How Murphy single-handedly won Game 5 for Mets
In a winner-take-all game, on the road, Daniel Murphy pieced together what will be remembered as one of the most clutch performances in New York Mets’ history in Thursday night’s 3-2 win over the Dodgers.
Murphy entered Game 5 in Los Angeles on a tear in the postseason, crushing two home runs off three-time Cy Young Award winner Clayton Kershaw and consistently being the toughest out in the Mets lineup.
Murphy’s influence on the series not only continued on Thursday, but was vital to the outcome of the series-clinching game.
It all started at the inception of the do-or-die affair, with Murphy’s at-bat in the top of the first inning.
After Curtis Granderson led off the game with an infield hit off of Dodgers ace Zack Greinke, Murphy ripped a double in the left-center gap to drive in Granderson and immediately get the Mets on the board.
The Dodgers responded with two runs in the bottom of the first and held the lead for a few innings — until Murphy came around in the Mets lineup again.
The 30-year-old second baseman led off the fourth inning with a single, and what he did next on the base paths had a tremendous impact on the game.
After Yoenis Cespedes flied out, first baseman Lucas Duda drew a one-out walk. The Mets were set to have men on first and second, only Murphy’s shrewdness improved their situation to runners on first and third with one out.
The Dodgers, who were positioned in an infield shift during Duda’s at-bat, failed to return to their usual positions in a timely fashion and left third base vacant.
Keenly observing the scenario, Murphy swiped third base without a throw. The move proved priceless for the Mets as Murphy scored when the next batter, Travis d’Arnaud, hit a sacrifice fly to right field.
Michael Conforto grounded out after d’Arnaud’s sac fly, which solidified the notion that Murphy’s move was a game-changer, as the Mets wouldn’t have otherwise scored that inning.
But Murphy’s game morphing didn’t end there.
On his ensuing at-bat in the sixth inning, with the game tied 2-2, Murphy ripped a solo home run off of Greinke to put the Mets up 3-2, which was the final score and sent the Mets to the NLCS.
There’s no telling how the Mets will fare against the Chicago Cubs in the NLCS, but one thing is certain after Thursday night’s happenings:
Daniel Murphy has reserved a special place in Mets’ postseason history.