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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
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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I Can't Even

Remember when Matt Harvey nearly no-hit the Twins?

That was fun.

Since then, this is what we’ve had:

Sunday: Snowed out

Monday: Snowed out

Tuesday: Lose double-header

Wednesday: Snowed out

Thursday: Lose

And now here’s Matt Harvey on tap again. Well, except he’s facing a team that’s just a bit better than the Twins.

Oh, and it’s supposed to rain.

I assumed they would lose today, which was a combination of all the horrible things that had happened in the previous four days of baseball and the fact that I loathe Coors Field. Now that Soilmaster Stadium has been replaced by Loria’s Hallucinogenic Palace and Fraud Shop, it’s my least favorite place on the planet to see the Mets play baseball. Well, OK, there’s Hiram Bithorn, but if ill luck or Seligian chicanery ever take us back to that hellhole, I’m boycotting the whole affair.

The Mets have now played 71 games at Coors Field, which is 71 too many. Their record in the Airless Confines is 28-43, which is a good 20 games better than I would have figured. When the Mets are at Coors, they have a variety of ways to lose, and generally the suspense involves waiting to see which one they’ll select. There’s the horrifying blowout, with baseballs rocketing out of parks and relievers hiding in terror. There’s the messy suckfest, in which neither team can do anything right but you know the Mets will execute the final fatal pratfall. But the worst of them is what we might call the airlock game — the Mets get out to an early lead and seem to be playing something that resembles baseball, but then asphyxiation sets in. The scoring stops. The good at-bats stop. Sloppy play makes an appearance. More sloppy play commences. Rockies in rearview mirror are suddenly closer than they appear. And then you wait for them to lose, either suddenly but inevitably or thoroughly and inevitably.

Both ends of the Doubleheader from Hell were like that. So was this afternoon’s game.

When I start thinking that we’re 8-63 all time in a park, I generally take myself to Retrosheet in an effort to get my perspective back. But it didn’t work this evening. It just made me remember delights like these:

April 26, 1995: This was the first game in Coors Field history and the first after the strike, an 11-9 loss ended rather iconically by Dante Bichette’s home run in the 14th. What you may have forgotten (or suppressed) is that John Franco blew the save in the ninth, surrendering a two-out double to Larry Walker. Or that the Mets had the lead going to the bottom of the 14th, and with one out and Joe Girardi on first Andres Galarraga grounded to Tim Bogar. Instead of starting a game-ending double play, Bogar muffed it. The next hitter was Bichette.

April 27, 1995: The Mets took a 7-2 lead and gave the ball to Josias Manzanillo, who gave up five in the sixth. The walkoff loss was hung on Kevin Lomon, making his big-league debut as a Rule 5 pick from Atlanta. He surrendered a two-out single to today’s manager Walt Weiss, scoring future Met Jim Tatum. The Mets would send Lomon back to the Braves by Memorial Day, but he lives on thanks to the worst baseball card in The Holy Books, and possibly in the history of baseball cards. 

April 11, 1996: Dave Mlicki gives up three singles and a grand slam to Larry Walker before recording an out. WHEEEE!

April 12, 1996: Down 6-2 in the ninth, the Mets fight back to 6-5 and have Jose Vizcaino on third and Edgardo Alfonzo on second with one out. Chris Jones is called out on strikes. Kevin Roberson walks. Bernard Gilkey strikes out.

July 23, 1996: Let’s play two! In the first game, the Mets fight back with six in the eighth to tie the game at 7-7. Doug Henry enters the game, and with one out in the ninth surrenders a single, a walk, a single, a walk (to the pitcher) and a walk-off single. In the nightcap, the Mets score six in the sixth, erasing a 7-0 deficit. Mlicki immediately gives up two runs, but the Mets go up 10-9 in the eighth. Enter Jerry DiPoto, who blows the lead. In the bottom of the 9th, Henry retires nobody for his second loss of the day: walk, double, intentional walk, walk-off single to Eric Young, father of current Rockies nemesis Eric Young.

July 24, 1996: The Mets tie the game with two in the eighth. In the bottom of the 10th, Paul Byrd walks Weiss, who moves to second on a sacrifice, then third on a groundout. The Mets put Galarraga on first via an intentional walk, then put Weiss on home via an unintentional single to Vinny Castilla.

May 6, 1997: The Mets blow a 4-0 lead, a 6-5 lead, pull within 11-10, lose 12-11. Apparently exhausted by this effort, they are then swept in August.

So … yeah. After three years of playing games at Coors Field, the Mets were 3-13. I don’t think I’ve ever recovered from that introduction to the place. The Mets were 7-5 over the next three seasons, but then the horror shows began again. In 2010 they lost three of four in May, the last three by an aggregate score of 26-6. They blew a 7-0 lead to lose 9-8 in May 2003. In July 2007 they were swept by a combined score of 34-12.

Or how about this one?

May 23, 2008: Billy Wagner surrenders a homer to Matt Holliday, and the save. Jose Reyes leads off the 10th with a double … and is picked off. Aaron Heilman loses it in the 13th, an inning that starts with him yielding a single to the pitcher.

Or the April 14, 2010 game where the Mets tied it in the ninth on a throwing error by Chris Iannetta, survived to extra innings, and then Jennry Mejia surrendered a leadoff homer to Iannetta?

Or the April 27, 2012 game in which Scott Hairston hit for the cycle … and the Rockies won 18-9? (Three words: Schwinden and Acosta.)

Or Tuesday? (Do you know what the Mets’ record in extra-inning games is at Coors Field? It’s 1-5. In one-run games, they’re 5-13.)

Or today?

Next time the Mets go to Denver, let’s play none.

6 comments to I Can’t Even

  • Kevin from Flushing

    And hey look: the inevitable 0-for-41 nosedive that Buck was scheduled for is underway, arriving as scheduled with bad news from Vegas!

    • Dave

      On Memorial Day, he’ll have 6 HR’s and 21 RBI’s and be hitting about .240. But he had a nice week or two. He can be traded at the deadline for a heralded prospect who’ll be assigned to Savannah, where he’ll hit .176.

  • Matt

    What they play at Coors Field isn’t baseball, regardless of who wins. All nuance of the game disappears in the thin air and ridiculous weather. It’s not the way baseball was meant to be played.

    • Scott M.

      Agreed. And the particularly foul weather and messed up schedule is another reason to just forget this series and not put too much meaning into it.

      I think Harvey pitching in the rain tonight will only make him angrier and that will hopefully make him pitch better than he already has (if that’s even possible…)

  • Dave

    I don’t know if those other miserable series at Coors Field (and what can you expect, the place is named after seltzer with artificial beer flavoring) were played in snowmageddon conditions or temperatures cold enough to liquefy nitrogen, but this series sure did take its rightful place among past Colorado-bound catastrophies. I say put the Rockies in the AL and lobby Congress to outlaw interleague play.

    And this is the worst bullpen I’ve seen since at least 2012. Which was the worst bullpen I had seen since 2011. Manny Acosta, all is forgiven!

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