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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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Sunday Harvey Sunday

Unlike Bono’s testimony from when Matt Harvey warms up (at Citi Field, anyway), I can close my eyes and make it go away. Matt’s casual excellence on Sunday Harvey Sunday — 6 innings, 6 hits, 0 walks, 6 strikeouts, just enough untamed action to permit 2 Padre runs in the fifth — was going to be sufficient to earn him a win once Andrew Brown doubled as his pinch-hitter and put the Mets up, 3-2.

With the Harvey part of the story ended after the infield and the bullpen couldn’t quite smother San Diego, Matt was eventually left no-decisioned yet again. Also, the Mets lost, dropping them ten games under .500 for the year and two games under .500 on the trip, with this afternoon’s excursion to Minneapolis pending.

I literally closed my eyes and made it go away, which is to say I fell asleep last night before getting around to blogging, but it works when I’m awake, too. My eyes are figuratively closed. Yesterday’s loss…gone. This season’s trudge to contemporary oblivion…gone. The sense that all these maudlin August results will forever be interchangeable…

…going?

At first glance Sunday, the Met lineup was its usual underwhelming self, partly a function of David Wright’s uncooperative hamstring, partly attributable to the “who?” factor. I knew who these guys were, but who were these eight guys piled atop Harvey exactly? You step back from your day-to-day immersion into all things Met and you’re sorting among journeymen and unknowns. One or two of the journeymen have provided a legitimate boost to the proceedings in 2013; one or two are filling slots that weren’t supposed to require filling, but these things happen.

It’s the unknowns who entice if you keep your eyes closed. Four through seven in the order were four rookies: Satin, Flores, Lagares, d’Arnaud. Satin is hard to think of as a rookie since we had glimpses of him the past two seasons, but the other three are all still in their first tours and two carry that distinct fresh-from-the-farm aroma. Lagares the glove man now has enough experience to have a hot streak and a cold snap inked on his ledger. He’s the veteran among in-season freshman callups. Flores goes back a good couple of weeks, or long enough to make you forget he’s never been on a road trip before this one. D’Arnaud is at the very beginning of his sentence, the part that’s upper-case. The novelty of d’Arnaud simply being here hasn’t come close to wearing off.

You take in a lineup half-stocked with the rookiest of rookies and no, it’s not going to overwhelm. There’s not enough of a portfolio to tell you what you’re watching, so you kind of assume you’re not watching anything yet. But with those eyes closed, maybe these are the vague outlines of tomorrow sharpening today. Or maybe when d’Arnaud lets a passed ball bounce under his squat, Flores chooses to throw to the wrong base and California law expressly forbids Lagares from buying a hit, you close your eyes because you can’t bear to look.

Open ’em up and take a gander for the next forty games not at what these kids can’t do but at what they can do and might do. Will it be enough to help the Mets gain a steady stream of wins? To get Harvey into double-digits already?

Keep watching.

Friday night would be a good time to watch in Flushing on Social Media Night. Buy a ticket, get a Jay Horwitz bobblehead, look at some rookies finding their sea legs, determine how good the Tigers are, listen to Third Eye Blind and, mostly, give a hand to one of the best causes imaginable: Hope Shines for Shannon, which is raising funds to help Mets communications person extraordinaire Shannon Forde in her fight against breast cancer. It all adds up to a victory before you have a hint as the final score. Please check it out here.

2 comments to Sunday Harvey Sunday

  • Steve D

    This franchise is maddening…the face of the franchise is nowhere to be seen because he played on a tight hammy…they let a guy pitch with bone spurs and now he’ll be out for the year. You gotta believe this will be yet another September To Forget.

  • Joe D.

    Hi Greg,

    And without any prospects on the high minor league level considered to be big hitting material, I’m sure Matt and his friends on the mound can look forward to the same again next season and the season after that unless Sandy changes course and begins to spend some money.

    If he did last winter, with just the dependable hitters that were available – not the Uptons or Hamiltons – imagine what 2013 could have been like with this pitching. Could it have been just a bit better enough to have possibly made the difference in the 20-24 record we have in one run games? Or our 7-9 record in extra innings? Or the ten losses in which we held the opposing hitters to three runs or less – or the additional 14 games we lost in which the opponents scored but just 4 at any one time? Those are a total 24 losses holding the opponents to four runs or less. Even half of them going the other way would have a 68-54 record and be just one game behind in the wild card race.

    Whether that won loss differential would or would not have happened with more serious off-season moves – we don’t know. However, by making no off-season moves and by playing it the way Sandy did, it was guaranteed not to.