By Mike Civiello (@MikeyCiv)
Full disclosure I don’t believe in jinxes (See Wilson Ramos post).
Mr. Daniel Murphy…wow. Thought he was going to cool down, but he is still hitting around .350 with 20+ dingers. Never will it get old. That hold the bat out in front of him trot, after he just knows he crushed one. The man might just make it back to back MVPs in Washington. With Bryce Harper on the team, that just is outrageous to think about.
When the Washington Nationals signed Murphy in the offseason to a 3-year contract worth about $12 Million per, I and most Nats fans were very mehhh about the signing. No Brandon Phillips aka showtime trade, and no Zobrist signing. Seemed like nobody wanted to come to Washington. Talk of a toxic locker room seemed to scare away other big name guys such as Heyward (took less money), and Cespedes.
The optimist in me said about Murphy: “not too much money, good hitter, gets on base, but can be brutal in the field potentially.” Remember there were ludicrous rumors that he may snag a $100 million dollar deal for his post season play. So with that being said, $12 million a year was not too bad to me. Hey, it ain’t my money.
We have to acknowledge his numbers this year, especially compared to last. As I am typing this on August 11th, 2016, he has played 24 less games than last year. He has had 98 less at bats as well. With this information lets take a look:
2015: 140 Hits / 14 HRs / 73 RBI / .281 AVG / .322 OBP / .449 SLG
2016: 139 Hits / 21 HRs / 81 RBI / .347 AVG / .386 OBP / .608 SLG
Now Mets fans, if you are reading this, we encourage you to not do anything stupid (operate heavy machinary, go in the kitchen etc). One of my good buddies, and big time Mets fan, had a great quote in the midst of this season.
“I hope it somehow comes down to a Game 7 playoff game between the Mets and Nats. It will either end in Daniel Murphy hitting a walk off, or blowing on defense, causing the Nats to lose. Praying for the latter.” – Anonymous salty Mets fan
Daniel Murphy did have a costly error for the Mets in the World series, so bitterness definitely is there. With that said, his defensive ineptness was massively overstated. It has not been a glaring concern. I am not saying he is a gold glover, but I have not been concerned with him defensively all season (Please God in heaven don’t let it happen in the playoffs).
To make matters worse for the mets, he absolutely owns them this year. Owns is actually a severe understatement. It is like the Mets were his high school sweetheart and he dumped her for a smoke show model. Then he constantly sends pics to his ex and….okay well you get the point. Oh and Google, we get he owns them, but can we get an updated picture with some Nats gear please!
The numbers have been well documented, but in brief, versus those Mets:
In 52 ABs – .423 AVG / 7 HRs / 21 RBI
But back to those 2016 season numbers…they are absurd [Insert Stephen A Smith thesaurus rant here]. He has basically surpassed every concrete stat from last year, such as HRs, hits, and RBI. He will almost certainly stay above a .281 average as well.
To put more perspective and context into this career, or should I say renaissance year, by Mr. Murphy, he is doing this without much help from last year’s NL MVP Bryce Harper. It would make complete sense that Murphy is having this type of year if Bryce was having a somewhat similar year to last, where he himself had no protection in the lineup. But that is just not the case. Bryce has struggled mightily for quite some time now. Batting in the .230s and showing an unbalanced swing which seems to be staying in his head. Ryan Zimmerman has struggled as well and on the DL. Trea Turner has been the spark plug most though he would be. Ramos, who has his own appreciation post from us at The DC Sports Experience, is still doing his thing as well. It makes it much more frustrating overall for Nats fans. To nitpick a team 20 games over .500 is silly but knowing they could be so much better if last year’s MVP got his swing right.
To wrap up on Murphy, the guy is definitely a front runner for the NL MVP. I am confident in betting that there has never been a guy going to a new team and winning MVP, the year after someone else on that same team did. Hey, maybe there has been. I admit being lazy there, but it seems like really low odds.
For all those National fans, including myself, that were mehh about Daniel Murphy, are now all loving the FWAHH. By the way, I got to get me one of those T-shirts. Also $12 million a year is looking really nice for the next two years.
With under 50 games left in the regular season, it would be nice if Harper joined the party of steller hitting behind Murphy and Buffalo Ramos. Trea Turner should somehow stay in the lineup every day and we will see on Ryan Zimmerman. This Nats team is giving off some good vibes and we can only pray their bats do not disappear in the playoffs (PLAYOFFS!?). We also hope the bullpen can get some consistency going (the good kind), but Mark Melancon…man oh man does it feel good in the 9th nowadays.
So again to Mr. Murphy, keep shipping those balls out of Nats park and drop kicking the Mets along the way!