Does Daniel Murphy belong in the same pedestal as all-time greats Babe Ruth and Barry Bonds?
Murphy’s recent hot streak has everyone buzzing. Statistics indicate that Murphy’s incredible postseason run, which has inspired New York Mets to their first World Series in 15 years, ranks as the single greatest playoff performance in the history of the league. Now, that’s saying something when you consider the legends that played the game before Murphy.
On Wednesday, the second baseman homered for the sixth straight time in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series (NLCS), obliterating the record of five straight sets by former Met Carlos Beltran in 2004. That record-setting homer, a two-run shot in the eighth, was also Murphy’s seventh these playoffs, one shy of the all-time record held by Barry Bonds (2002), Beltran (2004) and Nelson Cruz (2011). Murphy will get his opportunity to extend his streak when the World Series begins Tuesday night. And smart money is that Murphy would shatter those records.
“When I hit it, I said ‘Oh my goodness’. I can’t explain it. I can’t explain why the balls keep going out of the ballpark…. but they do,” an elated Murphy said Wednesday. During the NLCS, the series MVP was 9-for-17, driving in six runs, scoring six times, and boasting an unreal 1.850 OPS.
“I got a chance to play with Babe Ruth,” teammate Curtis Granderson said with a laugh. “That’s what I’m going to tell people when I get old and gray. It’s going to be one of those things where people are going to hear about it and not necessarily believe it. But I got a chance to witness it firsthand. And it’s been amazing.”
In nine playoff games, the NLCS MVP has struck .421/.436/1.026 (1.462 OPS) in 39 plate appearances with seven homers, 11 RBIs, 11 runs scored and just six strikeouts. Only three players posted a higher OPS in a minimum of 39 plate appearances –Bonds (2002), Beltran (2004) and Rickey Henderson (1989). Now, remember, Bonds still has the entire World Series to enhance his record.