Daniel Murphy, who was named MVP of the NLCS, has been absolutely incredible this postseason. In nine games, he’s batting .421 with seven home runs and 11 RBI against both the Dodgers and Cubs,
While he’s never had a stretch quite like this in his career, the Murphy we are seeing now might not be a fluke after all. Hitting coach Kevin Long says that Murphy’s power outburst is the result of the all work they did throughout the season.
“He changed his mechanics,” Long said of Murphy tweaking his approach throughout the season, using his legs more and dropping his hands. “This isn’t like all of a sudden he tried to do something he hasn’t done all year. … Basically, he went from a guy seeking base hits to a guy seeking to do damage — and there’s a big difference“ (Dan Martin, NY Post)
Even though Murphy struggled mightily in April, Long never lost confidence in him and knew the adjustments would pay off in the end.
“April was a lousy April,” Long said. “I always tell guys, ‘You’re probably gonna go backwards before you go forward.’ That’s why you have to trust what we’re doing and kind of sell them on ‘If you stick with it, it will turn.’”
“He does not swing and miss [and] if you take a guy who doesn’t swing and miss and shrink the strike zone, you can do more damage. The only part we didn’t know was if he was gonna be able to incorporate it into his game. That’s a gift. Robinson Cano could get the barrel of the bat to the ball quickly. Not everybody has that.”
It’s been amazing to see Murphy breakout like this during the postseason. While he’s been a solid and consistent member of the team for years, he’s taken his performance to a whole new level during the playoffs.
He looks like a completely different hitter, which is a testament to Long as well as Murphy’s hard work and dedication.
He will certainly get rewarded for it with a big new contract this offseason, and hopefully the Mets do what it takes to keep his dangerous bat in the lineup.