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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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Thank You Sir May I Have Two More?

The Mets couldn’t win on the road.

Then they couldn’t win on the road unless they were playing the dregs of the junior circuit.

Then … then shut up already. Up in the Bronx (technically a road game) the Mets played with confidence and swagger and every other intangible you might want to believe in. And if your taste runs to the more quantifiable, they got superb pitching, sharp defense and just enough hitting to win a 4-0 game that might have felt a lot closer than the final score, but goes down on the happy side of the ledger.

Before moving to a recitation of kudos and hosannas, let’s stop to enjoy the work of Hisanori Takahashi. Early in the game, I was trying to teach Joshua about the strategy of pitching, how you have to change speeds and eye levels and make hitters move their feet. It’s a new concept for the kid, not so much because he’s seven but because he’s still at the stage of Little League in which coaches pitch, meaning he’s never faced a pitcher who’s trying to get him out. (He looked mildly distressed but mostly intrigued by the news that hitters sometimes peek at where the catcher’s setting up, it’s not formally against the rules, but it will get you hit in the back by a fastball.)

Unfortunately, Joshua was in bed by the fifth inning, so he missed a rather nifty pitching clinic in miniature:

Vs. the Wily Veteran Jorge Posada

  • change-up just off corner, 1-0
  • change-up in same spot, fouled off, 1-1
  • change-up sits high, 2-1
  • fastball on inside corner at the knee, arguably a strike, 3-1
  • fastball outside corner at the knee, 3-2
  • change-up below the knees, walk

Vs. the Effortlessly Annoying Francisco Cervelli

  • change-up down the middle, 0-1
  • fastball on inside corner at the knees, 0-2
  • change-up on the outside corner, swing and a miss, 1 out

Vs. the Young and Overeager Chad Huffman

  • change-up for swinging strike, 0-1
  • change-up just off that same spot, 1-1
  • change-up bounced in dirt, 2-1
  • change-up down middle, 2-2
  • fastball inside corner, called strike, 2 out

Vs. the More-Dangerous-Than-I-Remember-He-Is Brett Gardner

  • fastball just inside, 1-0
  • fastball misses inside and low, was supposed to be on the other side of the plate, 2-0
  • fastball at the elbows, 2-1
  • fastball just off the plate, by Mike Reilly’s definition, 3-1
  • fastball bounced back to Takahashi for 1-3 putout, 3 out.

Not a perfect inning, but a smart one. In and out, up and down, fast and slow, knees locking and turning to jelly. Very nice to see.

Takahashi wasn’t the only Met deserving laurels, though. How about David Wright’s do-or-die, bare-handed grab of that Baltimore chop by Posada in the sixth with the bases loaded and two out? That ball seemed like it would hang in the air forever, but Wright snatched it cleanly, remembered an old catcher was running, and gave Ike Davis a good throw to escape disaster. Speaking of which, how about Wright’s nifty hook slide and passing graze of the pointy end of home plate in the first, which had the added benefit of making Cervelli mad?

How about Pedro Feliciano’s yeoman work in the seventh and eighth? I cringe when Feliciano is left in for righties to get an extended look at his sliders, but he was marvelous tonight, with the highlight watching Alex Rodriguez glumly head for the dugout even before Mike Reilly raised his hand on a called strike three. (Though honestly, who else did you want to see to face the righties? Igarashi? Nieve? My answer would be “whomever finally replaces Jenrry Mejia,” but that answer’s not admissible just yet.)

How about Jose Reyes bunting badly enough that Jerry Manuel was forced to discard a bad idea, allowing Jose Jose Jose to rip a double into the corner and nearly tear his own arms off with wild-eyed applause at second? (Cervelli is annoying, Reyes is naturally exuberant, and my judgments are refreshingly disinterested and unbiased.) How about Angel Pagan, whose reputation for dopiness ought to be long since replaced by his reputation for being money in the clutch? How about K-Rod, scaring the crap out of us as usual before wriggling past Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher? How about the baseball gods, for once again asking a Met to stagger beneath a drifting 27th out, but deciding that scenario was too awful to trot out twice? How about the Brooklyn Cyclones, for kicking off their season and Wally Backman’s return with a 5-3 win over the larval Yankees on Staten Island? How about all the Mets fans who got to celebrate in enemy territory? How about 14 hours of bliss before the roller coaster hits the top of the hill again? How about those Mets, anyway?

12 comments to Thank You Sir May I Have Two More?

  • dak442

    How on earth does David make that play, and make it seem easy, all the time? He is good.

    • That is the thing about Wright, the play where he has no time to think, just react and use instincts he is fine.

      • And that was not a true hop. It could have easily bounded from his grasp, the gods would have been cackling, a spitstorm would have rained down on our heads.

        But it didn’t happen that way. Which is nice.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Jason,

    Was watching SNY but also had YES on the small part of the split screen to get their take on the Mets by backtracking the DVR during commercial breaks.

    Sure enough, with KRod facing Swischer as the tying run with two out as expected, YES replayed Castillo’s drop from last year. Don’t they know this is not last year? I was worried enough about that right field porch looming so close and didn’t need them to put that bugaboo in my head, but I did hold my breath until his pop up securely settled into David’s glove for the final out. Foolish me, I also forgot this was not last year’s New York Mets.

    BTW – notice how loud the Met contingent was in enemy territory? Until the ninth, the “Lets Go Yankees” chant was patheticly low and unenthusiastic.

    Can’t add anything more to your superlatives.
    Even Michael Kay conceded the Mets were the hottest team in the majors and were a much more cohesive group of players compared to the last time the two teams had met. YES focused on Jose unable to hold in his excitement on the basepaths and in the dugout, showing him and Frenchy soaking up everything and sharing their joy together.

  • Phils Troll

    Dear Mets fans:

    On behalf of Garandpa Moyer and his befuddling 72mph “fastball”:

    “You’re welcome for putting the red-hot Spankee bats into a sudden, grinding hault… Especially since it was Boston’s Wakefield and your own Dickey knuckleball that did the same to us.” Nice game last night.

    Side note: I was up in enemy territory for this week’s 3-game series against the Bronx Bums. Their “fans” were pleasant, friendly, complimentary and not at all hostile…

    …it was disgusting.

  • BlackCountryMet

    For someone still recovering from the unadulterated GARBAGE of Englands 2nd game of the World Cup, what a heady tonic this result was!! A win in the Bronx and an outstanding chance to take the series,I’m pumped. As much as I’m still dubious about Minaya and Jerry, you gotta give credit where it’s due and some of Minayas pick ups(Tak,Carter,Barajas)have been key in the resurgence of the team. Jerry still confuses with some of decisions, but hey we’re contending!!

    Oh and Greg,”up the M6,Warrington” refers to one of our versions of your highways, nothing more sinister or perverse lol

    Lets GO METS!!

  • [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by You Gotta Believe! and Jason Fry, Patrick Boegel. Patrick Boegel said: RT @jasoncfry Pitching clinics, bare-handed grabs and other joys of a #Mets win. Faith and Fear in Flushing. http://bit.ly/bvF3x4 [...]

  • he’s still at the stage of Little League in which coaches pitch, meaning he’s never faced a pitcher who’s trying to get him out.

    So Satoru Komiayama is coaching Little League in Brooklyn? Good for him!

  • Thomas Bale

    Ummmm…not sure how Krod gets the blame for the scare here. He came into the game with runners on second and third. Yes he walked a guy, but got the next two to end it. Credit Manuel and Valdez for the scare.

    -Thomas

    Ps…I’m never scared with KRod on the mound.

  • Jacobs27

    Ron was priceless on Cervelli.

    When he pulled that deek with the fake wild pitch, Ronnie said something like “Cervelli can be a very irritating player.”

    At my house we were dying.