The circumstances which led to a franchise 180 turned by the Amazin’ Mets of 1969 may never be topped, but the 2015 Mets are on their way back to the World Series with an NLCS sweep and the surge of unassuming slugger Daniel Murphy is nothing short of a miracle.
The Mets punched their ticket to the Fall Classic for the first time since the 2000 “Subway Series” with an 8-3 victory over the Chicago Cubs at Wrigley Field.
First baseman Lucas Duda finished 3-4 with 5 RBI, opening scoring with a three run home run in the top of the first off Jason Hammel. Later, Duda added insurance with a two run double in the second to push the New York lead to 6-0 before the Cubs could even muster a single hit.
But the headline grabber in game four was, again, second baseman Daniel Murphy. In the top of the eighth, Murphy sucked the air out of the despondent home crowd with a two run home run to up the lead to 8-1.
Murphy’s blast to centerfield was his seventh of the postseason and an MLB record sixth straight game with a playoff homer. After hitting 14 home runs in 130 games during the regular season, Murphy has morphed into a power hitting monster during the month of October.
“I’ve not seen anything like this, I don’t think ever,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said after the game. “I saw [Barry] Bonds in the 2002 World Series when you did not want to throw a baseball to him as a pitcher. Right now, it’s just incredible.”
Murphy’s long ball plated captain David Wright. Wright broke out of an early playoff slump to hit .286 in the NLCS, and like the rest of the baseball community, he’s in awe of his teammate.
Daniel Murphy’s sixth straight game with a home run lifted the Mets to an 8-3 victory in Game 4 of the NLCS. Even Murphy himself is stunned about his hot streak.
The New York locker room was coated in champagne from the postgame celebration, a jubilant scene long after Cubs fans had left the ballpark with heads hanging low and no World Series pennant to hang for the 107th consecutive season. Although the Cubs have also failed to clinch a National League title since 1945, pitcher Jake Arrieta says things ought to be looking up for the organization.
Even if the future is bright, this year’s NLCS was a low point for the Cubs. New York outscored the Cubs 21-8 in four games and Chicago’s .164 batting average is the lowest by any team in a League Championship Series.
The Mets await the victor of the ALCS between the Blue Jays and Royals, which continues with game six at Kansas City on Friday night. The ALCS winner will have home field advantage thanks to another American League triumph in the All Star Game.
It may be hyperbole to break out the title “Miracle Mets” again, but four wins away from their first World Series title since 1986, the New York Mets have certainly looked amazing.