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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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Death by a Thousand Pendletons

Terry Pendleton tied the Terry Pendleton game. Tied it. Didn't win it. When it was lost, 22 games remained to do something.

Mike Scioscia tied the Mike Scioscia game. Tied it. Didn't win it. When it was lost, a veritable best-of-three series remained to do something.

Brian Jordan's second home run put the Braves ahead, but the Mets had a half-inning to do something.

Luis Sojo put the Yankees ahead, but the Mets had a half-inning to do something.

Yadier Molina put the Cardinals ahead, but the Mets had a half-inning to do something.

The whole September '07 crew of vandals — Greg Dobbs, Ronnie Belliard, Austin Kearns, Joel Piñeiro, Jeremy Hermida, you name 'em — did its damage and it was all there for the taking anyway. The Mets were tied for first after 161 games and had nine innings to do something.

By comparison to all of which is cited above, the 2008 Mets, after what was without a doubt the absolute worst setback of a season pockmarked by spectacularly dreadful defeats, have it easy.

They have 62 games left on their schedule.

They have 62 games left to make up a one-game deficit in the standings.

They have 62 games left to erase the impact of a night when everything went wrong at the worst time imaginable.

They have 62 games left to learn how to undramatically secure 25th, 26th and 27th outs.

They have 62 games left to extend their starting pitchers.

They have 62 games left to sort out bullpen contingency plans.

They have 62 games left to recognize baserunning situations, such as when to keep running and when to stop running.

They have 62 games left to understand the immense value of tack-on runs.

They have 62 games to work on the fundamentals of fielding.

They have 62 games left to do something.

And not do what they did last night — which was evoke images of Terry Pendleton, Mike Scioscia, Brian Jordan, Luis Sojo, Yadier Molina and September of 2007.

Don't do that anymore, OK?

17 comments to Death by a Thousand Pendletons

  • Anonymous

    Santana should have started the 9th.
    I'm just sayin'…

  • Anonymous

    Thanks for the perspective, G-FAFIF. That and time will hopefully heal the gaping wound that was last night. And so will winning. A lot of it. Because it felt like last night had the impact to render the 10-game streak null and void.
    Let's see something out of Maine tonight.

  • Anonymous

    I just can't shake the feeling that one of two things will happen after last night.
    1. This is the beginning of a tailspin, 10 losses in a row could be possible with our schedule, and that would certainly fit this team's gimmick.
    2. We hang with em until the end, but lose the division by 1 or 2 games, giving us 6 months to wonder if our next manager is the type of guy who'd leave Johan in for 9 and not cost us the playoffs.
    God damn this team. I know I'm overreacting, but I just can't shake last night.

  • Anonymous

    Can't anyone here play this game?

  • Anonymous

    Wow..that was surprisingly positive. It's what I've been saying all season, at least they're having these false-starts and doldrums and whatever problems you can find at the beginning(now middle) of the season and it gives them time to figure out this game.
    This isn't the first 'ouch' game this season, and the Mets haven't let it get to them too much.

  • Anonymous

    Had Wagner started the ninth and spit the bit so spectactularly I think I'd feel worse.
    As far as Santana pitching the ninth, I guess I see the point. If Ryan Howard was the first batter in the ninth rather than the last out in the eighth I think Santana starts the ninth.
    And maybe it would have mattered for this one game. But more importantly, this game showed that if Wagner can't be counted on, the season's over anyway.

  • Anonymous

    Jerry was freakin killin me on so many levels with that excuse.
    1) Johan is your ace, and one of the best pitchers of the generation. He is not a journeyman middle reliever. Lefty/Righty matchups should be fucking moot when it comes to Johan.
    2) Johan did not give up a double to Burrell. He gave up a long foul ball.

  • Anonymous

    Can we talk about something else?

  • Anonymous

    It's not so much a question of lefty / righty match ups as it is a question of Johan having pitched eight innings and thrown just over 100 pitches. None of us know what Johan had left and if he, rather than Duaner Sanchez, was the best option against Werth, 20/20 hindsight notwithstanding.

  • Anonymous

    Charlie – great minds think alike. And apparently, so do yours and mine.

  • Anonymous

    The entire Johan should have pitched the ninth argument is just too hypothetical to invest much angst in. The PA started playing his goodbye music as the eighth finished. There seems to be no question that no starter — Santana, Pelfrey, whoever goes eight strong — is going to pitch the ninth inning anymore. It would be lovely if a starter on a roll (as far as we can tell for we do not have a read on their gas tanks) would go for a complete game after 100+ pitches, but it is not, at this time, in the Mets' playbook. Nobody there thinks that way. To expect it and not get it is akin to being upset that the Mets don't turn more unassisted triple plays.
    I'm not endorsing that thinking by any means. I'm just framing a decision like last night's in what I believe to be the reality of the situation. It never occurred to me that Santana would bat for himself in the eighth. Never. The notion that Santana should withhold the ball from his manager and declare “I shall finish the job, my cap-i-tan” is more romantic than realistic. I'd like to see it happen. Perhaps if Delgado had made a very difficult catch on the foul pop in the seats (you could see Santana sag) or if whichever crooked third base umpire had called Burrell's ball correctly foul, maybe it would have happened. But once triple-digits had been reached on the pitch count, once there was even a little trouble getting out of the eighth, it was “Smooth” on the loudspeaker, Santana on the bench. This ain't whatever year it was that Seaver would be routinely sent out to pitch the ninth, tenth, eleventh. Not endorsing it, just stating it.
    The disgrace on the pitching side is a bullpen incapable of retiring three batters with a three-run lead, ninth inning or not. Closing may be a tough job, but a generation of coddling these pitchers into believing this poppycock about “roles” gets you ninth innings like last nigh'st. There is NO reason in the world Sanchez and Feliciano had to be so utterly helpless out there.
    Also, Endy Chavez picked a helluva night to turn into Shawn Green.
    It was, to reiterate, the worst loss of the year, a loss for the ages, a loss that will be referenced in a dozen future posts without even trying. But there are 62 games left, we are one out and…actually, that's as optimistic as I've got right now.

  • Anonymous

    Don't they pay him $140 million to not be like “every other starter”? He should have started the ninth. He should have finished the ninth.

  • Anonymous

    Good idea, Joe. Let's talk about Wednesday's win instead.
    What a difference a day makes.
    Twenty-four little hours.

  • Anonymous

    I don't necessarily disagree, but that's in the manager's (and management's) hands.

  • Anonymous

    Dude, Greg. You can't be hard on Chavez. Aguayo was telling him to go, go, go, each of those times he got thrown out at home. How often is Endy in those types of baserunning situations for him to overrule a coach?
    And, this wasn't the worst loss of the year. Pick any of those 2-1 losses to the Padres, but don't pick Tuesday. At least they were hitting. They just couldn't come back from a 6 run top-o'-the-ninth after our bullpen finally laid an imposing, demoralizing egg. Its first after a weeks-long stretch of being excellent. Sanchez and Feliciano sucked, Smith got pulled after inducing a great ground ball and Heilman, for god knows what reason, took the brunt of the abuse from Shea's pissed off faithful, getting booed off the field despite not giving up a run. It was super ugly but it's no disaster. We've still got 61 to play, and Reyes made tonight's win look easy in tomorrow's papers.

  • Anonymous

    I'm thinkin' more the way Endy looked lost in right than on the basepaths. Vintage Shawn.

  • Anonymous

    They pay him merely to be on this team. What he gives us is irrelevant to what he's being paid to be here. If it was, that would be an incentive contract. (Although players do get paid more to make the playoffs. It was a bigger deal in the early part of last century though)