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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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Not Scared

A loss to the Phillies in September. The knowledge that they're hot on our heels and just got a little closer. Bah. I'm not scared.

These are not the 2007 Mets, Willie Randolph's Mets, the Mets who admitted that sometimes they got bored out there. Nobody gets bored on Jerry Manuel's watch. To be sure, this difference is no guarantee of a postseason spot, or anything at all … well, actually that's not quite true. It's as close as you're going to get to a guarantee that these Mets will go down biting and clawing, if defeat is to be their destiny. (And it might not be. You never know.)

Friday night's showdown was a tense, sweaty mess — in October's cooler weather it might have been described as taut and gripping, but a blanket of sticky summer heat made it more leaden and aggravating, with the weather compounding the frustration for the Mets and all of us as inning after inning slipped by with Brett Myers still out there untouched.

Yet this game was deathly close. Yes, Myers was absolutely terrific, but Mike Pelfrey was awfully good too. Take out uncharacteristically sterling defense by Ryan Howard, a shoddy play by Jose Reyes on Shane Victorino's first-inning stolen base, and raise Ryan Church's glove half an inch and this one could have been 0-0 after nine. And even that 3-0 lead was built on sand: Brad Lidge spent the entire ninth on the edge of disaster, recording his outs on rockets by Daniel Murphy (with an at-bat that was superb even by his precocious standards) and Ryan Church, sandwiched around a Beltran blooper that almost eluded Eric Bruntlett.

It wasn't to be, of course: Myers was better and the Phillies got all the breaks, which is perfectly fair even if it wasn't much fun. But it wasn't the kind of loss to leave us shaking in our shoes. They drew first blood, which isn't ideal. But we'll get our chance, when the weather allows, and you get the feeling things will be different. And both the standings and our Met-fan souls should be a reminder that we'd rather be us than them.

6 comments to Not Scared

  • Anonymous

    Nah. not worried. The Phillies still can't leave here ahead of the Mets. And they won't.
    It's not last year, and even if this was the exact same team(with the exception of Mota), I still would be confident they'd get it done. Last year was a combination of flukes and bad luck, and bad Mota. Last year we suffered from lack of bullpen depth, this year we've got some minor league guys/additions that are coming through. And there are enough of them that even Manuel can't wear them all out enough to blow this.

  • Anonymous

    I don't understand why everyone is harping on Reyes for not knocking that ball down. Gary Cohen wouldn't stop talking about it last night. It was just a case of Schneider making a rare, bad throw to second that was way high and at least a couple of feet too far to Reyes' left. What was he supposed to do? Dive on top of Victorino, or while evading Victorino's slide, change directions in midair? A web gem would have been nice there, particularly since Victorino ended up scoring. But, it's kind of weird that a lot of bloggers and sportswriters are blaming Reyes for not blocking a crappy throw when a runner was about to knock his legs out from under him, rather than simply noting that it was a crappy throw.

  • Anonymous

    You must not have been in the upper deck. It was windy and chilly up there. Many regretted leaving sweatshirts at home or in the car.
    The Phils did indeed get all the breaks. I'm usually not one to complain about balls and strikes, but last night I saw some of the most bizarre “strikeouts” I've seen in some time. Two of them to Castillo, who inexplicably bore the brunt of the crowd's hostility. Um, let's see, people… we have 3 hits, 2 of them by Murphy. That means 7 out of 9 guys have pretty much done squat at the plate. Yet Castillo alone gets booed? Whatever, you friggin' morons. Have another 10 beers and kill even more of the few brain cells you have left.
    I hate the Phillies.

  • Anonymous

    Hi Jason,
    I'd be scared if the Mets won last night, since they always seem to pick up even more steam after a tough defeat. And as you correctly pointed out, this type of loss was not a fall apart performance like last season (despite the errant throw in the first) when Willie allowed the team to just clock in their hours; it was well played by both sides with the breaks just not going our way.
    We'll take two tomorrow!

  • Anonymous

    He's had a habit of not being able to handle those bad throws. Like Keith said, he's gotta be in front of the bag for those, so he can swipe back with the ball and glove, and not worry about evading.

  • Anonymous

    Anybody care to amend their statements?