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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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Anger Counts As Feeling Something

Get out your microscopes, because we’re going to examine a very small silver lining.

For much of the spring, as horrific loss followed horrific loss, I advised you to do something else with your summer, even as I knew I wouldn’t take my own advice. I didn’t and I’m glad I didn’t, because the Mets are interesting again — they’ve got superb young pitching, a couple of interesting young hitters and a certain spring in their step.

But the downside of caring … well, it’s caring. And so when Chad Fairchild put his hand up for what sure looked like ball four on Juan Lagares, denying the Mets the tying run, I was furious, despairing, indignant, numb and then started the cycle over again. Obviously that wasn’t Chad Fairchild, but Angel Hernandez in a very lifelike Chad Fairchild mask. Chad Fairchild is obviously the love child of C.B. Bucknor and Jerry Meals. And so on.

Some buts? Oh, why not.

Contrary to the prevailing sentiment in Metsopotamia, I didn’t think Jeff Kellogg’s ruling that Lagares had gone too far on the check swing was a travesty or even obviously incorrect. Very close? Yes, but not a miscarriage of justice. As for the called third strike, I thought it bent around the plate, and once again I was left wailing for baseball to send the all-too-fallible human element packing in favor of ROBOT UMPS NOW. But the closest thing we have to robot umps is PITCHf/x, and PITCHf/x saw that Ronald Belisario pitch as catching a corner (hat tip to James Kannengeiser) meaning our new robot overlords would have sent Lagares back to the bench too. As others have noted, an overhead view might settle it and convince me that I’m wrong. In the absence of such evidence, I’m going old-school and saying that 37 years of watching baseball is worth something, that pitch was outside, and PITCHf/x needs some more tweaks. (Which isn’t meant as more than mild criticism; tweaks are how such systems get better and better.)

And whatever the outcome, ROBOT UMPS NOW. There’s evidence of why nearly every night.

There’s another useful bit of relevant baseball wisdom here, one I may or may not have imparted to my son one night when he was innocent lad of six and I was a bit drunk: When you’re going horseshit they fuck you.

Because the Mets had certainly been going horseshit. They erased a fine start by Jenrry Mejia — another fine start by Jenrry Mejia — with a nightmarish sequence in the bottom of the sixth. First a Carl Crawford bouncer up the middle just eluded Daniel Murphy, who was a little short in terms of range. Then a Mark Ellis bloop just eluded Murphy, who was a little short in terms of height. Marlon Byrd had a play on Crawford at second, but bobbled the ball and the chance was lost. Enter Adrian Gonzalez, who hit a clean single that Juan Lagares threw to third, where it skipped by Wilmer Flores and an out-of-position Mejia for two runs and a blown lead.

Throw in nine Mets left on base, a Carlos Torres gopher ball served up to Nick Punto (of all people), and you’ve got a recipe for a loss, however Chad Fairchild defines a corner. It stinks, but it’s baseball — and at least it left me feeling something. After the head-shaking surrender of the spring, I’ll take it.

9 comments to Anger Counts As Feeling Something

  • Andee

    Robot umps FTW. You KNOW Miggy (or for that matter, Puig) wouldn’t get those pitches (the second and third strikes on Lagares) called against him. Those were hometown calls, and fuck-the-rookie-who-isn’t-Puig calls, if ever I saw them. If you’re going to call Lagares on that, you’d better be calling everybody on that, and those calls were meant to shove it up the Mets’ asses. Because LOLMets, and God is now a Dodgers fan now that A-Rod has borked the Yankees’ karma. At least it’s moved 3000 miles away, right?

    Harvey had better have swing-and-miss stuff and pinpoint control tonight, or they’ll probably call five consecutive walks and eight consecutive infield “hits” against him. Of course Jenrry didn’t do himself any favors by not backing up third after Lagares’ bad throw, but he had plenty of help sabotaging him. And not just from his teammates, either.

  • dmg

    the overhead shot they used showed the pitch was off the plate as well. put another way, if lagares had swung at that pitch, we’d be howling at his bad judgment.
    he got jobbed. and everyone knew it.

    • Where did you see an overhead shot? SNY didn’t have one….

      • dmg

        maybe it’s the fuzz of late-night fairydust, but i could have sworn they showed the overhead once. it was after the standard replay of the pitch, maybe during the pitching change, definitely before murphy stepped in for his at-bat.

  • Steve D

    The pitch was outside, but not “the worst call we’ve seen this year” or whatever Gary called it. I actually thought it was “too close to take.” As far as the check swing, they did not give a good view of it from the side, but almost every time I say “they held up”, replays show it was a swing.

  • March'62

    First and second, none out. Mejia drops down a #*&$(#$ bunt and it’s second and third, one out. Already down 2, the Dodgers bring their infield in. Young bounces one up the middle and past the drawn-in infield. It’s 4-0 with Lagares batting, man on first, one out. Just my thought on last night’s game.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Jason,

    Didn’t catch the second half of the game – was the throw by Lagares a bad one or one that Flores didn’t handle?

    I had a bad feeling once the Mets had four straight hits, two runs in and nobody out and that was it. A few weeks ago Eric Jr. would have driven home a few more but now he’s starting to come down to earth.

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