Daniel Murphy hit a career high 14 home runs in 130 regular season games. In nine postseason games, the New York Mets second baseman and free-agent-to-be has hit half that total, setting a major league record in the process.
The 30-year-old Murphy parked an eighth inning two-run home run in Wrigley Field’s right-center field basket to give him six consecutive postseason games with a home run, breaking a major league record set by then-Houston Astros outfielder Carlos Beltran in 2004. Murphy was named the NLCS MVP for his efforts.
"I can't explain it," Murphy said, smiling and shaking his head. "It's such a blessing to be able to contribute to what we've been able to do. I really can't explain it."
Murphy’s unprecedented hot streak saw him homer off Clayton Kershaw in Games 1 and 4 and Zack Greinke in Game 5 the National League Division Series, then go deep in all four games of the NLCS. He drove in six runs in the NLCS, equaling the total scored by the now-eliminated Cubs.
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With his seven postseason home runs, Murphy enters the World Series needing two games with a home run to break Barry Bonds’ 2002 record of eight playoff games with a home run. Bonds, Beltran and Nelson Cruz are tied for the most home runs in playoff history with eight, so Murphy is two long balls away from breaking that record, too.
“I’ve not seen anything like this, probably ever,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said, qualifying that the closest was Bonds in 2002 — Maddon was the Anaheim Angels’ bench coach for that World Series.
Bonds hit 762 in his career, Beltran has 392 and Cruz has 421. Murphy, in seven major league seasons, has 62 home runs. Well, now 69 with his explosive postseason.