The Mets are headed back to the World Series for the first time since 2000 after an extremely impressive sweep of the Cubs in the NLCS. Of course, in classic Cubs fashion, Chicago was eliminated from the postseason on Back to the Future day — somehow a movie from the ’80’s mis-predicted the 2015 World Series champ.
The Mets won the same way they’d been winning all season — elite, young starting pitching. However, New York was able to dominate because of Daniel Murphy.
By a scout’s standards, Murphy probably qualifies as a slightly above average second baseman. If you played DFS throughout the MLB season, then you know he’s a good player — in 130 games Murphy hit .281 with 14 homers and 73 RBI.
Which begs the question … Who the hell is this Barry Bonds-esque character we’ve witnessed in the postseason?
As you know by now, Murphy — who’d previously hit home runs in back-to-back games ONE time in his career — has homered in SIX consecutive playoff games! Nobody in the history of baseball has ever accomplished that. Let that sink in, and then you can start to realize how truly mind blowing Murphy has been.
Through his first nine career postseason games, Daniel Murphy has already stamped his name all over the record books.
Daniel Murphy: 1st player to hit a HR in 6 straight postseason games— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 22, 2015
Most HR by a 2nd baseman in a single postseason Daniel Murphy 7 (2015) Chase Utley 6 (2009)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 22, 2015
Daniel Murphy's 7 HR are 1 shy of record for a single postseason Barry Bonds (2002), Carlos Beltran (2004), Nelson Cruz (2011) had 8— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 22, 2015
Daniel Murphy this postseason 16 hits (ties Mets record for single postseason) 12 swings-and-misses— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 22, 2015
Daniel Murphy has 7 HR this postseason, 1 shy of the record for most in a postseason. Here's a look at Murphy's HRs pic.twitter.com/OsyKSnuSR3— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 22, 2015
Daniel Murphy has homered in playoffs off pitches in variety of spots-just about everywhere but up & in/low & away
Daniel Murphy has homered in playoffs off pitches in variety of spots-just about everywhere but up & in/low & away pic.twitter.com/UhBeDtYtUy— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 22, 2015
There’s more, though … and it gets even crazier.
Daniel Murphy has as many HRs (7) in 9 postseason games as Hank Aaron & Willie Mays combined for in 42 postseason games. — Ian O’Connor (@Ian_OConnor) October 22, 2015
That one took a moment to sink in for me. Actually, it’s still sinking in. I kind of think it’s not even true, but it somehow is.
“I can’t explain why the ball keeps going out of the ballpark, but they do,” Murphy said after going 9-for-17 in the NLCS with a 1.850 OPS (another stat I promise I’m not making up).
Don’t forget who has been on the other side of these homers Murphy has been hitting either: Kershaw (twice!), Greinke, Arrieta, Lester, Hendricks and Rodney. One of those first three guys is going to win the Cy Young, and all three are worthy.
All factors considered, Daniel Murphy may just be having the greatest postseason we’ve ever seen.
Curtis Granderson perhaps summed it up best when he said of the NLCS MVP, “I got a chance to play with Babe Ruth!”
Obviously, Murphy’s primary task is to help the Mets win four more games. But it’s hard to ignore the type of postseason he could assemble if he just stays half as hot as he’s been thus far in the playoffs.
We may never have a good reason as to how he’s done it, but Daniel Murphy, you are amazing.
Find me on Twitter @julianedlow