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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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Order More Superlatives...

…because we’re running out of them for R.A. Dickey.

The already-undermanned Dodgers had no chance against a knuckler that was once again unhittable. None whatsoever. The degree of their no-chanceness was such that for a good part of the night we were all grousing about whatever happened to Andres Torres out there on Aaron Harang’s pop fly in the third. Harang’s hit fell in, to the visible irritation of Dickey, as Torres seemed either not to see it or not to react the way you need a center fielder to react. The Dodgers didn’t collect another hit until A.J. Ellis singled in the seventh, which was something of a relief under the circumstances.

(Man, give a fan base a no-hitter every half-century and we immediately get all entitled.)

But then watching R.A. makes you feel like perfection’s within your grasp.

He pitched beautifully, once again, resuming where he left off before that hiccup against Satan’s insurgents. He’s 12-1, with a shot at going into the break (and one presumes the starting assignment for the All-Star Game) with 13 wins. He struck out 10 for the fifth time this season. His numbers in June: 5-0, 0.93 ERA, three complete games.

He can hit too — he put together an intelligent at-bat against Shawn Tolleson in the seventh, singling up the middle.

Oh, and he defends his turf the way the Mets haven’t done in years. After Aaron Harang ended his evening with a suspicious plunking of Ruben Tejada, R.A. waited for the opposing shortstop, Dee Gordon, and hit him in the fanny. Glowers, warnings issued, point made and taken, everyone moved on.

And that’s just what we saw. Between innings perhaps he was improving his calligraphy, or composing a heartbreaking sonnet that works in both English and Latin, or experimenting with cold fusion. He’s R.A. Dickey — I wouldn’t put anything past him.

Nor would I put much past the Mets right now — as is their recent pattern, they’ve followed a frustratingly narcoleptic string of games by walloping the tar out of any team foolish enough to get in their way. Tejada went 4 for 5, continuing his marvelous breakout season, Daniel Murphy slammed another homer, and David Wright started the scoring and made a couple of sparkling plays in the field. It’s an excellent time for another Mets manic phase — the Dodgers are trying to stay afloat until Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier return, the Phillies are teetering on the brink of irrelevance, and the Cubs suck. This is the soft underbelly of the schedule, and here’s hoping the Mets go Wild Kingdom on it.

Which isn’t to say they will, of course: The Mets look alternately like world-beaters and the downtrodden of the Earth, and I’ve decided the truth is that they’ve found the most exciting way to demonstrate that they’re somewhere in between. But that doesn’t apply to Dickey. His rare bad starts are just Amish stitches, humanizing demonstrations of fallibility. And increasingly when he starts, his teammates look on point in a Johanesque way. As with Johan, everyone else involved understands the man on the hill means business, and they’d better live up to his example.

13 comments to Order More Superlatives…

  • Gio

    So… with R.A. earning his league-leading 12th W and Matt Cain having a poor outing, the former now has the best ERA of any non-injured player in baseball. He’s a lock to start the ASG. I cannot WAIT.

  • dmg

    i’m not sure la russa starts dickey in the asg, and i’m not gonna get ticked off if he doesn’t — it’s la russa, that schmeckel.

    one thing concerns me: 115 pitches on dickey is not 115 on any other pitcher, i know, but dickey’s arm is 37 years old and has had surgery. at some point it gets tired. i luvs me the big inning count dickey gives in virtually every start, but wouldn’t mind if he were seated after, say, 100. he’s got to last this season, and all of the others in that multiyear deal sandy’ll sign him to.

    • Jacobs27

      I agree, no sense in risking damaging Dickey’s unbelievable arm in a 9-0 game, desirable as shut-outs are. He’s also not your typical knuckle-baller, throwing as (relatively) hard as he does, that’s gotta give more wear and (God forbid!) tear than, say, Wakefield’s did.

      It still stings that Dickey couldn’t be his usual dominating self against the Yankee$, but at there is the All-Star Game.

  • Kevin From Flushing

    Its seriously gotten to this point: I fell asleep last night without knowledge of a single pitch in the game. I dreamt I had woken up and asked my girlfriend what happened in the game, and she said “Dodgers won 14-11″. For an instant I was angry, but quickly thought, “RA was pitching, that’s impossible,” and woke up! RA getting lit up is so unrealistic this year that it makes me realize I’m dreaming! I might as well have been dreaming about a dragon attack!

  • kjs

    Once Dickey allowed his first hit in the 7th that absolved Torres’ dismal fielding effort, I thought Collins would lift Dickey. Certainly a CG SO was not on the statistical agenda last night.

  • metsssss

    Satan’s insurgents is the best name i have ever heard for those crosstown dirtbags

  • BlackCountryMet

    Awesome. I’ve never been so certain of wins as when “The Force” pitches

    • Jacobs27

      The Force is strong with this one…

      Does this mean that all the batters who look so lost against Dickey are, uh, weak-minded? Or is it just the contact?

      • dmg

        i keep thinking that batters are going to figure him out. then i see how they look at him at the plate, at-bat after at-bat, like last night. a couple of times i thought grown men were going to weep.

  • Lenny65

    I love these hot streaks. I’ll take “streaky” over “dead-eyed and lethargic” any day. It sure has been a long, long time since we’ve had a twenty game winner, is it too soon to start thinking about that yet?

  • Will in Central NJ

    I’m telling you all (again), I don’t think we’ll have to wait 50 years until the Mets’ next no-hitter. I’ve got a feeling we may get one or more, soon. I’m talking about a cluster. It makes no sense but yet it does. These are the Metaphysics of the team we root for.

  • [...] Another day, another shutout.  It wasn’t long ago that I said we ran out of superlatives for Dickey and now others are beginning to realize the same thing. [...]