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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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Clank! Oof! Gasp!

There are summer nights when you sense fall’s coming and you want to hold baseball as tightly as you can.

This wasn’t one of those nights. This was a night when you wanted to shove baseball as far away as possible and run from it.

The Mets started out OK in LA, what with Curtis Granderson clubbing a leadoff homer. But then they proceeded to play like they were using shovels instead of gloves. And then to play like they were using shovels while blindfolded. And then to play like they were using while blindfolded and wearing straitjackets. Wilmer Flores made a bad error, and then another one so atrocious that you feared for his safety out there. Jon Niese benefited from opposing pitcher Dan Haren bunting through a pitch on a suicide squeeze, but the Mets’ inefficient rundown allowed the Dodgers to put a new runner on third, whom Haren then drove in with a single. David Wright made an error that was generously converted to a hit. Lucas Duda let an easy pop-up clank off his glove. Travis d’Arnaud threw another ball into center field.

It went on and on, into the night, while you stared at the TV and stewed.

The Mets are not only not hitting enough to beat opponents; they’re barely hitting more balls than they drop.

The team was right to put Flores at shortstop instead of the profoundly useless Ruben Tejada, but Flores is regressing to the mean-spirited scouting reports about him: He shows no sign that he can handle the position, and no particular sign that he can shake off his defensive shortcomings and hit. Since Flores is basically a DH, this inability to hit is not a positive development, though perhaps he’s just politely refusing to show up his teammates.

Speaking of showing up teammates, nothing that happened tonight was particularly Niese’s fault, and he behaved himself on the mound. But watch him now use this latest catastrophe as license to sulk and suck the next 8,000 times things go poorly behind him. (Is that a cheap shot? Yeah. I dislike Niese — sue me.)

One of the unpleasant side effects of replay review is inexperienced umps who aren’t ready for prime time: add Adam Hamari to the list of umps who don’t have enough experience to handle a big-league game but are out there anyway. Hamari was horrible, particularly on the shin-high strike he called on Curtis Granderson to turn a bases-loaded situation in the top of the eighth into the end of an inning. But one of baseball’s coarsest sayings is also its wisest: When you’re going horseshit they fuck you.

Are the Mets horseshit? On second thought, that seems harsh. Birds derive useful nourishment by pecking through horseshit in search of undigested oats. I’ve pecked through what the Mets left behind tonight and all I feel is nauseated. Horseshit 1, Mets 0.

5 comments to Clank! Oof! Gasp!

  • Ken K. in NJ

    It seems like every year, since, oh, 2009, there comes a Tipping Point Game, almost always right about now, where I give up. I never know when it’s coming until it happens, but That Game was last night.

    Now for the next few weeks I will only lightly follow the team, and hardly ever watch the games. Come mid-September (give or take) I drift back, checking in on new faces and lineups, and against all logic, begin looking forward to next year.

    I call this “It Happens Every August”. Sad.

    • Steve D

      If we go back to 2007, The Collapse, at least SNL was really funny then and did this skit where Kenan Thompson was Willie and Fred Armisen was Omar. Don’t know if the video is online, but I saw it rerun on Comedy Central yesterday…they ask them questions about The Collapse and Willie and Omar basically just make confused sounds and never say a word.

  • Penacious H

    You guys nailed it. Hope evaporated for even fun games, like we mostly had in June-late July… 75 wins will be a pleasant surprise at this point. Will we ever get a really functional crop of new stars from among all the ‘potential stars’ in the minors/pipeline? So far, the only locks in the past 4 yrs are Harvey (star crossed nonetheless), Wheeler, the last 2 months, Lagares (bat fades, misplays the other night but otherwise terrific) and Campbell off the bench and deGrom, if his shoulder and already repaired elbow stay cool. On the bubble are d’Arnaud (sporadic hitting, meh arm, stops most of em); Duda (finally optimism, though!), Syndegaard, (we’ll?); and Montero (good last start though). And funny, the team’s biggest holes for 2015 are THE SAME ONES as 2014– SS and corner outfield with a bat! Imagine that. Still in all, enjoyed a few months of this season, love watching Lagares in CF, hope Grandy can stabilize and Wright can feel and play better… BUT despite losing Burkhardt, we still have the most enjoyable and insightful PBP and color guys around–if you don’t believe me, check out the other radio guys on the At Bat app. See you next year.

  • The Mets could use a guy like Justin Turner who could come off the bench and hit .318. Not that they want to pay a guy like that $1M, so we’ll settle for Tejada and his .222 and $1.1M.

  • Dave

    I find myself stretching to realize that there are actually teams that play well and win games this time of year. Because throughout TC’s tenure the Mets would have looked much better if the season ended in mid-July.