MINNEAPOLIS -- Reality will soon return for Daniel Murphy, and that's not necessarily a bad thing; reality is pretty good for the All-Star these days. Following two off-days, the Mets will put their finest hot streak of the season -- eight wins in 10 games -- on the line this weekend in San Diego.
Murphy, fresh off his first career All-Star appearance, will be a big part of that.
"I've got my feathers up a little right now," he said. "The Metropolitans are playing well."
Should it continue, Murphy will almost certainly play a significant role -- at least more than he did in his All-Star cameo on Tuesday, spending two innings at second base and finishing 0-for-1 at the plate in the National League's 5-3 loss. Murphy entered as a defensive replacement in the bottom of the seventh, allowing him to come up with the potential tying runs on base an inning later. Even though he struck out against Seattle's Fernando Rodney, that could not spoil his All-Star week.
"It doesn't matter who you face in this game," Murphy said. "You'd better be ready."
It seems the only thing Murphy is not ready to do is leave his first All-Star experience behind in Minneapolis. Spending most of his time here with his wife and infant son, Murphy enjoyed a whirlwind tour that included elbow-rubbing with baseball's elite and walking the red carpet during Tuesday's All-Star parade. Sunday night, Murphy attended a gathering with his agents and Red Sox pitcher Jon Lester. Monday, he watched the Home Run Derby.
Along the way, he made memories to last a lifetime.
"I had a blast," Murphy said. "I had a lot of fun. I felt like I was able to take a step back and soak it in as much as I could. It was really a lot of fun, and David [Wright] was right, it went by quick. I feel like the two days have flown by, but I had a lot of fun. I would love to do this again sometime."
Murphy will spend the next two days with his family in San Diego, crashing at the beach house that teammate Dillon Gee is renting with his own family. Then it will be back to reality, which also feels a bit like a dream.
Though the Mets are still only in third place, they entered the All-Star break hotter than any other National League team. Some worry that the break will snap their momentum, but Murphy feels it can also benefit the streaking Mets.
"For us and for everybody, it comes at a perfect time," Murphy said. "You need these four days to take a step back, to catch your breath, because this is the stretch run.
"We're playing really well. It's exciting to watch. Things are gelling. When you have success, it's easier to be confident. Everybody wants to be confident. But if you look at the scoreboard and you don't like what you see on the board, it's tough to have confidence. So if you start looking up and guys start seeing that the work they're putting in, they're getting rewarded, it's much easier to have confidence."
Right now, the Mets and their All-Star representative have confidence.
"I hope it [lasts]," Murphy said. "We're having good at-bats, and we're not reading any more into it than that."