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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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Bag Back on Head

The little black cloud narrative of Mets fandom has been overdone in recent years — our team was one good swing away from the World Series in 2006 and played highly meaningful games on the last day of the season in 2007 and 2008, which the good people of Pittsburgh and Kansas City would take in a heartbeat. But games like tonight, sheesh. They’re inarguably bag-on-the-head stuff, and there have been far too many of them recently.

At ESPN New York, Adam Rubin passes along Elias’s grim note that the Mets have had the lead in the seventh or eighth inning in their last six home losses, setting a major-league record. It’s kind of a dopey record, one of those “sixth-place hitters on a daytime Tuesday” notes that rock-ribbed traditionalist fans used to mock before the advent of sabermetrics. What jumped out at me was that the Mets hadn’t scored more than three runs in any of those games when the roof began to sag: They’d scored three runs twice, two runs twice and one run twice. If you get to the seventh or eighth scoring that few runs, you’re going to lose your share, with when the other team scores their expected allotment more the stuff of detail than of tragedy. This is what happens when Ike Davis’s permitted activity is fishing and David Wright’s is lying in an MRI machine — injuries that have now followed the usual depressing Met trajectory from apparently minor to indefinite.

Tonight it was hard to point fingers at those we’d prefer to scapegoat, though it is true that Jason Bay did his usual nothing and Willie Harris struck out pathetically to end the game. (My question: Why was Harris pinch-hitting for Ruben Tejada, whom Terry Collins just praised for his discipline and improvement as a hitter?) This time, the key failures came from the players we’ve come to trust. Jason Isringhausen, one of the best stories of this weird season, walked a guy in a key spot. Jose Reyes, having perhaps his best season, let the grounder that would have ended the eighth roll under his glove to tie the game. And Francisco Rodriguez, a model citizen so far and pretty effective on the mound, was anything but in the ninth, giving up a homer to Eric Hinske and a two-run double to Freddie Freeman to cement the loss.

Painful, but of course it had to come with embarrassing ironies.

Reyes gagged up the difference-maker while being cheered on by passionate rooters who responded to the call to make this Don’t Trade Reyes Night. Bag.

K-Rod got credit for finishing a game even though what he did was more like killing one, moving him a step closer to his toxic $17.5 million option. Head.

Oh, and as an additional kick in the nuts, Sandy Alderson had to deliver the news that Wright will be inactive — as in doin’ nothin’, not as in not here — for another three weeks. Sandy cracked that David’s first game back might coincide with Johan Santana’s first start, which is the kind of line that’s better left to sarcastic/suicidal bloggers than it is coming from the general manager.

Yes, Jonathon Niese was wonderful — Niese continues to evolve into a complete pitcher, one you can imagine slotting in as a capable No. 2 starter if he keeps it up. But he’s not going to get far if his teammates continue to score a run every three innings.

None of us are.

11 comments to Bag Back on Head

  • ..when your a Met your a Met all the way, from your first bad loss to that occasional win…

    Rich P

  • Andee

    I’m not sure how Alderson could do his job and not indulge in a little gallows humor. Talk about your snakebite, they’re like the Blazers of MLB, who are now going on their third GM in 3 years (Paul Allen goes through ‘em like popcorn, which is how I know it can get a lot worse than doofy old Fred Wilpon).

    Seriously, has any other baseball team lost this much crucial talent to injury for such long periods of time, year after year? I’m starting to think that maybe other teams look the other way when their players use PEDs and the Mets don’t. As we’ve seen, it’s easy to pass a drug test if you have money and just slightly more common sense than Manny Ramirez.

  • harv sibley

    Got lucky, was not near a tv last nite. Hoping we can stay meaningful until Ike/David return. Otherwise, the tragic is back.

  • GregH

    Fuck Josh Thole. Fuck Jason Bay. Fuck Willie Harris (and Scott Hairston). Double fuck Frankie R. Double fuck Mets medical staff. Triple fuck Fred Wilpon. Can anybody here play this game?

  • Florida Met Fan Rich

    ^Harv Sibley: meaningful?…Really?…Please tell me your kiding…The Mets haven’t been meaningful since openng day!

    Jason: Pass the bags and make sure you double bag me, in case one falls off!

  • 9th string catcher

    Mets will win next two. And look good in the process. No evidence or actual reasoning behind this comment, but I don’t care. I have a feeling.

  • Tom in Sunnyside

    There’s only one question these days that separates the diehard Mets fans from the suicidal ones: Paper or plastic?

    I’ve learned to shut the game off before the seventh. Unfortunately so have the Mets.

  • kd bart

    When you can’t muster more than 3 runs in a game more than once or twice a week, you’re going to lose your share of those type of games unless you have incredibly deep pitching which the Mets don’t. With standout relief pitching, this could be an 8-0 homestand at this point instead of 3-5. Hell, it should be at least 6-2.

  • Dave

    Got tickets to Sunday’s game before ESPN got the crazy notion that the game could draw ratings and turned it into a night game. I live in Central Jersey and am a man of a certain age, so night games mean getting home later than I’d like…if we stay for the whole game. So since the Mets will only play for 6 or 7 innings, maybe that’s all I’ll stay for, problem solved – I get home at a decent hour, and leave when they’re still winning.

  • open the gates

    Methinks that when Mr. Alderson gets around to shifting around some personnel, he may consider canning both the entire Mets medical staff and Mets publicity staff in toto. The whole “we coulda been a contender if our entire team hadn’t been on the DL all year” thing gets kinda stale after 3 or 4 years in a row. Just saying.

  • BlackCountryMet

    Please tell me why Willie Harris in pinch hitting when in such a poor run of form? And is this a Mets tradition to turn previous Mets killers, into absolute Mets DUFFERS!!??