The blog for Mets fans
who like to read

ABOUT US

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.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at faithandfear@gmail.com.

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

All Things Considered

Hey, for the first 6 2/3 innings that was a helluva fun game. Swing and a drive from Lucas Duda, his first ever off a left-hander, Mets up 3-1, about to go seven over .500, take the first series in their gantlet of contests against powerful clubs, run their record against the hated Phillies to 7-2, and …

SCREEEEEEECH!!!!

The hanging knuckle-curve that Bobby Parnell offered Chooch Ruiz was the needle scraping off the record, causing a roomful of partygoers to reach for their ears and drop their drinks. But if so — to continue a metaphor from another millennium — Andres Torres’s ill-fated pursuit of Brian Schneider’s fly ball a batter before was the sketchy friend of the guy you didn’t want to invite stumbling across the room, hands splayed out in a vain effort to catch his drunken self before falling headfirst into the record player.

Which would make the misadventures of Jon Rauch and Tim Byrdak and Ramon Ramirez and Chris Schwinden a dog’s breakfast of teens throwing up in the bushes and the cops coming to break everything up and knowing you’re totally busted and Mom and Dad are going to wreak a terrible vengeance in the morning, which will be here way too soon, terrible and bright. It’s like that Katy Perry video, only with Shane Victorino refusing to stop playing Xbox in your TV room.

The Mets’ bullpen has an ERA of 5.45, which is 30th in the big leagues and would probably be 50th if there was suddenly an enormous wave of expansion. Thinking about that, you find yourself wondering where these overachieving Mets would be if the pen was merely worrisome instead of awful, and you quickly realize they’d probably be in first place, thumbing their collective orange and blue nose at a nation of baseball scribes.

If someone in the postgame had asked Terry Collins about his bullpen’s execution, I bet he’d have said he was in favor of it.

Despite this, I find myself philosophical and upbeat. Yeah, the bullpen’s bad — but it can’t be this bad. Byrdak’s been great. Rauch has been pretty good all told. Parnell doesn’t have great body language but has grown into a pitcher instead of a chucker — he chose a lousy time to hang a curve to a .366 hitter, but those things happen. Ramirez looks horrible now but has been an effective reliever before — and if you want to give up on him, remember that Frank Francisco looks lights-out now, where a couple of weeks ago we were ready to tie him up and stash him in one of Willets Point’s chop shops. Manny Acosta was awful and so is gone. Should the significance of that be lost on anybody, there are potentially useful reinforcements available or nearly so in Jenrry Mejia, Josh Edgin and Elvin Ramirez. We can hope that some guys’ struggles are behind them, that we see some regression to the mean, and that some new recruits can help.

Meanwhile, suppose back in January I’d offered you the chance to be 1.5 games out on June 1, with David Wright and Johan Santana looking rejuvenated, R.A. Dickey having a superb year, Daniel Murphy and Tim Byrdak and Scott Hairston and Mike Baxter having emerged as solid players, Kirk Nieuwenhuis looking like a keeper, and signs of life from Dillon Gee, Lucas Duda and Bobby Parnell. You’d have taken that without questions or reservations.

And here we are. The Mets were 13-10 in April, 15-13 in May, and it’s not crazy talk to think they may be able to keep it up or even get better — not with Josh Thole and Ruben Tejada returning and Ike Davis maybe finding himself and the young guns in Buffalo and Binghamton getting closer. Yes, I’d have taken that in January quite gladly. As I’ll do at the end of May.

9 comments to All Things Considered

  • Dave

    Is Chris Schwinden Wilpon’s ne’er-do-well nephew or something? If not, how did he get this job?

  • YRK

    Just a few days ago I was shaking my head over the fact that some Mets beat writers can get so dramatic and negative–or dramatically negative–about the Mets. And yet, I must confess, after that awful loss to the awful Phillies last night, I found myself buying into the doom and dread and dire warnings for the next three weeks. All over .500 teams!!!! Disaster looming!!! I started to cringe and squeeze my eyes shut in anticipation of the upcoming demolition. Thankfully your post provided some much-needed perspective and relief. All is not (yet) lost.

  • Thanks for getting me off the ledge, Jace.

  • BlackCountryMet

    Hey, just watched the full game rerun whilst off sick from work. Was feeling quite a bit better till the 8th!! But as stated, we’re 5 over .500 at June 1st, some big guys to come back and I refuse to believe Ike isn’t gonna turn this round soon. Pity this was against the Phils BUT who thought we’d be where we are at this point,at the start?

    LGM

  • Joe D.

    Hi Jason,

    If the bullpen can settle to just being “worrisome” I think this team can make a great run for post-season – something they did last year before the mid-season moves and injuries.

    Besides the bullpen, of course our problem is finding another dependable starter and replenishing our bench strength due to the rash of injuries which always seems to plague the team. I think we can count on the call up of those like Vinny Rotino, Omar Quintanilla, Rob Johnson, etc. for short term solutions but not for long spells simply because there have to be weaknesses that keep them from staying in the majors, even as bench players, in lieu of constantly going back and forth.

    The bigger question is if Sandy Alderson and his staff will have the money to fill those holes this summer.

    • open the gates

      “…the rash of injuries which always seems to plague the team…”

      Which begs the question. Why have the Mets been so injury-plagued the last few years? There has to be an explanation beyond “coincidence” or “the ghost of Bill Shea.”

  • mikeL

    “If someone in the postgame had asked Terry Collins about his bullpen’s execution, I bet he’d have said he was in favor of it.”

    “…a dog’s breakfast of teens throwing up in the bushes”

    yes, things are better than one could have expected, and great lines like these ^^ make it easier to put last night’s embarrassing last innings to rest and move on…

    and yes, let’s hope for some fresh and fireballing arms from buffalo soon. that and chris young being mlb ready.

  • 9th string catcher

    It is an amazing run so far. How many teams carry a lineup that often boasts three below 200 batters. Starting pitchers who should be # 3s
    …in AAA! And 5th string shortstops? This team had no depth before the injuries let alone after them. Amazing.