Murphy MVP after historic home run in clincher

CHICAGO — New York Mets second baseman Daniel Murphy‘s home run binge is now historic.

Murphy delivered a two-run homer Wednesday night in the eighth inning of Game 4 of the National League Championship Series, setting a major league record with his sixth straight postseason game with a homer.

Murphy was named NL Championship Series MVP, and the Mets went on to beat the Chicago Cubs 8-3 for the sweep, advancing to the World Series for the first time in 15 years.

“I can’t explain why the ball keeps going out of the ballpark, but it does,” Murphy said. “And we keep winning ballgames.”

Murphy entered the night tied with Carlos Beltran, who homered in five straight games with the Houston Astros during the 2004 postseason.

Beltran went on to sign a seven-year, $119 million contract with the Mets that offseason.

Murphy will become a free agent after the World Series.

Murphy’s shot off Cubs reliever Fernando Rodney put the Mets ahead 8-1. Cubs rookie Kris Bryant got both runs back with a homer of his own in the bottom of the inning.

New York, meanwhile, advanced to the World Series for the first time since a bitter Subway Series loss to the Yankees in 2000. This time, the Mets will face Kansas City or Toronto as they try to win their first championship since the amazin’ bunch led by Dwight Gooden and Darryl Strawberry won it all in 1986.

That Mets’ drought, of course, is nothing compared to that of the Cubs, who haven’t won it all since 1908 and won’t this year because of Murphy.

Sure, the Mets’ aces pitched well. The Cubs’ big bats failed to produce big results against starters Matt Harvey, Noah Syndergaard, Jacob deGrom and Steven Matz.

But Murphy’s Babe Ruth impersonation has fueled the Mets, and this after he’d homered in back-to-back games just once in his six-year career.

“I’ve not seen anything like this, I don’t think, ever,” Cubs manager Joe Maddon said.

Murphy went 9 for 17 with four homers and six RBIs in the NLCS after homering 14 times during the regular season. In nine playoff games, he has seven homers and is 13 for 38 with eight RBIs.

He has also played sharp defense at second and made all the right moves on the bases.

But his work at the plate is what put the pennant in New York’s hands.

Murphy, a left-handed hitter who hit just one homer off a left-hander in the regular season, blasted one off Dodgers lefty Clayton Kershaw in Game 1 of the NL Division Series. Later in the series, he kicked his home-run binge into full gear, hitting a solo drive off Kershaw in Game 4, then homering off Zack Greinke in Game 5 to help New York to a decisive 3-2 victory.

He hit a solo homer off left-hander Jon Lester in Game 1 of the NLCS and a two-run drive off Jake Arrieta in Game 2. And when Murphy homered off Kyle Hendricks in Game 3 on Tuesday, that gave him homers in five straight playoff games, tying the mark set by Beltran in 2004.

And then came the latest shot, a victory lap Murphy celebrated with his right fist aloft, trotting a familiar path as these up-and-coming Mets head into unfamiliar territory.

Information from ESPN’s Adam Rubin and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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