A Mets source reiterated to the Daily News yesterday that Daniel Murphy’s astounding postseason play hasn’t altered the club’s plan to let him leave this offseason. The Chicago Cubs, for their part, have more urgent Daniel Murphy concerns than what to do with him when his contract expires. Namely, the friggin’ dude is pretty much eliminating them by himself.
Chicago’s Jake Arrieta had thrown just 12 pitches last night, and recorded no outs, when Murphy dropped the barrel of the bat and kinda casually pivoted through a 1-2 curveball that looked like it would have bounced into Miguel Montero’s glove otherwise. He left the bat hanging out there on the follow-through, like a question mark; under ordinary circumstances, it was the kind of swing that usually goes with a high foul ball, and he seemed to think so too. This one would have hooked over the line too, eventually, if Citi Field were a bit larger, or if Daniel Murphy were still Daniel Murphy and not Pazuzu. Instead, it was a two-run dinger.
He’s homered in four straight games. He’s slugging .929 in the postseason. Somebody get Father Merrin on the horn and tell him we’re gonna need a shitload of holy water.
In meantime, though, the poor Cubs got the message: Daniel Murphy has become legion. In the third inning, with one out and Curtis Granderson on second, they had Arrieta intentionally walk him. Which, hey, fine, playing for an inning-ending double-play is sound actuarial baseball tactics in the abstract, where the guy on the mound isn’t the ace pitcher who’s been burning hitters down since the All-Star Break, and the guy in the batter’s box isn’t a professional slap-artist with a .755 career OPS.
On the other hand, probably the Cubs had not been planning on giving Daniel Murphy the Barry Bonds treatment if he came to bat against their ace in the third friggin’ inning with a man on second in the playoffs. Probably, if the subject came up two weeks ago, the Cubs would not have felt the need to have a special plan for dealing with Daniel Murphy in the playoffs, beyond Throw strikes to this unexceptional dude and let him get himself out, as unexceptional dudes will. As changes of plan go, having their best pitcher surrender to the Mets’ second baseman probably does not portend great stuff for the Cubs’ World Series ambitions.
They don’t have many other choices. Game 3 is Tuesday night at Wrigley Field. If you are a Chicago-area supplier of candles, grimoires, and/or live fowl, sell sell sell.
Photo via Getty