NEW YORK (Reuters) - Daniel Murphy has been a good hitter with modest power over his seven-year Major League Baseball career with the Mets, but the 30-year-old second baseman has turned into a one-man wrecking crew this postseason.
Murphy, who hit a career high 14 home runs this season, has homered in four straight postseason games and has five overall from seven contests in these playoffs.
The sweet-swinging lefty powered the Mets past the Los Angeles Dodgers in the Division Series and to a 2-0 lead over the Chicago Cubs in the NL Championship Series that has put the Mets within two wins of a trip to the World Series.
“I definitely am seeing the ball well right now, so that’s nice,” said Murphy, who has a solid career batting average of .288 with just 62 home runs in seven seasons.
“I’ve been fortunate enough to swing the bat pretty well lately,” Murphy added after his two-run homer off Cubs ace Jake Arrieta in the first inning sent the Mets on their way to a 4-1 victory at Citi Field on Sunday.
Murphy, a master of understatement, is much more comfortable passing on credit to team mates.
Mets captain David Wright was more vocal in putting Murphy’s mashing at the plate into perspective.
“Murph has been about as hot as anybody I’ve ever seen,” Wright said about Murphy, who also homered in the first inning of Saturday’s victory over the Cubs.
”Very rarely do you see somebody get this hot against average pitching. Then you throw in that it’s (Clayton) Kershaw, (Zack) Greinke twice each, (Jon) Lester, (Jake) Arrieta, I mean that’s impressive.
“He’s about as locked in as I’ve seen a hitter, and he’s carried that out now for seven games. That’s quite a feat, especially in the playoffs against this pitching.”
Cubs catcher Miguel Montero said Murphy was a good hitter on a roll.
”He’s always been a tough guy to strike out, he puts the ball in play,“ Montero said. ”When you put the ball in play a lot of good things can happen. Obviously his comfort level is really high. Good for him, not as good for us.
“He looks like the best hitter in the planet right now.”
Editing by John O'Brien