SAN FRANCISCO -- On Wednesday night, Vladimir Guerrero became the 10th outfielder in World Series history to commit two errors in one game.On Thursday, he was out of the lineup. Manager Ron Washington decided to go with David Murphy in left field with right-hander Matt Cain pitching for the Giants. Nelson Cruz moved from left to right field. Murphy went 0-for-3 with one walk in the Rangers' 9-0 loss in Game 2. Guerrero remained on the bench and did not get a pinch-hit appearance.
Guerrero was playing right when he misplayed two balls in the eighth inning in the Rangers' 11-7 loss to the Giants in Game 1 at AT&T Park. The Giants tacked on three runs that inning. But Washington insisted that Guerrero's defense had nothing to do with why he played Murphy in Game 2 on Thursday."I just wanted to get him a game," Washington said before Game 2. "If we come back here for Game 6 or Game 7, I'm going to play [Guerrero] in one game then, too. My main concern is getting Vlad's bat in there. He missed a couple of balls and that might have added some runs, but it didn't determine the outcome of the game." Washington explained to Guerrero the situation. Guerrero said after Game 1 that it was up to the manager to decide the lineup and he would live with whatever Washington decided. "This guy understands what's happening," Washington said. "He's a team player." Washington admitted that he is loyal to Guerrero, who was 1-for-4 with two RBIs in Game 1. Guerrero hit .300 with 29 home runs and a team-leading 115 RBIs during the regular season. "Yes, I'm loyal to him," Washington said. "He's one of the reasons why we're here. We play two games in San Francisco and he's not going to touch the field? That's not going to happen." Murphy pinch-hit during Game 1 and had an RBI single. "I was thinking about sitting on my numbers, but I decided to go out and try to contribute," Murphy said Thursday afternoon. He tried to contribute by aiming for McCovey Cove, the small body of water beyond the right-field fence where fans in kayaks wait for home runs to splash down. "During batting practice, maybe," Murphy said. "I think I did that once yesterday. If I tried that in the game, I'd strike out four times. I'll settle for hitting some line drives up the middle." Murphy is not bad at that. He hit .291 during the regular season, with 12 home runs and 65 RBIs in 138 games and 419 at-bats. He is hitting .238 (5-for-21) with one home run and three RBIs during the playoffs. He also has four walks and six runs scored over nine games. He also could have watched most of this series on the bench if Washington had decided to use Guerrero in the outfield during the four games in San Francisco. Guerrero will be back at designated hitter during the three games in Texas, but the Giants are going with left-handers in the first two of those three affairs. That means Jeff Francoeur will most likely be in the outfield with Cruz and Josh Hamilton in Game 3 against Jonathan Sanchez and Game 4 against Madison Bumgarner. "It definitely could have made it difficult to get me in there," Murphy said. "But if Vlad is in there, how can I complain? He's a perennial All-Star. I was going to trust no matter how the lineup is made out."
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Postcards from Elysian Fields and follow him on Twitter @Sullivan_Ranger. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.