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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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LOBs Can Be Such SOBs

To quote Chris Rock: “They say life is short. No it's not. Life is long.” The season is long, too. Getting worked up over 21 LOBs over two nights of a 162-game season probably isn't worth the toll it takes on one's blood pressure.

But over the last two nights, the Mets have scored four runs…and left 21 runners on base. That ain't right. That ain't pennant-contending baseball, either.

The Astros have some good pitchers who bothered to make the trip to New York, so let's give a little credit to Roy Oswalt (though not for being the punk of plunk; Cliff'll find ya, big shot) and Brandon Backe, but what happened Wednesday night with the frequent lapses of scoring shouldn't have happened. Not if we're serious about winning.

Nobody in this division seems all that serious, which is to our benefit. The longness of the season will shake out somebody and turn them into a prince among frogs, presumably. Who that will be remains a mystery. First-place Nationals? Improbable? Wasn't it a few weeks ago that the nattering nabobs were dismissing Charlie Manuel as a Phillie Phlop? Wasn't it right about then that the Braves and the Marlins were obviously about to pull away from the rest of us clowns? Yet we're all still in it and nobody continues to know anything.

But I do know that you gotta win games that are winnable, no matter how the odds conspire against you. A team of destiny finds a way to beat the offensively tepid Astros in its own ballpark. A team of destiny stitches together a few runs for Victor Zambrano who (I may just faint) deserved a better fate. A team of destiny looks back a few months from now and points to the night in June when Piazza took one off the wrist and the bench was reduced to two players but we managed to pull it out anyway. A team of destiny marvels at how it limped its way through a half-dozen nagging aches and pains to a victory that healed all wounds for the time being.

And a team that's seriously ready to seriously contend takes two of three from the Astros before the third game starts.

The season is long. Patience is another matter altogether.

3 comments to LOBs Can Be Such SOBs

  • Anonymous

    It's true. For many years the Mets have had an annoying habit of sinking to the level of the opposing team — playing limp, lifeless ball against lifeless opponents — then ratcheting up their level of play for exciting games against the really good teams. That's fine (and to some extent understandable), but there's a much easier way to reach 90 wins — beat the teams that are easy to beat. It's not rocket science, but it seems to have eluded this team through many incarnations.

  • Anonymous

    I agree. This team has lacked a killer instinct for a good long time now. The last time I even saw hints of it was in 1999. You gotta beat up on the bad teams…and when you win the first two games of a series, you gotta get a lead early in the third one and bury them. They've had four weekend chances to do that this season (twice against the Fish, once Nats, once Brewers), and have failed each time. You could argue, sensibly, that a third game of a series isn't really related to the first two in any tangible way, but I think it is.

  • Anonymous

    exactly. this was precisely the sort of game that good teams take care of early and make room for on the W shelf.
    that's what made it aggravating. the only way to get to the point when you can invoke the ol' “win two of three every time and you'll win the pennant” strategy is when you're way the hell ahead (having dominated early) and are coasting into the playoffs. see “1986, the taking of.”