A thrilling victory over the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series combined with the first two victories of the NLCS over the Chicago Cubs have the Mets only six wins away from their first World Series title since 1986.
Yes, there’s still a long way to go, but it’s fair to say this Mets group has come a long way from the team that was running the likes of Eric Campbell and John Mayberry, Jr. in the middle of the batting order during the summertime.
The Mets formula for October success has been pretty simple. Outstanding starting pitching, timely hitting and, oh yes, a guy by the name of Murphy!
Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy has always been my favorite Met to watch over the last few years. He’s not the most athletic guy, he’ll give you a brain fart or two whether its in the field or on the bases, but he can flat out hit.
I’ve fought with Met fans over the years on WFAN about Murphy as a whole. Some thought you could never win with him at 2B due to his lack of athleticism and instincts, but my argument in defense of Murphy as a player has always been a rather easy argument to win.
Find me a second basemen who can hit like him? There are not many in baseball, thus I rest my case.
Whether it’s a lefty or a righty, a hard thrower or a guy throwing junk, Murphy has always been a quality bat on a bunch of lousy Met teams over the last couple of the years before 2015.
Murphy has always been a good hitter, but what he’s done in this postseason is simply outrageous.
His postseason performance and flair for the dramatic takes me back to Carlos Beltran with the Astros in 2004 and, of course, Alex Rodriguez and what he did for the Yankees in their 2009 championship run.
Consider this: Murphy who is not a power hitter by any means has homered only in consecutive games once during his career.
In this postseason, Murphy has homered in four consecutive games and is one homer away from tying Beltran’s record of five back in 2004.
Murphy has not only homered in four consecutive games, he’s homered off some of the best pitchers baseball has to offer: Clayton Kershaw, Zach Grienke, Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta!
This is the sort of storybook stuff that I don’t even think Hollywood script writers would believe. When you think of this postseason run for the Mets, Murphy has been in the middle of everything.
In fact, the turning point of Thursday’s winner-take-all Game 5 against the Dodgers was of all things a head’s up base-running play by Murphy.
He bolted for third base on a walk when the Dodgers fielders left the base unoccupied due to a fielding shift with one out.
Murphy’s head’s up base running enabled the Mets to tie the game at two on a sac fly, and his next at-bat was the game-winning home run in the top half of the sixth.
In this postseason, everything has come up aces for Daniel Murphy. I guess he was smart enough to realize that free agency is looming at the end of the year.
The Mets will have interesting decisions to make with both Murphy and Yoenis Cespedes in the winter, but for a fan base that has been waiting so long for this moment, forget about next year, live in the now and enjoy the wonder of October baseball with Murphy as your leading star.
Long live Murph-Tober!
JJ’s Unlocks of the Week
(Season Record: 15-13-2)
• Indianpolis -5
• NY Jets +9
• Carolina -2.5
• San Diego -4
• Dallas + 4