Legends On Deck

Daniel Murphy’s 2015: Who Expected It?

Murphy MVP

ROB LEITER/GETTY IMAGES

Watching this entire postseason run of Daniel Murphy has been nothing short of incredible. Incredible base-running in high stress situations. Big time fielding with the game on the line. SIX STRAIGHT GAMES in the postseason with a home run. Number 28 has absolutely played the time of his life during his first time in the playoffs as a member of the New York Mets.

And to think, when the 2015 season started, it didn’t look that way.

After his 2014 season, where Murphy became an All-Star for the first time, Met fans were looking for another stellar season at the dish for him for the final year of his contract. However, when the beginning of the season began, it didn’t look that way.

In the early stages of Spring Training, Murphy was dealing with a quadriceps issue that kept him out the few weeks of the season. When he came back, he was struggling mightily at the plate, batting with the .210 range. Also, Murphy came extremely close to a major controversy involving his beliefs and the first ever Ambassador of Inclusion, Billy Bean. Thankfully, both issues were averted in a professional manner (Bean and Murphy made up, Murphy’s bat started to come around) and Daniel Murphy became quite the clutch player for the Mets from June onward.

Even with a stint on the disabled list in June, Murphy batted .281 in 538 at-bats with 140 hits. He had 38 doubles, 2 triples, 14 home runs with 73 RBIs, and a .770 OPS, which was the highest for him since 2011. More importantly, Murphy was very versatile for the Mets wherever he’s been needed, either at first, second, or third base throughout 2015. Although he made 13 errors in the field this season, knowing Murphy would be in the lineup was a case of stability. His calming yet intense personality was a case of leadership needed for these Mets. You could honestly say that “Murph” is an ultimate team player.

And then…the 2015 postseason happened. Daniel Murphy, a mere solid veteran presence for the New York Mets, became DANIEL MURPHY, WORLD BEATER. Murphy found a way to make one of the most prominent counters to “the shift” on the base-path, catching the defensive positioning of the players off-guard and going from first to third base on a Lucas Duda walk in Game 5 of the NLDS. Murphy made the defensive play of his life with two outs in the top of the ninth against the Cubs in Game 1 of the NLCS, helping the Mets win the first of four against Chicago. And, as I mentioned earlier, the SIX STRAIGHT GAMES WITH A HOME RUN in the playoffs.

When you hear a guy like Curtis Granderson say that he could tell his grand kids that he “played with Babe Ruth” when referring to Murphy, you can’t help but wonder the amount of respect that #28 has in the Mets’ locker room for his utter success right now. The ultimate team player is now THE player. Yet, in a weird twist, Murphy is not allowing the momentum to take over within himself. Instead, he is deflecting praise to every other teammate of his.

Now, some might say that, with the lights on the brightest, days away from the World Series, Daniel Murphy is auditioning for a fat contract in the 2015 free agent market. A few say that Murphy is angling to make the most money he can possibly make for 2016. I genuinely believe that Murphy is playing for the opportunity to be a world champion. Money can come and go, but a World Championship can come once-in-a-lifetime.

No matter what, Murphy has immortalized himself into an all-time Met great due to his playoff performance in 2015. Furthermore, I also believe Daniel Murphy has turned into one of the all-time great postseason clutch hitters in the history of Major League Baseball, at least to the mainstream baseball audience.

Who truly expected it? It definitely didn’t look that way at the start of 2015. However, Daniel Murphy is going to make sure success is the only option at the END of the World Series. And that’s something that, as a Met fan, you got to feel good at.

Featured Photo Credit: Ron Vesely/MLB Photos

 

Jon Harder

Editor at Legends On Deck
Jon was born in Queens and now resides in New Jersey. He is a die-hard Mets fan and believes HoJo should be in the Mets Hall of Fame. Not only is Jon a contributing writer on Legends On Deck, but he also is the founder of @HardwayHQ, host of the #TheHardwayPodcast and somewhat plays Air Hockey on http://HardwayHQ.com. You can follow Jon on Twitter @TheJonHarder