Game two, third inning, the New York Mets have Cy Young frontrunner Jake Arrieta on the ropes after scoring three first inning runs, and are trying to deliver an early haymaker. Curtis Granderson is in scoring position and Daniel Murphy, the hottest hitter in the postseason coming to the plate with Yoenis Cespedes waiting on-deck. Arrieta decided to intentionally walk Murph to face Cespedes…. wait, what?
Cespedes, who hit 35 home runs this season and was the hottest hitter on the planet a month ago, is less deadly than Murphy? Who could’ve ever predicted that? Murph is THAT hot. So hot that he’s was recently lauded by the OG Mr. October. Many writers and fans are calling him "The new Mr. October".
Go Daniel Murph a little Mr October piece offa Zack, he's legit keep it up Ima watchin real Mr October 😎— Reggie Jackson (@mroctober)
But, is the unlikely hero worthy of the title yet? The title of “The new Mr. October” has been thrown around quite a few times in the past, so pardon my skepticism. Carlos Beltran was most recently given the title in 2004 while with the Houston Astros, following a post season in which he launched eight home runs, tying the record set by Barry Bonds in 2002. His performance earned him a seven-year contract worth 119 million dollars in the off-season.
Derek Jeter earned the nickname “Mr. November” after his game winning home run off Byung-Hyun Kim against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the World Series. The captain had his best performance against the cross-town rival Mets during the 2000 subway series, in which he won his only MVP award. Jeter batted .409, two homers and two rbi in five games. Jeter is the all-time post-season leader in hits (200) and runs scored (111).
Reggie Jackson was nicknamed “Mr. October” during the ’77 World Series; the MVP slugged five home runs, had eight rbi along with a .455 batting average in six games. Three of those home runs came in the WS clinching game six. That’s clutch.
Murphy has been clutch this postseason too, batting .357, with five home runs and eight RBIs. The second baseman has been an absolute nightmare to opposing pitchers during his current run. How do you pitch him? Pitch him inside, he's crushing home runs over the right field wall, pitch him away and he’s calmly going to the opposite field. His defense and base running, (two areas of his game that he has historically struggled), have been tremendous. His diving catch ended game one of the NLCS and his heads up base running against the Dodgers in game five was the play of the game.
He has also joined elite company (Mickey Mantle & Frank Thomas) , becoming the third player ever to hit home runs off the regular season leader in ERA, strikeouts and wins. He’s in striking distance of the record for most home runs in a single postseason (8). Murphy has been carrying the Mets offensively, so much so that most people have largely ignored the fact that everyone not named Granderson, Cespedes or D’arnaud has disappeared. Despite this, sources say Murphy will not return next season.
Jeter and Jackson have earned their nicknames not only for their numbers, but also for winning the World Series. If Murphy is able to stay hot (he hit another home run in game three) and carry the Amazins to their first ‘Series win since ’86, the organization may be forced to reconsider cutting ties.
And he will have rightfully earned “The New Mr. October” monicker.