Daniel Murphy continues to come through when it counts

Daniel Murphy has had his ups and downs at the plate this season for the New York Mets, but the second basemen has been reliable when it counts.  The 27-year-old proved once again last night that when the pressure is on, he’s at his best.

Photo by Michael G. Baron

With the bases full of Mets in the home half of the 9th, #28 stepped to the plate and drilled a 1-2 fastball off the foot of Phillies closer Jonathan Papelbon to drive home the game-tying run.   Murphy finished the contest 2-for-5 and has now collected a hit in eight straight starts, hitting .457 (16-for-35) over that stretch.  What’s most impressive about Murph is that he is getting the job done when the team needs him most, with runner in scoring position.

We joked most of last year that the phrase ‘RISP’ meant ‘runners in stranded position’ when it came to the Mets, but this year the team (and especially Murphy) has turned things around.  While the Mets second basemen is batting just .242 with the bases empty, he rises to the occasion with men on base and especially with RISP, where he boasts a robust .353 avg, good for 7th best in the NL among players with 40+ at-bats.  Take it one step further and toss in the pressure of their being 2 outs and RISP and Murphy steps things up another notch, raising his average to a cool .400.

The Mets as a team have crushed with two outs and last night their five two-out runs scored improved their MLB best total to 184 in the category.  In fact, when you look at the NL leaders in that category it’s heavily represented by the blue and orange, with David Wright‘s .424 average leading the league and both Daniel Murphy and Lucas Duda falling in line behind #5.

While Murphy finished the series against Philly batting .500 (7-14), I’m sure he’ll have no problem welcoming the Cubs into town tonight as the lefty bashed Chicago pitching for two home runs and four RBI the last time the teams met at Wrigley.  With Johan on the mound tonight, a little of that offensive firepower would be a welcomed sight as the Mets look to win their 7th game in their last nine contests.

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