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October 18, 2015

Daniel Murphy

Flushing, New York - Postgame two

New York Mets - 4 - Chicago Cubs - 1

Q. Arrieta's such a tough pitcher with great stuff. He's had a great year. You guys get off to a good start. Can you take us through the at bat where you hit the big home run.
DANIEL MURPHY: Well, I think for me my at bat started long before that with Grandy. Grandy was able to see some pitches, wins that AB with the base hit, and David puts a good swing on that ball. And all of a sudden you look up after eight to ten pitchers and two batters, we've got a 1 0 lead, and David's in scoring position. I'm really looking to hook something to the second baseman or first baseman.

Put a swing on the 0 0 heater, swung through it. He threw it by me, and then I think I got a cutter that I pulled foul, a heater away that I didn't go on, it was close, then a breaking ball that I was just able to keep fair.

Q. When you were rehabbing the injuries and scuffling for a few years, did you have faith something like this might lay ahead of you to keep you going and knowing that perseverance might yield something like this?
DANIEL MURPHY: Again, it's kind of cliché, but I try not to look too far ahead. I mean, I think about around the time I was rehabbing my second injury, I end up getting engaged to my wife, so that was cool. It was a blessing. So you never think that you're going to be fortunate enough to be on a ballclub like this. You dream of it, to be able to go to work with 24 men in there that are absolutely awesome guys, and I think we're having a lot of fun right now.

Q. Two nights in a row, first inning home runs, how much does that change the complexion of both games?
DANIEL MURPHY: I think it's nice for an offense when you face I think I heard David talking about Jon Lester and Jake Arrieta, to kind of jump out to a lead. Then also with the way that Noah has been and threw the ball, and the way Matt threw the ball yesterday with our pitching staff, you feel if you can strike early and let you settle into the game, and as we saw today and yesterday, they just keep throwing up zeros. Our pitching staff throws up zeros and it gives us an opportunity to try to extend the lead.

Q. When they walked you to get to Cespedes, how did you regard that? Was that a strategic decision or a sign of respect for the way you've been hitting?
DANIEL MURPHY: Surprised. Ces hit 35 bombs this year, I was surprised. And he comes up and puts a great AB on them right there. Grandy's steal at third base to get first and third. Smokes one in the hole, Castro made a good play to keep it on the infield to get us our fourth run. Which at the time, any time you can just mark more and give Noah that little extra cushion right there, with the way he's throwing the ball, and then Niese came in with a big at bat against Rizzo to punch him out. Turn it over to Reeder, Clippard and Familia, what a great job by the bullpen today. I thought they were amazing.

Q. When Maddon explained putting you on, he said, "I didn't even want to mess with that." They didn't think they had the strategy to get you out at that point. That must make you feel pretty confident or pretty good as a hitter, I would imagine?
DANIEL MURPHY: I definitely am seeing the ball well right now, so that's nice. But I also still had to try to stay prepared because I wasn't sure. And if you see my third at bat, like Jake got me. Like he threw a front hipper that undressed me. I gave a squeal. It was a good pitch.

I think you've got to strap it on with him. He put together one of the best second halves ever. So for us to get three and Noah to be able to match him and turn it over to the bullpen, it was a really good win against somebody like him.

Q. I know in Spring Training you guys believed that this was a playoff team and you had a lot of faith that this plan was going to work out with the pitching and everything. But was there a point where you started to believe that this was a special team, that this team could do this?
DANIEL MURPHY: I always felt like the guys were special from the moment we walked into Spring Training. It was a special group of guys. Then you add in high character guys like Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe and Tyler Clippard, and Reeder, and Ces, and they just gelled so well with us. It didn't hurt that they were swinging the bat real well either. Then you couple that with the pitching.

This is a good group. I think we're having a whole bunch of fun right now, and we're going to enjoy this win tonight, enjoy the day off tomorrow, and I'm very excited about having Jake go for Game 3 right now.

Q. You mentioned Granderson's steal of third, and he actually gave you credit for that, because he said he thought that you signaled to him saying that you were both going to go, and then he went and you didn't trail him. But I was wondering if he misread that. He wasn't sure if he misread a signal from you?
DANIEL MURPHY: He dropped the oopty oop on me right there. Because he'll joke around, like this (indicating), like go. So I go, second pitch, go. I didn't know he was going to take me seriously. As you can tell, I stayed at first base. He took off, and I was like if I run now, I'm a dead man. If I get thrown out at second for the second out with the way Ces is swinging the bat, I'm in big trouble, so I stayed.

Q. On the subject of Curtis, he's a guy that was asked to lead off this year. He had to kind of tweak his game at the plate a little bit, be aggressive. Makes a big catch tonight. Can you talk about what he's meant to this team on a day in and day out basis?
DANIEL MURPHY: He's so steady. Every day. Curtis is the same guy every day, I've said this before. Whether he's hitting .190 or .390, he's the same guy every day. I've always said I long to be that consistent of a human being that he is. He brings the same energy every day, and like you said, he fit right into that role and was able to get on base. Swung the bat with some power, which we know he has. He's just been, I'd say, our steadiest player all year, consistent every single day. He's had a great year, and he's swinging the bat really well right now. That was a cool catch he made. That was fun.

Q. We saw earlier in the season when Cespedes got on that roll and he was hot, almost carrying the team right like that. And now David Wright refers to you as one of the hottest guys he's ever seen. What's that do for the club now essentially you being the hot guy here and carrying the team?
DANIEL MURPHY: There's been plenty of times this year where I haven't been swinging the bat well. So David swung the bat well tonight. Had a lineout, had the double. Grandy's doing what he's doing, Ces is swinging the bat well. Trav, it lengthens out the lineup, is the easiest way to describe it. Anytime you get someone swinging the bat well, it adds another dimension to the lineup. It's tougher for the pitcher to get through because now you're starting to lengthen the lineup out.

Q. The crowd goes wild for you any time you come up or are introduced or make any kind of play. How has that affected your energy and adrenaline through the series?
DANIEL MURPHY: I think for all of us, the energy level has been high. The fans have done a great job, I think, of helping everybody focus. As much energy as it is, it really helps you laser in your focus one pitch at a time. Really focus in and try to win every pitch on offense or defense. So the fans have been awesome. They've been unreal.

Q. You mentioned David. He's been scuffling of late and he even mentioned to Terry yesterday that he's been sucking. When he's able to do what he did tonight, just how different does that make this lineup for you?
DANIEL MURPHY: It lengthens it out. Like I said, Grandy gets on, and now David's swinging the bat well. I've been fortunate enough to swing the bat pretty well lately. Ces is swinging it well, Trav. Looking forward to Duda swung the bat really well at Wrigley, I believe. So looking forward to him getting there, and he'll be able to see the ball well.

So I think for us it's always nice to see David get going. I think what's been overlooked maybe a little bit with the way David saying he's been "sucking", he's played really good defense over there. I think Coghlan led the inning off today on a tough play that David made. And leadoff batters, like I said, I haven't been in the postseason ever, but leadoff batters are a big deal. That's how rallies start. So he makes a really nice play on that.

I thought he did an excellent job separating his offense from his defense.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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