. "It just tells you what a strange game this can be."
Murphy's batting average is down to .283, after peaking at .336 on May 15. Because Murphy is not a power hitter, batting average tends to be a more telling statistic for him than for others.
"I still say at the end of the year, we're going to look up and he's going to be hitting .305," Collins said. "So he's got a hot streak coming."