Oct 23, 2015

NLCS MVP Daniel Murphy & His 2015 Season

In the 2015 off season Daniel Murphy's name kept coming up in trade talks again, as the Mets continued to shop him. They did not find a suitable buyer & it was back to Spring Training never expecting the year that was ahead of him. He continued to dodge the questions that came his way & went about his business.

During Spring Training Billy Bean was going around to baseball teams to promote Inclusion to MLB. Murphy a Religious man stated "I do disagree with the fact that Billy is a homosexual. That doesn’t mean I can’t still invest in him and get to know him. You can still accept him but I do disagree with the lifestyle, 100%." After these comments became controversial to some, Murph said he'll stick with baseball & not tell reporters about his Religious beliefs anymore.

Daniel Murphy was the Mets Opening Day second baseman batting in the 5th position. Murph would be the teams main second baseman but would also see action at third as David Wright went down with an injury, missing Most of his season.
He had a slow start in April ending the month batting under .200 (.198) but did have a big four RBI day against the Atlanta Braves on April 23rd in a 6-3 Mets win. At the end of the month he has two RBIs in a subway series loss across town & then the next day, drove in all three runs in 3-1 win over the Marlins in Miami. In May the hits strted to come easier as he raised his batting average to .272 while driving in 12 runs.

In June he went on the DL for three weeks missing action from June 5th through the 30th. In his return he had four hits in a series in which the Mets got swept by the team they would end up sweeping in that year's NLCS, the Chicago Cubs. Considering the amazing post season run Murph would have, it's funny to see that the most HRs he hit any month during the regular season was four, as he did it in both August & September.

On August 2nd he hit a HR off the Nationals Jordan Zimmerman in a 5-3 win at Citi Field, as the Mets swept an important series from Washington taking over first place. Murph collected three hits in the series. This came during a six game win streak, in where Murph hit another HR in Tampa off Jake Odoizzi in a 4-3 Mets victory.

By this point Muph was settling into the number three spot in the line up in front of Yoenis Cespedes, who at that point just arrived after the trade deadline & was the hottest hitter on the planet. In August he raised his average from .266 to .281 while hitting 11 doubles & driving in twenty runs.
In September Murph would drive in 17 more runs while hitting eight more doubles & hitting HRs against the Atlanta Braves twice, the Phillies & the AL New York club. On September 26th Murph had two hits & two runs scored in the NL Eastern Division clincher at Cincinnati.
He ended the year batting .281(best on the Mets team) his lowest batting average since his first full season 2009 where he hit .266. Murph was the hardest man in the league to strike out (13.1) going down just 38 times in 499 at bats.

He collected 140 hits (2nd on the Mets) with 38 doubles (5th in the NL) 2 triples 14 HRs 73 RBIs (first on the club tied with Lucas Duda)56 runs scored & a .322 on base %. He was walked intentionally ten times (8th most in the NL).

Defensively he posted a .279 fielding % at second base (69 games) making six errors, he made six more errors at third (42 games) with a .935 fielding%.

POST SEASON: On October 9th, 2015 Murph got to play in his first post season game, finally enjoying the benefits after playing seven struggling seasons with the Mets.
NLDS: In the bottom of the 4th inning of Game #1 against the LA Dodgers, he put the Mets on the board with their first post season run as he hit a solo HR off one of the games best pitchers; Clayton Kershaw. In the Game #2 loss he collected a base hit off Zack Greinke. In the Game #3 Mets 13-7 rout at Citi Field, Murph added a 4th inning RBI base hit off Dodgers reliever; Alex Wood.
In Game #4 at Citi Field, the Mets only had three hits total in the 3-1 loss. The only run came when Murphy hit a solo HR off Kershaw once again, giving the Citi Faithful something to cheer about.
As the NLDS moved back to LA for the decisive Game #5 Murph's star was really about to shine. In the top of the 1st, Curtis Granderson led off the game with a bse hit. After David Wright struck out, Murph doubled to left field off Zack Greinke, another of the games best pitchers, making it 1-0 Mets.
In the 4th inning, with LA now ahead 2-1 Murphy singled to start the 4th inning. With one out, Lucas Duda walked, the Dodgers had a shift to the right side of the infield on Duda. With no one covering third base Murphy alertly trotted to second & then took off to third base sliding in safely. The Dodger blunder was huge for the Mets possibly being the turning point. Murph then scored the tying run on Travis d'Arnaud's sac fly.
As Mets pitcher Jacob deGrom settled in shutting down the Dodger offense, Murph put them away with a solo HR to right field, this one coming off Greinke as well. Prior to this Murph had only homered in back to back games, once in his career. The Mets went on to the 3-2 win and advanced to their first NLCS since 2006.

Overall in the NLDS Murphy led the Mets in hits (7) runs scored (5) HRs (3) RBIs (5) while batting .33 with a .333 on base % as well.

NLCS: On October 17th, 2015 the Mets hosted the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS Game #1. The man everyone was talking about; Daniel Murphy electrified Citi Field as he blasted a line drive HR to right field, off Cub pitcher Jon Lester, putting the Mets up 1-0. It was Murphs third straight post season game with a HR, his fourth overall. The Mets went on to a 4-2 win.
In Game #2 the Cubs sent their ace & possible Cy Young winner, Jake Arrieta to the mound. The Mets took care of him right away as Curtis Granderson singled & then came home when David Wright doubled.
Then the hottest hitter in the universe came up Daniel Muphy, he connected once again after fouling one off down the right field line just missing a HR, this one went over the fence for sure putting New York up 3-0. He would collect another hit later on as the Mets went on to a 4-1 win, taking a commanding two games to none lead in the NLCS.
Trivia: With that HR Murphy tied Mike Piazza for the most Mets HRs in a post season. He now had hit HRs in four straight post season games, breaking Don Clendennon's 1969 franchise record of three straight post season HR games.
As Game #3 moved on to Wrigley Field Chicago, all the talk continued to be Daniel Muphy, people who had never heard of him before know knew his name in New York. Baseball people knew this kind of post season hitting was special & rarely done before.
Rumors circulating that week, that no matter what kind of a playoff run Murph had, that the team still wasn't going to sign him, kind of changed. Reports came in that the Mets would possibly offer him double his salary in the off season, although that probably still would be short of what other teams may offer.
In any event Murph just continued his hot hitting, gave humbling interviews, complimenting his team mates being a true soft spoken gentleman that he is. As he said in post game interviews as long as the interviews keep coming that means the team has won another game.
In Game #3 with the score tied 1-1 in the third inning, Murph continued his hot streak, putting a HR into the center field bleachers at Wrigley Field, this one off of Kyle Hendricks, another solo shot.
This HR tied Carlos Beltran's all time MLB 2004 post season HR streak that went five games.
In the 7th Murphy singled, advanced to third on Yoenis Cespedes' base hit & then scored on Lucas Duda's grounder to first base. The Mets went on to a 5-2 win taking a three to nothing series lead.
Mets fans were so excited about sweeping the series & advancing to their first World Series in 15 years, they also figured with all that going on Murphy couldn't possibly do it again.
Well with the score tied in the third inning, Murphy defied all sanity by connecting with another shot that traveled & carried into the Wrigley Field bleachers.
It was his sixth straight post season game with a HR, a new MLB record. It was also his seventh HR of the post season, 7 Hrs in nine games, during the regular season he hit 14 HRs in 130 games! Amazing. The solo HR put New York up 2-1, a lead they would never give up. The Mets went on to a 5-2 win, and won the 2015 National League pennant.
In the NLCS Murphy was named the NLCS MVP as he led the Mets in hits (9) batting average (.529) HRs (4) Runs scored (6) on base % (.556%) & tied with Lucas Duda in RBIs (6).
Trivia: The so called curse of the Chicago Cubs stems back to 1908 involving a Billy Goat named...............Murphy!

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