Mets' Daniel Murphy sets mark with homer in sixth straight playoff game

ByAdam Rubin ESPN logo
Thursday, October 22, 2015

CHICAGO -- New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy 's home run binge is now historic.

He collected the National League Championship Series MVP trophy as recognition Wednesday.

Murphy delivered a two-run homer in the eighth inning of Game 4 to cap the Mets' scoring in an 8-3, pennant-clinching win over the Chicago Cubs.

Murphy set a major league record with homers in six straight postseason games, snapping a tie with Carlos Beltran, who homered in five straight games during the 2004 postseason with the Houston Astros.

Beltran went on to sign a seven-year, $119 million contract with the Mets that offseason. Murphy will be a free agent after the World Series.

"I can't explain why the balls keep going out of the ballpark, but they do," Murphy said.

"And we keep winning ballgames, which is the most important part and the coolest part."

Murphy also joined Lou Gehrig as the only players with seven straight postseason games with a hit, a run and an RBI.

Murphy's homer came against Cubs reliever Fernando Rodney and gave the Mets an 8-1 lead.

"I can't even explain Murphy," hitting coach Kevin Long said. "Murphy is on a different planet right now. He really is. The last at-bat, he's looking for a changeup, and he hits a 97 mph fastball out. That's where he's at right now. It's mind-boggling. It really is."

Said Murphy: "He threw some really good changeups to Kirk Nieuwenhuis. So I went to Kevin, and I said, 'I'm going to look for that changeup.' And he threw two heaters, and the second one exploded on me. So now I'm like, 'I don't know what to look for. I might as well stay in the changeup, because I don't have the fastball measured.' And he threw another heater, and I just swung. I hoped I would have took it. And then, when I hit it, I said, 'Oh, my goodness.' Then [center fielder] Dexter [Fowler] went after it. I thought he was going to catch it. And then the netting caught it. I don't know. I can't explain it."

Murphy demonstrably pumped a fist in celebration as he rounded the bases.

"I was really surprised it got out. That's why I did that," he said. "I thought, 'Oh, my goodness. That got out of the ballpark.'"

Murphy became the second player in franchise history to earn MVP honors in the NLCS, joiningMike Hampton, who earned the award in 2000.

The NLCS MVP was created in 1977. In the Mets' lone other NLCS appearance since then, Mike Scott from the Houston Astros was named MVP in 1986, despite the Mets advancing and ultimately winning the World Series.

Scott's honor marked the only time in major league history that the NLCS MVP went to a player from the losing side.

Murphy hit .529 (9-for-17) with four homers, one double and six RBIs in the NLCS.

Overall, he has seven homers this postseason. The shots have come against Clayton Kershaw (twice), Zack Greinke, Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks and Rodney.

He is the third player in history to homer in the same postseason against the regular-season MLB leaders in wins, ERA and strikeouts (Arrieta, Greinke and Kershaw, respectively). He joined Frank Thomas and Mickey Mantle, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

Mets captain David Wright offered a Windy City basketball reference to sum up Murphy's performance.

"Six games in a row of home runs in the playoffs," Wright said. "That's Jordan-esque."

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