A unsuccessful pinch hit appearance in the series opener with New York in D.C. on Monday night ended Daniel Murphy’s on-base streak against the Mets, which had stretched to 29-straight games.
Murphy had reached base in every game he played against the Mets since he left the organization that drafted in the 13th Round of the ‘06 Draft to sign a 3-year/$37.5M free agent deal with the Washington Nationals.
Murphy came back with a 4 for 5, 5 RBI game against the Mets in Tuesday’s 11-4 win, improving to 49 for 121 (.405/.451/.711) with 11 doubles, a triple, and eight home runs in 133 plate appearances against the Mets.
He does still have a streak of 30-straight starts vs the Mets with a hit.
“Murph is very steady in his demeanor and personality, and that helps,” Dusty Baker told reporters when he was asked about Murphy success against the Mets over the first two seasons they’ve spent together in Washington, D.C.
“I’m sure you get some satisfaction, which we all do, when you’re playing your former team, I still do when I’m managing against my former teams.
“I’m glad that Murph responded today, after a day off.
“The good thing about Murph is that no matter who he’s facing, like my old coach used to tell me, and it took me a while to learn this, don’t give away at bats, regardless of the score, regardless of if you have two home runs, guys tend to go for three, or if they have three hits, they tend to go for a home run and they end up giving away at bats, and over the course of a year, or course of your career, you give away quite a few at bats, and Murph doesn’t give away at bats.”
Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo too told 106.7 the FAN in D.C.’s Sports Junkies this morning that it’s not just Mets’ pitching Murphy has crushed over the last two-plus seasons.
“The only way I can explain it is he really does that to just about everybody we play,” Rizzo said, “but it’s really focused in on the Mets because of the past that they have and the relationship that he has with all those guys over there. His old hitting coach [Kevin] Long is over there, and Terry Collins and all the guys he played with.
“I don’t even know if he gets any more energized and fired up to play the Mets than everybody else, but it just seems like he’s put in positions very, very often to do things that really help us and hurt them, and he’s come through on multiple occasions.”
“He’s been tearing up more or less the National League and Interleague games that we’ve played since he’s been here,” Rizzo added.
“He’s been incredible, one of the best players in the game over the last two and a half seasons and he’s just a hitting machine. He’s a guru, he helps our other hitters, and he’s just such a breath of fresh air to have in the clubhouse.”
Murphy gets a chance to help the Nats complete a three-game sweep of his former team tonight in the finale with the Mets.