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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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Another Utley Loss

The funny thing is I figured we were going to win this one.

The Mets have a way of hanging in there against Cole Hamels, then biting out his throat and letting us all unearth his ill-advised chokers comment to chortle over. So even though it was 2-0 and we were running out of outs, I was serenely waiting for sweet, sweet revenge.

And then Dillon Gee got in trouble and the normally reliable Josh Edgin came in and Chase Utley tried to get hit by a pitch and failed and then Edgin got a borderline call for a 2-2 count and Utley fouled one off and Utley fouled another one and then Utley hit one that I believe broke a guy’s rear window.

A guy who was parked in Islip.

Grand slam, 6-0 Phillies, and drive home safe everybody.

(Here’s a pause to cringe at the memory of the brilliant orange Los Mets jerseys. The Mets looked like traffic cones out there, and hit like them too. Still think black and pink would be a bad idea?)

But back to Utley. Forgive me, but I don’t loathe him. He’s not a shit-talker like some of his teammates, or given to domestic violence, or just generally loathsome. He just beats us, as he’s supposed to.

I don’t even hate the Phillies all that much — they’re too pathetic these days, the baseball equivalent of a broken-down car with people living in it. (Led by a shirtless Ruben Amaro Jr. waving a rusty machete and screaming for everyone to get away from his treasures.) Rather than hate Utley, I fear him — he’s expressionless and dead-eyed and always waiting for us at Citi Field, with his swing perfectly engineered for the right-field seats. I wish the Phillies would trade him somewhere he can’t hurt us — Japan might work as a start.

Anyway, you’re gonna win a third of your games and lose a third of your games and it’s what you do in the other third that matters, a baseball sage once said. Despite my seventh-inning delusions, toss this one in the pile of 54 that weren’t going to go our way. Oh well — at least the Mets will be right back at it tomorrow around noontime, and if they win that’s a series victory and a game closer to .500.

Which is increasingly what I want most out of this strange year — a milestone I’d be willing to call success. An 81-81 season, with tons of starting pitching teed up for 2015, some promising young hitters who could make the roster come July or August, and the possibility of a trade to improve the lineup before then. Is that a pathetic thing to shoot for? Maybe it is. But after these dreadful years of financial ruin and grim waiting, it would feel like a genuine step forward. We’d have a reason for honest-to-goodness hope. And we all need it.

7 comments to Another Utley Loss

  • metsfaninparadise

    I think someone once said fifty percent of the game is that other third

  • Pat K

    Utley had that dirty takeout slide on Tejada in 2010. I feel comfortable especially disliking him for that.

  • BlackCountryMet

    My thoughts exactly. A .500 season with the promise of the future would represent progress and the light at the tunnel end would nearly be FULL BEAM!

  • mikeski

    I will never not hate Jimmy Rollins.

    NEVER.

  • otb

    Actually, given his propensity to hit home runs off Dillon Gee, I expected the Grand Slam to be hit off him, by Ryan Howard. Anyway, these Phillies are getting old, and our pitchers, at least, are coming into maturity. Our young hitters are still something of a question mark.

    On another subject, I’m reading all this speculation about the Mets trading for Troy Tulowitsky. I’m always suspicious about any Rocky away from Coors Field. And Citi Field is not exactly a power hitter’s paradise. I’d hate to see him turn out to be another big name bust with the Mets.

  • open the gates

    I was at the last game Hamels pitched,in Philadelphia against the Giants. A pitching duel against Tim Hudson. Hudson pitched great, but Hamels pitched better. He was just locked in, and apparently has been for a while. I saw he was matched up against Gee last night, and didn’t think much of our chances from the get-go. Can’t win ‘em all.

  • Dave

    Don’t have data close at hand to support this, but my gut tells me that Utley’s lifetime average against Met lefty specialists is about .900.