With an 8-3 victory on Wednesday night in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, the New York Mets completed the sweep of the Chicago Cubs, and secured the organization’s first trip to the World Series since 2000.
Although the young Cubbies came into the series carrying a boatload of momentum and playing the game as if their trip to the big show was preordained, New York’s other team did nothing but handle its business. And by the time the NLCS was over, one thing remained perfectly clear: the Mets were the real deal.
If sweeping a team out of the playoffs is the definition of dominance, then we have no idea what to call what New York did to Chicago. At no point in this series did the Mets trail. They overpowered the Cubs with superior pitching, they ran the bases with precision and purpose, and they outscored Chicago in four games 21-8. It was the ultimate one-sided affair — and that’s putting it kindly.
We could show multiple examples of how the Mets destroyed the hopes and dreams of a desperate fan base, but it’s easier to just point the finger at one particular individual. As far as we’re concerned, the 2015 MLB postseason — and the NLCS for that matter — has been all about the Daniel Murphy, the most unlikely candidate to set a home run record in playoff history.
Here’s a question that no one seems to have the answer to: How does a guy who, during the 2015 regular season, hit a career-best 15 home runs manage to come into the playoffs and smash seven homers in nine games, while also setting a postseason record for by going deep six games in a row?
For Daniel Murphy, it appears to be easier done than said: “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.”
Surely someone can explain how this is happening.
“I can’t even explain Murphy,” said Mets hitting coach Kevin Long. “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.”
Guess not. Better luck next time.
We may not know how the 30-year-old second baseman suddenly turned himself into the reincarnation of Babe Ruth, but these are the facts: After hitting .529 with four home runs, one double, and six RBIs, Murphy was named the NLCS MVP, and the Mets now have a chance to win the World Series for the first time since 1986.
When something as special as this occurs, it’s probably best not to try and explain it. If you ask us, it’s easily more fun to sit back and enjoy it. Somehow Daniel Murphy is putting on a postseason home run show unlike the world of Major League Baseball has ever seen. The rest is just history.