The New York Mets' home run binge is a big reason why they're on course for the 2015 World Series. Second baseman Daniel Murphy has been leading the charge.
Murphy set an MLB postseason record in Game 4 of the National League Championship Series on Wednesday against the Chicago Cubs by homering in a sixth consecutive contest, per ESPN Stats & Info. Ace of MLB Stats noted Murphy is the first to achieve the feat in Mets franchise history and added further context to the milestone:
Murphy's performance in the series against the Cubs was enough to earn him NLCS MVP, via Anthony DiComo of MLB.com.
The 30-year-old breakout star hit a home run in back-to-back games just once in his career prior to this year's playoffs, according to Baseball Reference on Twitter. ESPN.com's Ian O'Connor pointed out how Lou Gehrig isn't the only legend Murphy now holds company with:
ESPN Stats & Info also noted Murphy has broken a tie with Chase Utley for most home runs in a single postseason by a second baseman.
Prior to Wednesday's NLCS showdown at Wrigley Field, Murphy admitted to being bemused by his sudden acquisition of power at the plate.
"I wish I could explain it," said Murphy, per the New York Post's Dan Martin. "I would have done it like six years ago. I can't explain it. I can only thank [hitting coaches] Kevin Long and Pat Roessler for the work that they've put in with not only myself, but with all the guys hitting. I wish I could explain it. I can't."
After hitting only 14 homers during the regular season in 130 games, Murphy has hit seven in the postseason. Thanks to his spark at the plate and the team's dominant starting pitching, New York has all the makings of a championship club.
Kristie Ackert of the New York Daily News reported recently that the Mets don't intend to bring Murphy back this winter when he hits free agency.
"He's been great, really great," said a source to Ackert, "but it changes nothing."
Maybe the Mets will rethink their reported strategy now that Murphy is thriving to a largely unprecedented degree when it matters most.
The remarkable consistency and composure Murphy has displayed can't easily be labeled a fluke. His level of play in October will definitely give him leverage in contract negotiations as well.
New York finished the regular season 17th in runs scored, so it clearly has room to improve in terms of offensive production. If Murphy can even emulate his current roll going forward, he could be a valuable bat worth investing in as the Mets work to better complement their exceptional pitching rotation in the coming years.