Murphy pwns the Mets: Washington Nationals' second baseman Daniel Murphy started the night on Saturday 18 for 44 with a .409/.426/.795 line, two doubles, five home runs and 15 RBIs in 11 games against the New York Mets he left as a free agent this past winter.
Murphy, who signed a 3-year/$37.5M deal in Washington, improved to 21 for 48 with three doubles, six home runs and 19 RBIs in 12 games with a 3 for 4 night.
Murphy singled to drive in a run in the third, doubled to drive in another run in the Nats' half of the fifth and then homered in the seventh, driving in two more with his 16th home run of the season, two more than he hit in any previous season in the majors.
On the year, the 31-year-old infielder now has a .349/.388/.593 line overall after 86 games and 358 plate appearances.
Murphy, according to the FOX broadcast of last night's game, became the first second baseman in MLB history to hit six home runs vs the team he played for in the previous season.
In a post on Twitter, the Nationals compared Murphy's numbers vs the Mets to what one of the all-time greats in the history baseball did in his first season against his former team:
Ruth 1st 12 G vs BOS, 1920:— Washington Nationals (@Nationals) July 10, 2016
.293/.420/.732, 5 HR, 12 RBI
Murph 1st 12 G vs NYM, 2016:
.438/.462/.875, 6 HR, 19 RBI pic.twitter.com/dHXesWCjdz
Mets' skipper Terry Collins talked after the 6-1 loss about what Murphy's done against New York thus far this season.
"Well, we've seen it, and as you know he's pumped up to play against us and show us we made a mistake," Collins told reporters.
"It's human nature and it's part of the game, and we've just got to make better pitches. We're giving him balls to hit.
"You look at all of the tape at the end of the game, and boy they're good pitches to hit and we've got to do a better job."
"He has a lot of friends over there and former teammates, and probably still friends," Dusty Baker told reporters, as quoted by MASN's Mark Zuckerman after the game.
"Anybody that’s been traded, or played on a roster and their team didn’t sign them, or whatever it was, it definitely means more when you’re playing your old team."
New 1st half mark: Washington's win on Saturday night was their 53rd of the season, setting the Nationals franchise mark (2005-present) for most wins before the All-Star Break. Another win in the series finale on Sunday will give them as many wins as any other team in the all-time franchise history, tying the mark set by the 1994 Montreal Expos.
He [blanking] wants it!: Dusty Baker went out to visit Max Scherzer on the mound in the seventh, after the Nationals' starter issued a two-out walk to Alejandro De Aza, but in spite of Scherzer's pitch count, Baker left him in to face a last batter, Wilmer Flores, who lined out to left on the 117th pitch from the Nats' right-hander.
Baker and Scherzer talked about their mound conversation after the game:
Dusty, to Scherzer on the mound in the 7th: "Which eye you looking out of?" Scherzer: "The (freaking) brown one." Dusty left him in.— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 10, 2016
Scherzer, asked why he said the brown one: "It's the pitching eye."— Chelsea Janes (@chelsea_janes) July 10, 2016
Scherzer improved to (10-6) on the year with a 3.03 ERA, 3.62 FIP, 34 walks (2.50 BB/9) and 164 Ks (11.56 K/9) in 127 ⅔ IP in his second season in D.C.
Up next for Scherzer, who avoided allowing a home run for just the fifth time in 19 starts, an All-Star appearance in San Diego.
Up next for the Nationals: The series and first-half finale with the Mets with Gio Gonzalez on the mound against Steven Matz at 1:10 PM EDT in Citi Field.