CHICAGO - By the time it was over, no one would have been surprised if Daniel Murphy had left Chicago on "Back to the Future Day" by hopping into a DeLorean and flying it back to New York himself.
No need, though. The Mets' historically hot-hitting second baseman was figuratively flying after his latest display of power in the Mets' series-sweeping 8-3 victory over the Cubs on Wednesday night in Game 4 of the NLCS.
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"That was a lot of fun," he said after setting a major-league record by hitting a home run in his sixth straight postseason game, part of a four-hit night that left him 9-for-17 for the series with four homers, a double and six RBIs. He has seven home runs in the playoffs.
If you are at a loss to make sense of it, join the club. "I've talked to [hitting coach] Kevin Long about it," he said. "I can't explain it . . . It's just a complete blessing, and that's the only way I can describe it."
That was just one of several times Murphy conceded being baffled while sitting in the interview room at old Wrigley Field, drenched in champagne and staring at the trophy he got for being MVP of the NLCS.
If there were such an award for the NLDS, he'd have won that, too.
"I'm surprised," he said of his power surge. "Each time I've been able to put a swing on a ball and it goes out of the ballpark. I feel like I've been in stretches where I've put good swings on the ball, but they're singles and they're doubles."
Murphy's record-breaker, a two-run shot, came in the top of the eighth and made it 8-1. He had been looking for a changeup from Fernando Rodney and instead got a third straight fastball on a 1-and-1 count. He hit it anyway, barely clearing the right-centerfield wall.
"He threw two heaters, and the second one exploded on me," he said. "So now I'm like, I don't know what to look for. I might as well stay on the changeup because I don't have the fastball measured. And he threw another heater, and I just swung."
Murphy initially thought centerfielder Dexter Fowler would catch the ball, but it reached the netting that rings the wall. He was so excited he pumped his fist in celebration.
Much had been made leading up to Wednesday night of the fact it was the date on which the flying DeLorean landed in the future in the 1989 film "Back to the Future Part II," especially the part foretelling a Cubs sweep of the World Series.
Instead Murphy helped secure a sweep for the Mets.
Murphy said that he was most gratified by the fact the majority of his home runs have come in victories, often in crucial situations. "We keep winning ballgames, which is the most important part and the coolest part," he said.
After his interview Murphy met his family in the tunnel leading to the dugout and they climbed onto the field at Wrigley to chants of "Murphy! Murphy!" from Mets fans.
As he said: cool.