The Team of Destiny is in part predictable: it's the team that's peaking at playoff time, often because their lineup is healthy after an uneasy season, and/or they made late season acquisitions that just jelled. In retrospect, you can see this pattern a lot--in the 2012 and 2014 San Francisco Giants, for example.
But the unpredictable part is the Guy Who Becomes Superman. Marco Scutaro. Cody Ross. Madison Bumgarner. And of course, the payoff of things done right by managers, coaches and the front office, and team unselfishness. But often enough you need the superhero.
The Mets got healthy, they seem to have team chemistry, their strength of starting pitching stayed strong, and second baseman Daniel Murphy put on a cape and flew.
Murphy hit a home run in six consecutive postseason games, including all four in the NLCS Mets sweep of the Cubs. That's an All Time Record, which in baseball means it hadn't happened in more than a hundred years. In tonight's game he had four hits, the last one--in the eighth inning--a home run to center field. He'd missed a homer to center field earlier by feet, getting instead a double that splashed off the warning track onto the ivy. He was named series MVP.
Murphy had his biggest home run season this year--he hit 14. But that's back when he was Clark Kent, mild mannered utility infielder for a not so great Metropolitan baseball team.
I've written here several times that I've never been able to figure out how the Cubs won so many games. Once the Mets (and Murphy) beat Arietta, the series was functionally over. The Mets, who lost all their regular season games against the Cubs, never even trailed the Cubs in any of the four playoff games.
Now the question becomes whether they will meet another apparent Team of Destiny, Toronto, which must win the next two games, both in Kansas City.