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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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Wait, What the Hell Just Didn't Happen?

Wait a minute, we scored runs after the first?

Wait a minute, J-Rolls and the Flyin' Hawaiian and Utley and Howard were batting in the ninth (do they ever not?) and there was a two-out walk and the inning didn't end with a Met closer whirling around in horror to stare at a point somewhere above the outfield fence?

Wait a minute, Greg Dobbs got a big single as a pinch-hitter to launch a Phillie uprising — and then screwed up on the basepaths to derail his team's comeback?

Wait a minute, there was no rain to quash Met comeback hopes or umpire transforming a fielder's choice into a game-ending double play or death march through extra innings or Aaron Heilman looking like he just found a cigarette butt in his Coke?

This was Phillies/Mets, right?

It's not that bad, of course — but it was bad enough. The Mets, you may have noticed, have been playing flat, bad baseball, with a disconcerting habit of showing the enemy their soft, blue and orange underbelly in the late innings. The Phillies, you may have noticed, have been playing … well, Phillie baseball, which may not statistically look a whole lot different than ours but sure feels different, and last year ended with a trophy instead of recurring trauma. And so with that buildup we were going to Citizens Bank? Without Delgado and with David Wright all but barfing at the plate while squeezing his bat into a little anthill of sawdust? My midafternoon Twitter update was this:

Already mad at the Mets for losing. Figure it will lessen the blow of the actual event.

And no, I was not trying to hoodwink the baseball gods.

But a funny thing happens when you plunge yourself into baseball despair: actual baseball, which will always have the capacity to surprise you. Carlos Beltran continued his sublime hitting, and even rediscovered the ancient strategy known as sliding. Wright wasn't Right, not just yet (Keith did an excellent job breaking down how out of whack he is at the plate), but he did go 2 for 4, and I couldn't help feeling that he was helped by having Beltran being frisky on the basepaths while he was at the plate. David has thought himself into this hole, and protecting a runner in motion can pare your job as a hitter down to the elemental. On the mound, Mike Pelfrey was … OK. He pitched in some bad luck in that three-run third, between Raul Ibanez's broken-bat parachute and Pedro Feliz slapping one through the hole Alex Cora had vacated to cover second. But he also made 17 pitches on 2-0 or 2-1 counts, including every batter in the top of the first, and somehow came out with a W. I wouldn't recommend that as sound strategy.

And then there was that sublime bit of ridiculousness in the sixth, with Jose Reyes surrounding a hot shot from Rollins. Jose has no play! No, he's going to third! And he overthrows Wright! And Coste is heading home! No, he's not! He's going back to third! Only now Dobbs is going to third! And now Dobbs is going back to second! And Santos tries to throw the ball into center field! But Cora leaps up and grabs it! And now Coste is going home! And the throw to Santos … and HE'S OUT!

Not exactly how you'd diagram anything likely to happen on a baseball diamond — it reminded me of my parents approaching various ailing cats armed with medicine, a towel and anticipatory Band-Aids — but somehow it worked out. And we'll take it.

8 comments to Wait, What the Hell Just Didn't Happen?

  • Anonymous

    Jason, man. I really love what you write, but sometimes I hate what you say. This game was 2 runs 2 runs 1 run OMG! No! no runs 2 runs OK we got it!
    Everyone wants a team with “grit” and “moxie” and go-gettedness and whatever else Met-hater Mike Francesa tells them to think.
    This team's got all that. Came in today to face their bitter rival, shit talker and World Series Champion Philles, and they got it done.
    Ollie is going to be good and the Mets are going to sweep this thing.

  • Anonymous

    Guys, just look at the won/loss records of the NL east and you can see clearly that no one is breaking from that pack- and I doubt anyone will..
    This is all completely typical of divisional play in this less than spectacular era of parody and mediocrity..
    All a team really needs to do is hang around snap off the occasional winning streak hope most of its people stay healthy..That makes a competitor in this day and age..
    So dont panic- we will win games and we will be there in the end…
    Rich P

  • Anonymous

    “David has thought himself into this hole”
    Hmm, are you David's pscyhoanalyst? Do you speak with him on a daily basis?
    Ted Berg at SNY wrote a great piece about Met fans psychoanalyzing players on the team when they have no knowledge/right to do so. Love FAFIF, but I'm not sure what's gotten into the water this week, between this and the wild trade proposals the other day.

  • Anonymous

    Aha! The old 6-5-2-almost 8-4-2 force-out trick!
    That's the second time I've fallen for that this month!

  • Anonymous

    Ted's piece was great, but psychoanalyzing players from the Promenade deck/on TV is a time-honored bit of being a fan, and one of those things that will always resist logic. Certainly I've been susceptible to it for 39 years.
    I took Ted's article as a useful reminder/warning; that said, I stand by the assessment of Wright and think most of his teammates/coaches would say much the same thing I did. (Sheffield was particularly interesting on his struggles.) For (mostly) better and (a tiny bit) worse, Wright's always been an open book about himself as a ballplayer. I'd be a lot more cautious assigning motive to more guarded players like Delgado, Church or Beltran….

  • Anonymous

    Sometimes you get Faith; sometimes you get Fear.
    We make no guarantees as to the logic of either; we just report it as we feel it….

  • Anonymous

    Totally agree, Jason. Part of the fun of being a fan is the you indeed have the right to analyze, overanalyze and misanalyze every aspect of the players and game, and if you're way off base, it's not a big deal. It's generally funnier, in fact–funnier than your team caught in a rundown, anyway.
    What bothers me is when commentator's do it (I'm looking at you ESPN and Fox) and spin it like its some sort of deep wisdom. I'll take insightful blogger/fans psychoanalyzing any day over that.

  • Anonymous

    The kid shaved his head! Now when I was growing up you grew it long to shake things up..
    In Philly he is showing signs of really breaking out. He will-we all know it- and I guarantee it happens on the road!!
    This team can consistently gets runners on and its just a matter of time before they find that 'groove' and snap off an impressive streak of designed good luck..
    Rich P