The Mets' scoring chances in their 3-1 loss to the Dodgers Tuesday night were few and far between, but one that registered and one that did not both centered on the same player: Daniel Murphy.
The good news for the Mets came in the fourth inning of Game 4 of the NLDS, when Murphy launched an 0-and-1 fastball from Clayton Kershaw over the wall in rightfield.
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Entering the NLDS, he had hit only one home run against a fellow lefty in 126 regular-season at-bats. Murphy joined Carlos Gonzalez, Joey Votto and Jay Bruce as the only lefthanded hitters with multiple career home runs against Kershaw -- regular season or postseason.
Did Murphy think his home run, which came with the Mets trailing, 3-0, might jump-start the offense on a night on which Kershaw had his "A'' game?
"You always think there's a chance," he said. "We weren't going to stop playing. We didn't give ourselves a ton of chances. The biggest chance I got against Kenley [Jansen], and unfortunately, I couldn't finish the at-bat off."
About that: It happened in the bottom of the eighth inning, when with two outs and runners at first and second, Murphy faced the Dodgers' closer.
It was a dramatic moment, especially with Yoenis Cespedes in the on-deck circle. The count went to 3-and-2, and everyone in Citi Field stood in anticipation. Then Murphy flied out to rightfield to end the threat and take the air out of the building.
"That was a cutter over the plate," Murphy said. "I just missed it. Wished I wouldn't have."
Like everyone else in the home locker room, Murphy lauded the performance of Kershaw, who allowed three hits and just that one run in seven innings of work on three days' rest.
"He didn't make a lot of mistakes," Murphy said. "Unfortunately, we didn't have a whole lot of traffic out there on him. We had a couple of more baserunners on him the last time we faced him [in Game 1].
"He pounded the zone. Clayton always pounds the zone. There wasn't a ton of mistakes. It looked like to the righties he was really commanding that four-seam fastball in. And to the lefties there in the middle of the game, he got a real good feel for that slider."