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Can Daniel Murphy Repeat Last Year’s Postseason Success?

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Daniel Murphy had a postseason for the ages last October. Now on a different team, he’ll look to have a strong encore performance.

If the Washington Nationals hope to go far in the playoffs, they’re going to need Murphy to be the hitter he was in the 2015 postseason. The 31-year old second baseman is in his first season with the Nationals. After eight years with the New York Mets, he signed a three-year deal with Washington this past offseason. Murphy has garnered a lot of attention over the past year.

Murphy had no previous postseason experience before 2015. He wasn’t exactly intimidated once he finally got there however. Particularly in the National League Division Series and National League Championship Series, he was hitting on a completely different level than anyone else. He homered in six straight games over the course of the NLDS and NLCS, a new MLB postseason record. Overall in the playoffs, Murphy batted .328 with seven home runs and 11 RBIs in 14 games.

After such an impressive October, it was surprising how long Murphy remained a free agent. The Nationals signed him in December. It turned out to be one of the best moves of the entire offseason.

Murphy had an MVP-type season this year. He hit .347 with 25 home runs and 104 RBIs. He was clearly the Nationals’ best offensive player during the 2016 regular season. That’s saying something, especially considering the fact that reigning NL MVP Bryce Harper is also on the team. Both players are going to be extremely important for the Nationals in the NLDS against the Los Angeles Dodgers.

The health of Murphy is a concern right now. He hasn’t played since September 17 due to a strained left buttocks. Despite this injury, he’s expected to be in the  Nationals lineup this evening when they take on the Dodgers in Game 1 of the NLDS. Whether or not he’ll be able to be as effective as he was during last year’s postseason remains to be seen.

It’s going to be hard for Murphy to duplicate last season’s unforgettable postseason. Even if the injury doesn’t affect his performance, the bar that he set is so high that it will be difficult to even come close to it. Also, in order to have the same success, the Nationals will need to at least advance past the NLDS. The Mets got all the way to the World Series during Murphy’s historic run. The Nationals have had their struggles getting out of the first round over the past few years. In 2012, they won the NL East but lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NLDS. Two years later, they were defeated by the San Francisco Giants in the NLDs.

The Nationals have the potential to make a run during the playoffs. In order to do so, Daniel Murphy will need to lead them the same way he led the Mets last postseason. If he can’t, Washington might be primed for another early exit.

Aspring sports broadcaster/writer. Freshman Television-Radio major at Ithaca College. Die-hard Mets, Giants, Nets, and Devils fan.

Chicago Cubs

MLB Investigating Racist Social Media Messages Sent to Cubs’ Carl Edwards Jr.

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Major League Baseball is investigating racial messages sent, via social media, to Chicago Cubs relief pitcher Carl Edwards Jr. prior to his demotion to the Triple-A Iowa Cubs back on April 6th.

According to The Athletic’s Patrick Mooney, the messages have caught the attention of both the Cubs and the MLB Players Association, leading to the launch of the investigation.

Mooney had been a solid bullpen option during the last few seasons, but had a nightmare start to the 2019 season posting a terrible 32.40 ERA in just 1.2 innings of work over four appearances.

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MLB

Carlos Zambrano Attempting Comeback, Signs with Indy Team

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Former MLB pitcher Carlos Zambrano is attempting a comeback and has signed with the American Association’s Chicago Dogs, according to the Chicago Sun-Times’ Gordon Wittenmyer.

Zambrano last pitched in the majors back in 2012 with the Miami Marlins, but earlier in his career he finished in the top five of the Cy Young voting in the National League three times as a member of the Chicago Cubs.

Zambrano started his comeback bid last fall when he took the mound for 7 starts in the Mexican League, pitching to the tune of a 5.18 ERA, and performing even worse during a short stint in the Venezuelan Winter League.

Given his recent lack of production, it is a longshot to believe that Zambrano will return to the MLB level, but stranger things have happened.

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MLB

VIDEO: Giants’ CEO Larry Baer Knocks Down Wife During Argument

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A video has surfaced showing San Francisco Giants team president and CEO Larry Baer knocking his wife to the ground during a fight over a cellphone, published on TMZ.

You can see the video below.

Baer has acknowledged the incident, saying; “My wife and I had an unfortunate public argument related to a family member and she had an injured foot and she fell off her chair in the course of the argument,” Baer said, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

“The matter is resolved. It was a squabble over a cellphone. Obviously it’s embarrassing.”

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