MURPHY MANTLE – by Tom Brennan
Daniel Murphy has given Met fans seven games of heaven, against the best pitchers in the world who don't have "METS" emblazoned on their uniforms. We obviously have the best pitchers.
It is just staggering to contemplate that Murphy has 5 homers against the likes of Kershaw, Greinke, Arrieta, and Lester. And none of the cheap variety. While some players may do the wrong kind of Coke, Murph attacks the Pepsi Porch. “Have a Pepsi, Murph.” “Don’t mind if I do, Tom.”
His blasts remind me of another great NY playoff hitter named Mickey Mantle.
When I was a little kid, my father and uncle were watching what everyone else was watching...Mantle and Maris chasing Babe Ruth. They asked my older brother to pick who would win the battle and overtake the Bambino. John picked Mickey, so Dad (also John) and my uncle (also Tom) suggested I pick Roger...which I did.
I still think the Mick beats Maris out if not for his September injury, but my man Maris won out. Like Trump, I think winning is fabulous.
My father, a life-long Yankee fan, suggested in the spring of 1962 that I root for that new team, the Mets, when they joined baseball the next year, in 1962. There you have the unlikely genesis of a life-long Mets fan.
Mickey was great fun to watch and great in the playoffs, of which the Yanks participated in many. In 65 World Series playoff games, he hit a whopping 18 homers, and overall hit .257 with a .374 on base % due to 43 walks. Lots of walks. Who'd want to pitching to the Mick if they did not have to.
Murph's playoff career spans only 7 games so far. But I think his hitting 5 bombs against pitchers whom Mantle would not have wanted to face is nothing short of astounding.
So I give Murph a new moniker....Murphy Mantle.
If there were a facade out there right now, Murph would surely reach it. There is nothing right now that Murph cannot do. We're even getting gold glove fielding from the diving Irish Hammer. And the steal of third base while Justin Turner caught a cat nap will always be one of the greatest moments in Mets post-season history.
So - God bless you, Daniel Murphy.
Or course, this article would be incomplete without citing the only-ever-so-slightly less surreal play of Curtis Granderson, a guy who once hit a Mantle-like 84 homers in 2 years as a Yankee. After a bad Mets debut in 2014, the consummate professional regrouped and tore up spring training in 2015, then hit in bad luck in April, but persisted and stuck to his game plan, and finished with an MVP-caliber season.
But some great regular season guys sputter in the post season – but not Grandy. The G Man has faced the same super-elite pitchers this post-season as Murph, and Curtis joined him as two Mets guys dominating those pitchers, in a jaw-dropping way, frankly.
And Grandy the Glove showed Juan Lagares how it's done, stealing a home run from Chris Coughlin. When he leapt at the fence, I swore for a second I saw him wearing a cape and thought he might just keep going up.
Then he showed Mookie Wilson how to steal bases last night.
He’s Super Grand.
So - God bless you, Curtis Granderson.