Daniel Murphy went just 1-for-9 while sporting a porn star-esque, pencil-thin mustache last week, but at least the New York Mets earned a three-game sweep of the Baltimore Orioles during that stretch.
Ever since the 27-year-old second baseman shaved it off, the Mets have gone 0-2 with back-to-back ugly losses to a Chicago Cubs team that features a roster chock full of young prospects who are barely MLB-ready.
Most of the Cubs' current lineup would probably still be in Triple-A if it weren't for the team's woeful record. Chicago is a team that New York should have no problem with this year, so it's obvious that the curse of Murphy's creeper 'stache sent the Mets into a downward spiral that they can't recover from.
I've been saying all season that the Mets were inches away from having the wheels fall off, and it looks like their current four-game slide is indicative of just that.
If the Mets hope to put an end to the losing skid, it's clear that something drastic needs to be done. To get the Mets back into the win column, I would be all for Murphy growing out a soul patch or chin strap beard.
Former St. Louis Cardinals slugger Scott Spiezio rode his soul patch all the way to two World Series championships, and current Cubs center fielder Reed Johnson is hitting .285 this year with a fancy soul patch gloriously perched upon his chin like a lucky charm.
Murphy went just 1-for-4 in the Mets' 5-3 loss to the Cubs on June 26, and he left five men on base. He's typically a great clutch hitter, so it seems that his clean-shaven appearance is just as unlucky as his mustachioed approach.
Mets manager Terry Collins thinks Murphy is a good enough hitter to not only break out of his recent slump, but also start showing a little pop in his bat. He has been more of a slap and pull hitter in 2012, as he hasn't yet hit a homer in over 270 at-bats.
"Right now, he's going outside the strike zone a little bit, where he's swinging at some pitches he has no chance to hit out of the ballpark," Collins said. "When he's swinging good, he's a good enough hitter where eventually he'll hit some homers."
What kind of mustache should Murphy grow next? That is one of the top Mets stories to follow as the 2012 season progresses, almost as important as R.A. Dickey's quest for a Cy Young Award and the team's pursuit of a playoff berth.
Should Murphy bring back his 'stache? Let me know in the comments.
Eric Holden is a lifelong New York Mets fan. Follow him on Twitter @ericholden.
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