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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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Dare to Daydream

Your meaningful games in September update:

The Mets are officially better than they were the last two years — they won their 75th game of the year tonight.

For the moment at least they’re better than the Marlins, though tied in the lost column.

Can they finish with a winning record after the All-Star break? They’ll need to go 4-3, which seems possible. Taking the final game from Atlanta, winning one against Washington and then taking two of three from Houston would do it.

Can they finish at .500 or better? They’ll need to go 6-1, which seems unlikely.

But perhaps they can catch the Braves — Atlanta somehow is 76-78, just 1.5 games ahead of us.

Which is a useful bit of perspective. The Mets are mediocre and beset with payroll and legal issues, but nobody expected much of them. The Braves were supposed to be contenders, and just fleeced suburban taxpayers for a new baseball palace to replace the not obviously flawed one they already have. They were tied with the Nats for first on July 20, but have gone 22-34 since then, and tonight they played with all the ardor of a mall cop on the first smoke break of a hot day. The lone exception was Freddie Freeman, who laced a misplaced Josh Edgin slider up the middle, but then that’s what Freddie Freeman does.

On the Metsian side, kudos to Jon Niese, whose performance even I couldn’t criticize. A tip of the cap to Carlos Torres, continuing his run of terrific outings. A shrug and a grin for Lucas Duda, whose first-base play skirted disaster that never quite arrived: The final play saw Duda stumble over a ball he should have fielded cleanly, somehow boot it to Wilmer Flores, then reverse back to the bag in time for the final out. Jenrry Mejia‘s subdued, stompless celebration was probably the product of a managerial talking-to, but Jenrry might also have been wondering how the Mets had survived that one.

And a final tip of the cap to Dilson Herrera, probably done for the year after straining a quad legging out an infield hit, which followed a two-run homer early in the game. It’s a shame to see him go, but he’ll be back — probably by next June and for keeps.

So, tomorrow: A Met win would give them the season series over Atlanta, 10-9. It would get them a game closer to their admittedly less-than-lofty goals. It would inflict more pain on the Braves, who owe us several centuries of suffering to make up for what previous Atlanta incarnations did to us. And it could boost Jacob deGrom‘s chances at an out-of-nowhere Rookie of the Year award.

For a team whose postseason chances have shrunk to zero, that’s a fair amount to play for.

5 comments to Dare to Daydream

  • Lou from Georgia

    I think this season could have gone a little better if the Mets had been a bit quicker to make decisions. Dumping Chris Young and letting Flores play everyday perhaps even a month sooner might have netted the Mets at least a couple more wins to this point. It’s a shame really. But I will admit this Mets team, even if they go 0-7 the rest of the way looks a lot better than the last few seasons. The main difference is instead of playing for individual goals like a Cy Young, a batting title or a stolen base crown, they’re actually trying to build momentum as a team going into next year. Individual goals are nice when you win pennants, but I hate small victories in otherwise forgettable seasons. It’s good to see these guys are still playing hard this late.

  • kdbart

    On July 5th, the Braves were 11 games over .500, in first and 11 games in front of the Mets. By the end of today, the Mets could wipe out all but a half game of that gap. Being a Met fan in Atlanta, it has given me great pleasure watching the Braves disintegrate during the second half. They are quite the boring mess.

  • Rob

    They took an awful lot of crap for a team that nobody expected much of! If anything, people expected TOO MUCH! This was exactly the kind of growth year they needed, and Met fans should be very heartened by what this team gave us. Most won’t be, of course. But let it be known that there is at least one long-time and long-suffering Met fan out there that appreciates the effort that a pretty young team and inexperienced put forth in pursuing less-than-lofty goals, and does not feel let down in any way because they weren’t playing “meaningful” games in September. And for the first time in a long time, is REALLY looking forward to next year.

  • joe nunz

    With last night’s 75th win, the 2014 Mets have exceeded the expectations of Las Vegas and the 74 1/2 that was the Mets win over/under total.

    A C-note won is always sweeter than a C-note earned…