Legends On Deck

Nationals Daniel Murphy Returns To Citi Field Leading Majors In Batting

Photo: Anthony J. Causi

Photo: Anthony J. Causi

The Washington Nationals (23-15) and the New York Mets (21-16) face-off at Citi Field for the first time this season and with first place on the line.

The Nats lead the Mets, who are also tied in second with the Philadelphia Phillies, by 1.5 games for the lead in the National League East.

It will be a homecoming for ex-Met Daniel Murphy, as he returns to face the team who he started his professional baseball career with. After seven seasons with the Mets, Murphy earned himself a three-year deal with Washington and so far in 2016 he is making the most of his $37.5 million contract.

Murphy enters play on Tuesday leading the majors with a .400 batting average and tied for first with 56 hits.  He finished April batting .370 (30 for 81) and so far in May he is batting .441 (26 for 59).

The 2015 postseason was the coming out party for Murphy and after the Mets failed to offer him a multi-year contract, he chose the division rivals as his next destination.

The choice so far has been historic, as Murphy is putting up numbers not seen in ages.

Looking at the breakdown of his season so far, there aren’t many holes in his swing.

Home games – .415 (27-65)

Away Games – .387 (29-75)

Day Games – .410 (25-61)

Night Games – .392 (31-79)

Right Handers – .385 (42-109)

Left Handers – .452 (14-31)

Murphy’s hits have come mostly as singles, as he has 13 doubles, two triples and five home runs, but he has enjoyed 12-game, 7-game and 6-game hitting streaks. He also has 19 multi-hit games on the season, which include two 4-hit and 3-hit games.

At 31-years old, the second baseman is having the best stretch at the plate in his eight year career. And it is only suitable that he returns to New York when he is on top of the leader boards.

The Mets may have thought that letting Murphy walk would not be a big deal, but with how he has started the season, I am sure the Mets would have dealt with his lack of defense to have his torrid bat.

Now Murphy is on the other side of the diamond looking to help the Nats reach where he took the Mets in 2015, to the World Series. One man can’t do it alone, but he has sparked a Nationals team looking for an edge.

Just that no one really thought Daniel Murphy was the edge.

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