Mr. November candidates for 2022 World Series

HOUSTON — Mark those calendars. Because no matter who wins Saturday night at Minute Maid Park, history will be made.

Game 6 between the Astros and Phillies on Nov. 5 will be the deepest in a year of Major League Baseball play. The previous record was November 4th, which was achieved in 2001 (D-backs over Yankees in Game 7) and 2009 (Yankees over Phillies in Game 6).

Between the unusual lockout in 2022, the mid-Series rain that moved everything back a day and the possibility of a Game 7 on Sunday, this record has the potential to last for a while. In fact, this will be the only World Series in which the majority of games (all but two) are played in the month known more for the crack of the Thanksgiving wish than the crack of the bat.

Now, with this being the most November-centered World Series of the 118 in play, it seems reasonable to suggest that one of these players on the Phillies or ‘Stros should emerge as a new, true “Mr. November.”

Oh, we know what you’re thinking. We already have Mr. November! That’s Derek Jeter, who not only became the first MLB hitter at the plate in the month of November during Game 4 of that epic ’01 World Series but hit an incredible walk-off home run — a healing moment for New York in the aftermath of the 9/ 11 attacks.

But while Jeter is currently tied for the record for November games played (six) and currently holds the record for November hits (eight), his signing moment in the month is statistically tied for October 31st, not 1- a of November, because that was the official game date.

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Is that enough to strip Jeter of the title? Well, no, not really. But Jeter has another, more meaningful nickname (“The Captain”), so … he can at least share this one, okay?

As we head into Game 6 (the November 16th game in history), here are some guys from this 2022 World Series with the potential to be “Mr. November.”

(All performances from Games 1 and 2 that were played in October are ignored from this very important exercise.)

Nowadays, it’s hard to top Javier’s case after he threw the first six innings of the Astros’ historic combined no-hitter in Game 4. Javier was absolutely brilliant, confusing the Phillies with his “invisible” fastball in what was no math . must win but it was close enough.

Javier did give up two runs in relief in Game 6 of the World Series last November, but we feel like he forgave that. He actually now holds the record for most career strikeouts in November, with 12. The X-factor is the possibility of a Game 7 and the possibility that Javier would start said game. If that happens, the final “Mr. November” case would hang in the balance. (And so would the Series, by the way.)

Like some of the Astros (who we’ll get to in a minute), Schwarber came into this Series having played two November games. He was prominently involved in that exciting 2016 World Series between his Cubs and Cleveland. He went 4-for-9 with a walk in those games. In Game 3 of that Series, he hit a mammoth 443-foot homer into the batter’s green at Citizens Bank Park, then went deep again in Game 5. That puts Schwarber one homer away from tying Chase Utley’s November record of three

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Furthermore, research confirms that “Schwarber” and “November” both end in “ber” (which should count for something but probably doesn’t).

Peña had never played in a November game before this year. Wait, check that, he never played in any major league game before this year!

That can’t possibly be true, as Peña looked completely comfortable on this Series stage. And in the three games played this month, he’s 6-for-12 with a home run, a walk, two RBIs and two runs. Plus, he’s a shortstop, and 100% of people known as “Mr. November” were shortstops. You can look it up.

Bryce Harper, Rhys Hoskins, Alec Bohm and Brandon Marsh, Phillies

Like Schwarber, these Phillies all went deep in a November game in this Series, and that’s a decent starting point, though they’ll obviously have to do a lot more soon.

For now, bonus points to Marsh and Harper for taking the “No-Shave November” idea to a year-round extreme.

Plus, he was born in November (the 19th, if you want to send him a birthday card)!

Seranthony Dominguez, Phillies

The only other November birthday boy on these rosters (the 25th), and his role as the man most likely to have the ball in hand if the Phillies try to close out their first World Series title since 2008 speaks for itself.

As the only members of the Astros to have played in both of the club’s previous November games — Game 7 in 2017 and Game 6 last year — these three guys will all tie Jeter and Jorge Posada’s record for most Novembers . plays played (six) in Game 6.

Alas, they still haven’t made as much of the opportunity as Jeter has. Altuve is just 4-for-20 with a triple, Bregman is just 2-for-17 with a double, and Gurriel is just 4-for-19 with a double (and is currently nursing knee pain). But all of them had at least one hit in Game 5. If they want that much-coveted nickname (and you know, in their hearts, they do), they’ll have to ride that momentum Saturday.

The veteran lefty holds a much lower leverage spot in this Astros bullpen than he did with the Braves a year ago. Smith has yet to even pitch in this postseason.

But we have to remember him if any game gets silly (likely, in extras) and Smith somehow has a chance to become the first reliever to close out the World Series in November two years in a row. He received the final outs for the Braves on November 2, 2021.

One cannot predict what magical November moment awaits us and who will provide it. If someone hit a ninth-inning, go-ahead or walk-off homer in a Series clincher, for example, that person would have a pretty strong claim to the “Mr. November” title.

It’s either that or “Captain Clutch” … although we hear that name is already taken, too.


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