Two innings after stealing a run with a heads-up play, Murphy hit the go-ahead home run, and the Mets edged the Dodgers 3-2 to win the decisive fifth game of the National League Division Series on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium.
Murphy's sixth-inning home run to right, off Dodgers right-hander Zack Greinke, was his third of the series. It boosted the Mets into the National League Championship Series against the Chicago Cubs. Game 1 of the best-of-seven series is Saturday at Citi Field in New York. It will be their first clash in the postseason.
The Mets advanced to the first NLCS since 2006. They did so by beating Clayton Kershaw and Greinke, two of baseball's top pitchers, in the first and final games of the series.
"You'd never think that you're going to be able to take advantage of Clayton or Zack," said Murphy, who went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and two runs in Game 5 and was 7-for-21 with five RBIs in the series. "But as good as they are, you're hoping to scratch out maybe one base hit or do something positive. To be able to have three good at-bats off someone that good I was surprised but it was a lot of fun."
The Dodgers lost a winner-take-all game -- they had won their last four, including the 1988 NLCS over the Mets in seven games -- for the first time since the franchise moved to Los Angeles in 1958.
"It's just disappointing," Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said. "That's what I told the guys in there. There are really no words to describe how you (we) feel right now."
Mets starter Jacob deGrom (2-0) struggled early but regrouped and finished strong. DeGrom allowed two runs, both scoring in the first inning, on six hits with seven strikeouts and three walks in six innings. Mets manager Terry Collins said he had his hook out at least four times for deGrom.
"He made better pitches," Collins said. "He used his change-up a lot better, better located, located his fastball better. I thought in the middle of the game he started to pitch inside a little bit better, which speeds the bats up, so the off-speed stuff is a little more effective."
Noah Syndergaard relieved deGrom and worked a scoreless seventh before closer Jeurys Familia came on in the eighth for the six-out save. Familia retired all six batters he faced.
Greinke (1-1), who might have pitched his last game for the Dodgers since he can opt out of his contract, gave up three runs on six hits with nine strikeouts and no walks in 6 2/3 innings.
The Mets jumped in front 1-0 in the first. With one out, Murphy's double scored right fielder Curtis Granderson, who led off with an infield hit.
Four consecutive singles in the bottom of the inning allowed the Dodgers to rally. The last two of the four by third baseman Justin Turner and right fielder Andre Ethier brought home shortstop Corey Seager and first baseman Adrian Gonzalez, respectively, for a 2-1 Los Angeles lead.
In the fourth, Murphy opened with a single and advanced to second on a walk to first baseman Lucas Duda. Murphy continued running past second and stole third on the walk, as Turner left his position at third prematurely with no one covering as he headed to the right side of the diamond for a shift on the next batter, catcher Travis d'Arnaud.
"That was all Daniel Murphy," a champagne soaked Collins beamed.
D'Arnaud hit a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Murphy and knotting the score at 2.
NOTES: Dodgers manager Don Mattingly said that what appeared to be a verbal confrontation between he and OF Andre Ethier in the dugout early in the game was an attempt by Mattingly to calm Ethier, who was upset with one of the umpires. ... The two clubs combined for 89 strikeouts in the previous four games, tying the NLDS record, set in 2010 by the Atlanta Braves and San Francisco Giants. ... Kirk Gibson belted his dramatic, pinch-hit, walk-off home run for the Dodgers in Game 1 of the 1988 World Series against the Oakland A's on this date 27 years ago. Los Angeles went on to win the series 4-1, the last time they captured the championship. ... A sellout crowd of 54,602 attended the game.