Not Looking Forward to Facing Murphy

In about one hour, the Mets will play their first Spring Training game of the season. It also marks the first time the Mets will face Daniel Murphy as a member of the Nationals. 

It’s a good thing the game will not be televised because I’m not sure my eyes can handle it. I’m hoping the sound of Howie Rose on the radio will prevent my ears from bleeding. For everything Murphy did for the Mets, he’s now with the Nationals. His reward is a big contract and the right to face Mets pitching 19 times a year. 

It’s going to be interesting to see how it plays out over the course of the season. The Mets have three legitimate aces and two pitchers who have the talent to develop into aces. They’re going to strike out a lot of people over the course of the season again. They’re going to give hitters fits again. 

However, as we learned over the past seven plus years, Murphy is not your average player. At times, he would leave you scratching your head. As much as I wish him good luck and want him to succeed, I hope he won’t leave Mets fans scratching their heads 19 times this year. 

Murphy worked with Kevin Long to increase his power while cutting down on his strikeouts. Last year, Murphy was the toughest batter to strike out in the major leagues. For all the talk about the Mets throwing 95+ MPH, it might not work as well against a contact hitter like Murphy. In fact, Murphy has “an extremely low likelihood to swing and miss” at fastballs. When Murphy faces a fastball, he tends to be aggressive, make contact, and generate some power

The next best pitch Mets pitchers are said to have is the slider, or as it has been named, the “Warthen slider.”  Murphy is more apt to swing and miss against sliders than any other pitch.  With that said, Murphy generates more power against sliders than any other pitch. 

So as we saw in the postseason, Murphy may prove to be the kryptonite against the Mets superhuman pitching. It’s going to be tough watching Murphy attempt to recreate his October run 19 times during the regular season. It’s going to be tough to watch. 

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