Performance Review: Daniel Murphy gets aggressive

Yesterday in the fifth inning, Daniel Murphy notched a hit off Cliff Lee (one of the Mets seven for the day). Overall, he was 1-for-4 in the follow up to his four-hit night on Tuesday.

Over his last 10 games, Murphy is hitting .417 (15-for-36) with six doubles, a triple, three home runs, and 14 RBI.

“When you’re struggling, it’s kind of a confidence thing,” Murphy told reporters Tuesday night. “What comes first, base hits or confidence? I can’t say enough about [Terry Collins] for sticking with me. … I’m just happy to be able to do something positive.”

In 80 games this season, Murphy has a .288 average with three homers, 42 RBI, five stolen bases, and a .328 on-base percentage.

[line]

Brian Erni: Murphy is a completely different hitter than he was a few weeks ago. Prior to this torrid stretch, he was mired in a 2-for-21 slump. But now, it’s as if Murph can do no wrong. His swing looks more assertive, and his approach has seemed infinitely more aggressive. In fact, it’s been beneficial for Murphy to swing early in the count all year. Thus far, he’s a .281 hitter when he’s swung at the first pitch, and a .429 hitter when he’s up in the count 1-0. Dating back to his two homer game against the Cubs, Murphy has taken hacks in those counts 12 times. All three of his homers have come either up in the count 1-0 or on the first pitch, and he swung three times in these counts on his big night on Tuesday.  Admittedly a small sampling, it does lead me to believe Murphy is hunting fastballs early in the count and trying to put good swings on them.

The Mets’ patient approach has been an asset to them all season, but there is a time to be aggressive in the count. It seemed to me Murphy may have been focusing a little too much on the length of the at bat when he was struggling. Now, he’s in attack mode: get a good pitch to hit and do some damage with it. And that’s been a welcome sight.