By Jonathan Hopkins
After a good comeback win by the Saints July 12, the Winnipeg Goldeyes looked to bounce back, and they did in a big way. The Goldeyes defeate the Saints Saturday night 15-1, causing the Saints to fall to 34-20 on the season.
Allowing 15 runs in a game is never a recipe for success, and it came one day after the loss of their star player, Max Murphy.
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Murphy’s contract was purchased by the Arizona Diamondbacks July 12. In the first 50 games Murphy held a batting average of .343, 43 RBI and had a league-leading 17 home runs. Losing a talent like Murphy will negatively affect any team, and maybe the Saints are just now starting to feel the effects of his absence.
Saints center fielder, Dan Motl described Murphy as the “best hitter in the league” and said that “he won us some ball games single handily.”
Murphy meant a lot to this team’s success in the first 50 games and was one of the biggest reasons they are in the running for first in the North division. Although, now that Murphy is gone, the Saints sit two games out of first place, and some might start to think that they are digging themselves into a hole without their star player.
“We got enough talent here for sure to go around and get some wins,” Motl said. “The top two teams advance to the playoffs. So that’s the first goal is to be in the top two.”
It is clear Saints players are mainly focused on making the playoffs more than their seeding. To get there, the Saints will need to focus on creating more offense in the absence of Murphy to start gaining ground on the division-leading RedHawks.