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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
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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Series of the Damned

The 2008 Mets and 2008 Padres both seem to be suffering hangovers after stumbling through the floor in 2007. If the 1965 Phillies could take on the 1979 Red Sox, this would be the weekend it would happen.

Grrrreasonably well-played game, I suppose. Grrr…a shame someone had to lose. Grrr…if it had been a postseason contest, it would be talked about for some time to come.

Come to think of it, if Friday night's nailbiter had unfolded amid a playoff atmosphere, then we would have won, 'cause Trevor Hoffman would have blown the save.

Cheap shot! Particularly unseemly considering we lost. But cheap shots are all I got after two consecutive 2-1 losses to a Padres team I had been led to believe was far more pathetic than we are. On paper, they sure are. In direct competition, it's all about the same.

Who am I kidding? If these were the playoffs, we'd be as absent as they'd be based on most recent available data.

Pads owe us a couple now as payback for taking the heat they deserved as much as we did in the closing days of 2007. San Diego was a mirror image of the Mets last September, an under-the-radar West Coast version of no-way-they'll-be-caught but got caught anyway.

Seven up with 17 to go, meet one strike away. Not so pleased to make your acquaintance.

You may have some dim recall that Hoffman just needed to throw one more ninth-inning pitch by Tony Gwynn, Jr. — if I made up that name, you wouldn't believe me — to vault the Padres to the Wild Card they'd been positioned to win for an eternity. But with two outs and a 2-2 count, the son of the biggest Friar of them all lashed a triple down the right field line at Miller Park, tied matters up and sent the Padres to an eventual eleventh-inning loss. They lost the next day and then gave away, via the charitable impulses of Hoffman, a two-run lead in the thirteenth to the onrushing Rockies in Game 163.

Had you heard about any of this? Did you even notice the Padres doing a mini-Mets thousands of miles away? Somewhere during the final week of last season, a Mets-Padres NLDS was pretty close to a TBS coming attraction, almost certainly a probable occurrence. Surely a gross of commemorative t-shirts was manufactured for the occasion.

One can only hope those t-shirts went to a good cause.

It's next year now and the Padres likely won't have to worry about being caught from behind. They're eleven under and eight back in the West, leading only equally disheveled Colorado. The Trevorous travails of September in San Diego — a 4-1/2-game Wild Card lead crushed by a pile of Rox — received scant notice back east where we were obsessed with our own history-making ordeal. Therefore, I have to confess that not only did I enter this series unfamiliar with the 2008 Padres, I am completely surprised to be reminded that the Padres were ever en route to the playoffs in 2007.

Who besides Peavy and Young made the Padres such a mortal lock for such a lengthy portion of last year? Is the absence of their two aces the reason they've fallen off the map so quickly? Could a team whose entire offense can be summed up as Adrian Gonzalez and a prayer have been any good to begin with? Why doesn't Trevor Hoffman blow saves against us? Why is Heath Bell unhittable when in New York he was so not unhittable?

And how have we lost two incredibly tight games to such a bland outfit? Why didn't Wright's bomb go out? Why did it hang up just long enough for Scott Hairston to catch up to it? Why couldn't Johan have been just a little better? Why did Luis Castillo suddenly develop latent jet lag? When did this Gonzalez fellow become the Chase Utley of first basemen? Most of all, how come the San Diego Padres can collapse at the end of a nightmare year, stumble out of the gate into another, all but eliminate themselves by early June and we're the ones who look bad?

5 comments to Series of the Damned

  • Anonymous

    Face it: this team is fucked.
    * Lose 2 straight to the team with the worst record in the NL.
    * Ace starter gets clipped on the shoulder with his own bunt.
    * Number one offensive player (right now) has to sit out (again!) because a redneck kicked him in the head.
    * Can't hit a rookie pitcher or (Jeezus, I'm choking on it!) RANDY FUCKIN' WOLF.
    * Now need to rely on Oliver Perez (God help us!) to even think of salvaging a sweep against the aforementioned team with the worst record in the NL.
    If that's not the definition of fucked, I don't know what is.

  • Anonymous

    here is your problem. all the mets bloggers are giving the mets way too much credit? what the hell do they have that would somehow make them the best team in the NL, let alone the division? johan santana, and a bunch of old, washed up, injury riddled players. who on this team is an top player? reyes is overshadowed by hanley ramirez and jimmy rollins. david wright is a nice guy, but he isn't pujols or utley. take a look at that roster, and tell me that is a WS team. the fans were tricked into thinking this was an amazing team because 2006, but face it….they were overperforming. the real new york mets has shown it's ugly head over the past year. a .500 team that can look forward to finishing 3rd in the division, and out of contention by august.

  • Anonymous

    Who are you talking about? What bloggers out there have been talking smack lately about how the Mets are headed straight for the pennant, because we kick that much ass?
    Look man, I love Jose, and I especially love just how much he pisses off every fan of every every team that doesn't have him playing for them. Take that, Jimmy Rollins. Jose can hit, and when he doesn't hit, he draws walks, and he makes every single opposing pitcher of every single opposing team look like a total asshole, every time he's on base. Most especially when he makes it to second.
    No offense, anonymous fan, but I'll take Jose Reyes over Jimmy Rollins. And Wright, versus Pujols and Utley? Please, stop acting like those two are going to have better career numbers compared with Wright. He's 25, and he blows your mind already. Face it.
    Yeah, the Mets look like crap so far this year, but you had better stop talking shit. Because maybe we lose this year, but whatever anonymous team it is that you are rooting for anonymously had better watch its anonymous ass.

  • Anonymous

    hey asshole, I'M ROOTING FOR THE METS. i'm just not blind like you. WRIGHT IS BETTER THAN PUJOLS AND UTLEY? you have got to be fucking kidding me. i can understand taking jose over rollins, but to tell me that wright is going to have better career numbers than utley and pujols? delusional. wright is great, but you are obviously looking at the world through orange and blue glasses.

  • Anonymous

    Look, man, if you're the same guy that posted as “misery” the other night, and you meant that as “misery [loves company]” or something along those lines, then I sincerely apologize. That third 2-1 loss in a row played out like Lost Weekend over here–me all drunk and rampaging on my keyboard like some madman of the Internets.
    But dude, whether it was you or someone else that made that post, saying that we weren't really even that great in 2006 kind of sucks. And relegating Wright and Reyes to second tier status already, saying that they just don't compare to other stars in the NL East, when they are both only 25, REALLY sucks. No joke, seriously, I 100% thought you were a Philly Phan stopping by to throw cheesesteaks and Chase Utley bobblehead dolls at our lineup for kicks. And that demanded some smack talk.