Daniel Murphy: The Mets Years Part One (2008-2014)

Daniel Thomas Murphy was born April 1, 1985, in Jacksonville, Florida to Tom & Sharon Murphy. He has a sister & younger brother as well.

The six-foot two left hand hitting, right hand throwing Murphy attended Jacksonville University playing baseball for the Dolphins team. He was a good hitter who insisted he batted third on the order but was not known to be a good fielder.

In college he won an A-Sun Player of the Year award when he batted .398.

Murphy drafted by the New York Mets in the 13th round of the 2006 amateur draft.

Minor League Ball: That season he played in the Rookie League at Kingsport & the Gulf Coast before getting to the A ball Brooklyn Cyclones for eight games at the end of the year. There he was 7-29 (.241) with one double & three RBIs.

In 2007 he played at A Ball St. Lucie developing into a good hitter batting .285 with 11 HRs 78 RBIs in 135 games as the teams main third baseman. 

In 2008 he started the year back with the Brooklyn Cyclones for three games before moving up to AA Binghamton where he hit .308. He was promoted to AAA New Orleans for just one game, then when Marlon Anderson went down with injury he was called up to the Mets.

Mets Career: Murphy was a third baseman but when he arrived with the Mets David Wright was the team's third baseman, so he was placed in the outfield.

He debuted on August 2nd getting a base hit off the Astros Roy Oswalt in his first career at bat in a game at Houston. In the outfield he made a catch against the left field wall & then threw a runner out at second base.


The next day he would draw a walk as a pinch hitter & not get an official at bat. The Mets came home & Murphy began a six-game hit streak.

He also became the 5th Mets rookie to have ten hits in first twenty at bats. He would hit two HRs in his second week of play & bat over .400 in his first 18 games in the major leagues. He cooled off in September but still hit well, he had 131 official at bats which qualified him as a rookie in MLB rules. 

In his rookie year he batted .313 with nine doubles 2 HRs 18 walks 17 RBIs & a .397 on base %.

2009: As the Mets began play at the new Citi Field, injuries to many key players brought change & disappointment to the fans. 

Murphy had started the season as the teams Opening Day left fielder in Cincinnati. That day he drove in both Mets runs, with as he hit a HR off Aaron Harang while also driving in another to lead Johan Santana to the 2-1 victory.

In April Murph had his best month as he batted .324 & had a streak where he hit safely in 17 of 20 games. He collected 22 hits with 13 runs scored as he started in 16 games. It was clear his batted needed to be in the lineup.

In May as Carlos Delgado went down with injury, Murphy became the teams everyday first baseman. He began the month with back-to-back HR games in Philadelphia against the Phillies while riding another nine-game hit streak. 

Five RBI Game: On May 27th in a 7-4 win over the Nationals in D.C. he collected three hits highlighted by a two run HR off Jordan Zimmermann, with a two run double & an RBI single giving him his first five RBI game.

But as Murph made the transition over to first base he began to struggle at the plate as his average fell to .248 by the All-Star break. The fact the Mets were not hitting as a team & fell to fourth place three games under .500 at the break didn't help.

Things picked up for him in August as he batted .292 collecting 33 hits with 11 doubles in the month driving in 11 more runs. He had a ten-game hit streak, with a hit in 14 of 16 games to end the month.

Walk Off Hit: On August 16th in a game against the Giants at Citi Field, he had gone 0-3 in the game until he came to bat in the bottom of the 9th inning, with Jeff Francoeur on second base & one out facing Jeremy Affeldt. Murph singled to right field bringing in the game winning run in the 3-2 victory.

On August 27th he drove in three runs with two doubles in a 10-3 Mets win in Florida against the Marlins.

On September 3rd he hit his 8th HR of the year, driving in two runs helping the Mets in a 8-3 win at Colorado. Three game later, Murph hit a solo HR & drove in all four Mets runs in a 4-2 win over the Chicago Cubs at Citi Field. 

He had a good September hitting .290 with five HRs while driving in 17 runs & scoring 14 runs.


He finished the year leading the weak hitting Mets ball club that finished fourth (70-92) with 12 HRs, a tie for the lowest season total in team history. He was second on the club to David Wright in doubles (38) & RBIs (63). Murph posted a .266 average with a .313 on base % & .741 OPS while playing in 155 games. 

At first base he made ten errors & posted a .989 fielding %.

2010: On March 30th, at the end of Spring Training, Murph injured his knee in a run setting him down for the first two months of the season. In June, while preparing to get back to the Mets having played just eight games at AAA Buffalo, he suffered a high grade MCL tear. Although surgery was not needed his season was over.

2011: By now Terry Collins had taken over as manager & Ike Davis was the team's first baseman. Murph moved over to play second for the departed Luis Castillo. Throughout the season the versatile Murph, would also play third base when David Wright was down with injury. He would also move back to first base again when Ike Davis was out with injury.

On April 27th, with the Mets down 1-0 to the Nat's in the top of the 8th inning, Murph tied the game with a HR off Tyler Clippard. In the top of the 9th, he added a two run double to help the Mets in the 6-3 win.

USA History Trivia: On May 1st at Citizen's Bank Park in Philadelphia, it was Murph who was the plate when the fans began to chant "USA - USA" upon hearing the happy news that Osama bin laden had been killed by US forces.

In May Murph put together a hitting streak hitting safely in 15 of 16 games followed by two eight game streaks in June. 

From June 25th to June 30th Murph drove in ten runs over the five-game span.

Four RBI Game: On June 29th in a wild 16-9 win in Detroit over the Tigers he collected a pair of two run singles to have a four RBI game. He had driven in two runs the night before in the Mets 14-3 victory as well. Murphy got his average back up to .299 during this series.

In June & July he collected a total of 74 hits with 22 extra base hits & 31 RBIs while batting .345 in those two months. But then on August 7th, after a collision with the Braves Jose Constanza he went down with injury as a torn MCL ruined his promising season. At the time he was batting third in the NL with a .320 average.

Murph finished 2011 with a .320 batting average, collecting 125 hits 6 HRs 28 doubles 2 triples 49 RBIs a .362 on base % & .809 OPS in 109 games played. The Mets finished fourth at 77-85.

2012: Murphy began the season with two hits on Opening Day in the Mets 1-0 win over the Braves at Citi Field. Johan Santana threw five shutout innings in his return after missing the 2011 season.

On April 8th his two run double contributed to the Mets 7-5 win & opening series sweep over Atlanta.

Walk Off Hit: On April 9th, Murphy hit a game winning walk off single off the Washington Nationals Henry Rodriguez for a 4-3 Mets win.

Overall, he had a good April batting .298 where hit safely in 17 of 23 games. 

On May 6th his 2st inning two run double off Arizona's Trevor Cahill helped the Mets in their 3-1 win. From May 6th through May 13th, he drove in seven runs while in the middle of a twelve-game hit streak. He enjoyed a seven-game hit streak going into June as well. closing out May batting .301.

On June 1st, he tripled off St. Louis' Adam Wainwright then added a two-run single in the 7th inning 
helping Johan Santana in his 8-0 win over the Cardinals.

HR Drought: On June 27th, after 352 at bats without a HR dating back to last season, Murph hit a pair of HRs while driving in four runs in a 17-1 Mets blow out at Wrigley Field. 

Five RBI Game: Two days later in a 9-0 win in Los Angeles, Murph drove in five runs, highlighted by a two run HR off Shawn Tolleson. He added a two run double as well helping R.A. Dickey in his four-hit shutout over the Dodgers.

But overall, he slumped in June batting just .240. although he drove in 19 runs that month. But he would get back to form in July, batting .360 while collecting 32 hits with 11 doubles.

Four RBI Game: On July 3rd in a 11-1 crushing of the Phillies at Citi Field, he had another multi-RBI game, driving in four more runs. He collected two RBI doubles & a two run single in a four-hit game. 

Murph would have three four hit games in July with five of them on the season. 

On July 5th, with the Mets down 4-4 to the Phillies in the bottom of the 9th inning, Murph tied up the game with an RBI single off Jonathan Papelbon. David Wright's bloop single to right field won the game in the next at bat.

At the start of August, he was batting .299, by August 4th another four hit day got him over the .300 mark. But he fell into another rut finishing the month with a season average of .285.

Murphy finished the year playing the most games of his career up to that point (156). He led the team in triples (3) was second to David Wright in batting (.291) & doubles (40) which were seventh most in the NL. 

Murphy collected 166 hits with 6 HRs 65 RBIs 62 runs scored & posted a .332 on base % with a .735 OPS.

At second base (138 games) he made 15 errors (2nd in the NL) & posted a .974 fielding %. Murph also played 12 games at first base.

Personal: In the off season, Murph married his longtime girlfriend; Tori Ahem in a Florida ceremony.

2013: This season he would establish himself as one of the league's best offensive second baseman.

Murph started out the year with a good April, on April 5th he hit his first a HR, a three-run shot at Citi Field in a loss to the Miami Marlins. Two days later he added an RBI hit in a win highlighted by Marlon Byrd's two run walk off single over the Marlins.

Four RBI Game: On April 12th, on a cold day in Minnesota, Murph had a four hit, four RBI Day in a 16-5 win over the Twins. In the 7th he hit a three run bases loaded double off Ryan Presley putting the Mets up 13-5. He added a sac fly in the 9th inning.

After batting over .400 in the first half of the month he cooled out to end April at .290.

In May he hit .307 with ten doubles. He would also hit safely in 11 of 12 games to get back over the .300 mark. 

Subway Series 4 Game Sweep: On May 27th, in the opener of the subway series, Murph got the
game winning hit off David Robertson, with an 8th inning single scoring Jordany Valdespin giving the Mets a 2-1 lead. He collected five hits in that subway series sweep.


In June & early July he struggled as he saw his average fall to .269 by July 10th. But he went on a ten-game hit streak & hit safely in 18 pf 20 games thru the month to get back up to .282. 

In mid-July, Murph drove in runs in seven of ten games. His July 20th RBI single off the Phillies Jake Diekman was the insurance run in a 5-4 Mets win.

Five RBI Game:
In the first game of a 
July 26th doubleheader in Washington, Murph had a huge day in the Mets 11-0 win. He collected two HRs off Jordan Zimmermann, a solo shot & two run shot. He also added two RBI singles in his four hit, multi-HR game collecting five RBIs.

On that same road trip, he drove in three runs with two RBI singles in a 6-5 Mets win in South Florida. Overall, he drove in a total of twenty runs in the month. 

In August he hit safely in 22 of 27 games, continuing as one of the Mets steadiest hitters, really heating up at the end of the month.

NL Player of the Week Award: Closing out August into September Murph won the NL Player of the Week Award. From August 29th to September 3rd, he collected six doubles with 13 hits & drove in eight runs.

In September Murph batted .306 as he hit eight doubles with 15 RBIs. He ended the year with an eleven-game hit streak.

On September 24th he led the Mets to a 4-2 win over the Reds at Cicinnati with a three run HR off Mike Leake.

Murph put in another solid season in 2013, as he led the club in hits (188) which was second in the NL. 

He also led the team in doubles (38) which was 7th in the NL, as well as RBIs (78) runs scored (92) at bats (658) & games played (161). He also hit 13 HRs & stole 23 bases (7th in the NL). His 23 steals were by far the most of his career as he only came close to that with 13 steals the next year. He posted a .319 on base % & 733 OPS.

At second base he was second among all NL second baseman in games played (150) put outs (263) errors (15) & third in double plays turned (86).

The Mets finished third that year at 74-88.

Trade Talks:
It was his low on base % (.319%) that had the Mets front office trying to trade him off at the Winter Meetings. The team asked a lot in return & found no takers. Murph says he believes in hitting coach (as well as Sandy Alderson's) Dave Hudgens philosophy of deeper pitch counts & higher on base %. 

Murph felt his eyes tell him he can drive more pitches than not, hence not getting deeper into counts.

Family & Paternity Leave: His wife Tori gave birth to their first son; Noah on March 31st. Murphy was granted a three day leave by the MLB collective bargaining agreement. The move was heavily criticized by many people (including centerfieldmaz) since Murph missed Opening Day for his team. Certain New York radio personalities also made negative comments, Mets Manager Terry Collins commented back saying those guys should look in the mirror. Since Murph has become an advocate of working fathers & has spoken at the White House for the Working Families Summit in 2014.

2014: Murph answered all the offseason trade talks & paternity drama's by making his first All Star team in 2014. 

He collected a hit in the Mets Opening Day loss to the Nationals. On April 10th, he collected three hits, three RBIs, with two RBI singles & an RBI double helping the Mets in a 6-3 win over the Braves.

On May 11th he helped the Mets come back from a 4-1 deficit to the Phillies with a two run HR off Antonio Bastardo in the top of the 9th inning. The Mets won the game on Ruben Tejada's walk off single in the 11th inning.

Subway Series HR: After collecting two hits in the opener of the subway series, in the second game Murph crushed a three run HR off Alfredo Aceves in the 5th inning, leading the Mets to a 12-7 win & two game sweep in the Bronx. Murph had also had a sac fly in the game. This came in the middle of his second ten game hit streak of the young season.

All Star: At the All Star break he was batting .294 with 105 hits (2nd most in the NL) as well as 37 RBIs as he was named to his first NL All Star team. Murph was the only Mets player represented. In the All-Star Game he struck out against Fernando Rodney to end the 8th inning in the AL's 5-3 win at Target Field, Minnesota.

After the All-Star Game he went on to have 13 multi-hit games, driving in 15 runs in that time. He drove in runs in five straight games, six of seven on a mid-August Road trip to Philadelphia & Washington. Murphy was leading the NL in hits at one point & was on pace for a 200 hit season before landing on the DL on August 24th. 

He returned on September 9th & got himself a welcome back hit. On September 19th he had a four hit day at Turner Field in a 5-0 Zach Wheeler Mets shut out.

Although he missed over two weeks of action in August / September Murph still finished with 172 hits (9th in the NL) 124 singles (5th in the NL) & 596 at bats (9th in the NL). He averaged a strike out very 6.9 at bats (8th best in the NL).

 He hit 9 HRs with 37 doubles 2 triples 57 RBIs & 79 runs scored. He had a .332 on base % & .734 OPS.

In 126 games at second base, he posted a .962 fielding % while committing the most errors at the position with 15. 

Charity: After Hurricane Sandy hit the New York area, Murphy helped out the NY Cares charity distributing food & supplies to residents of Far Rockaway Queens.


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Remembering Bobby Ojeda's Tragic Boating Accident (1993)

Remembering Vixen Founder / Guitarist; Jan Kuehnemund (1961-2013)

Fictional Mets Infielder Chico Escuela ( of SNL) Visits Mets Spring Training (1979)

Remembering Mets History: (1977) The Felix Millan / Ed Ott Brawl In Pittsburgh

The 1970's Oakland A's Ball Girls- (MLB's First)