Murphy Posting “Mr.October” Numbers

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Murphy’s Law Has A Different Meaning In Baseball

By John Ventola

New York second baseman Daniel Murphy set a major league playoff record Wednesday when he hit a home run in his sixth straight game to help send the Mets to the 2015 World Series. It was Murphy’s seventh home run game of the postseason, and his power surge sent the Chicago Cubs looking for whatever caused the 1989 prognostication error in that year’s movie, “Back to the Future II”. In that famous movie, it was predicted the Cubs would win their first World Series since 1908 against a team from Miami in 2015 (at that time Miami did not have a team in the major leagues).

New York is no stranger to having a player described as ‘Mr. October” based on terrific batting production during the playoffs and World Series. Reggie Jackson carried the

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Murphy Homer Binge Has Been Against Top Pitchers

moniker with distinction for years. Murphy has now done what no other baseball player has done. His clinching homer against the Cubs broke the five-game postseason homer streak set by Carlos Beltran with the Houston Astros in 2005.

Murphy’s Law, an axiom or epigram that states “anything that can go wrong, will go wrong,” may be relevant in everyday life, but in baseball, at least for this year’s playoffs, it should read, “throw any pitch that can go wrong, and Murphy will take advantage and hit a home run.”

The Mets’ dominating four-game sweep of Chicago for the National League pennant showcased Murphy’s timely hitting, and the overpowering pitching of a youthful staff. The 30-year-old infielder from Jacksonville, Florida, cannot explain his sudden power, he can only say he is seeing the ball well. Murphy batted .281 for 130 games during the regular season, and hit only 14 home runs.

While Murphy’s home run power has been special to watch, when the names of the pitchers he has hit homers against are added to the conversation, the feat is more impressive. Los Angeles lefthanded ace Clayton Kershaw, who has won three of the

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Arrieta, Greinke, And Kershaw All Victimized

past four NL Cy Young Awards, was touched for two home runs by Murphy’s left-handed stroke. Kershaw’s Dodgers teammate Zach Greinke, and Cubs pitchers Jon Lester, Jake Arrieta, Kyle Hendricks, and Fernando Rodney all were touched up for one homer each.

The pitcher who had the most wins in the NL, Arrieta, the pitcher with the NL’s lowest earned run average, Greinke, and the pitcher with the most strikeouts in the NL, Kershaw, were all victimized. Murphy’s homer binge did not come at the hands of journeyman hurlers.

Murphy has also tied another long time baseball playoff record. All-time great Lou Gehrig had seven straight playoff games (all World Series games) with a hit, a run, and an RBI. Murphy has seven straight, the last three games against the Dodgers, and all four games against the Cubs, as he awaits the start of the World Series next Tuesday.

This World Series will mark the Mets’ fifth appearance, the 1969 Amazing Mets, the 1973 Mets of Tom Seaver and Rusty Staub, the 1986 benefactors (Gary Carter, Ray

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2015 Marks Mets Fifth World Series Appearance

Knight, Mookie Wilson) of the misplay by Boston’s Billy Buckner, and the 2000 squad led by Robin Ventura and Mike Piazza. The Mets won their inaugural in ’69 Baltimore, lost to Oakland in ’73, defeated the Red Sox in seven games after Bucker’s error in ’86, and lost to the Yankees in five games in 2000.

This year’s team has been solid with veterans David Wright. Curtis Granderson, and young talents Yoenis Cespedes and Lucas Duda complementing Murphy at bat. Hard throwers Jacob DeCrom and Noah Syndergaard joined veterans Matt Harvey and Bartolo Colon to lead Manager Terry Collins’ pitching staff.

Murphy’s postseason production has taken advantage of those teammates getting on base, and the power-pitching rotation that keeps the Mets in almost every game. There have been other hot batting streaks through the years, but nothing compares to Murphy’s current streak.

He is 16 for 38 for the playoffs, hitting seven home runs and one double while posting a .421 overall average. His series against the Cubs, where he was nine for 17 with four

Baseball

Murphy Should Hear His Own Chant On Return To New York

homers, a double, and six runs scored, has him in every conversation about baseball for the moment.

In 1978 I attended the third, fourth, and fifth game of that year’s World Series at old Yankees Stadium between New York and the Dodgers. Just a year after Reggie Jackson had clinched the ’77 series with three home runs in one game, chants of “Reg-gie, Reg-gie” reverberated through the stadium every time Jackson came to the plate. Murphy should get his own share of adulation when the series shifts to New York for game three next Friday.

The Mets and Murphy can only hope that a five day inactive period does not cool off his sizzling bat and those of his teammates as the team awaits for the American League pennant winner to come out of the Kansas City-Toronto matchup.

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