Bryce Harper was National League Player of the Month for April. Now Daniel Murphy is NL Player of the Month for May, continuing the Nationals' impressive run through the early portion of the 2016 season.
Murphy earned his honor after a remarkable month in which he hit .416 with seven homers, 23 RBIs and a .673 slugging percentage in 29 games. His 47 hits recorded in May tied a franchise record held by former Expos Al Oliver (August 1982) and Marquis Grissom (June 1994).
Murphy's record-setting May was merely a continuation of his already-impressive April. He currently leads the majors with a .394 batting average, 78 hits and 26 multi-hit games, while ranking second in slugging percentage (.638) and OPS (1.064).
This is the first monthly award for Murphy, who signed a three-year, $37.5 million contract with the Nationals over the winter. The veteran second baseman is the eighth Nats player to win a player or pitcher of the month award since the club began playing in Washington in 2005. The others: Harper (Player of the Month in May 2015 and April 2016), Max Scherzer (Pitcher of the Month in May 2015 and June 2015), Jayson Werth (Player of the Month in July 2013 and July 2014), Jordan Zimmermann (Pitcher of the Month in July 2012), Gio Gonzalez (Pitcher of the Month in May 2012), Stephen Strasburg (Pitcher of the Month in April 2012) and Chad Cordero (Pitcher of the Month in June 2005).
Harper and Murphy are the first NL teammates to win back-to-back player of the month honors since the Cardinals' Albert Pujols and Ryan Ludwick in June and July 2009.