Murphy hoping breakout game sparks his bat
Second baseman racks up 4 RBIs on 2 hits in Mets' 11th straight victory
NEW YORK -- One reason the Mets believe they can continue their terrific start to the season is actually the lackluster start for second baseman Daniel Murphy.
Despite Murphy's struggles to start the season -- he is hitting .170 (9-for-53) on the year -- the Mets have not skipped a beat. Manager Terry Collins has said repeatedly that Murphy, a career .287 hitter, will break out of his slump and the Mets' offense will reap the benefits.
Murphy provided some evidence of that Thursday, with two hits and four RBIs to help lead New York to a 6-3 victory, its 11th consecutive win, matching a franchise record.
"Personally it's been frustrating," Murphy said. "But it's been a great opportunity for me to see how well everybody else is playing. Also just try to eliminate the selfishness that I haven't been swinging the bat well, but that's 11 in a row.
"So who cares how I'm swinging the bat? We're winning baseball games."
The Mets' scorching streak has made his slow start easier to handle, but Murphy said he has tried everything, from extra batting practice to watching more film, to try to fix his early struggles.
"You name it, I've tried it the last 10 days," he said.
Murphy said Collins approached him earlier in the week and told him not to worry, that eventually he would break out.
On Thursday, Murphy found himself in the center of nearly all the action. He gave the Mets an early 3-0 lead when he drove a bases-clearing double to right field off Braves right-hander Julio Teheran.
His defensive lapse in the fourth inning led to a pair of Braves runs. With no outs and runners at the corners, A.J. Pierzynski hit a sharp ground ball toward Murphy at second base. Murphy was positioned at double-play depth, but instead fired the ball to home plate. Nick Markakis had enough time to retreat back to third base safely, and the Mets failed to record an out on the play. The Braves scored twice in the inning to tie the game at 3.
"It was a bad play," Murphy said. "There's no other way to describe it."
In the seventh, he redeemed himself with a run-scoring single to give the Mets an insurance run.
It remains to be seen if this game can represent a turning point for Murphy, but he did admit his at-bats Thursday felt different.
"Yeah, I got hits," Murphy said with a smile. "Really different than the last couple days out there."