The blog for Mets fans
who like to read


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.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at (Sorry, but we have no interest in ads, sponsored content or guest posts.)

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

Second Verse, Same as the First

My absence from Citi Field has ended. Thirteen months after I was last there, I returned with Emily and Joshua for a game under sparkling skies. We had tacos. We caught up with friends. We ate ice cream (with blue and orange Mets sprinkles). We eyed the new scoreboard and declared it a nice addition, though not one that cried out for multiple press releases. We complained about “Piano Man.” (Sorry, blog partner.) We navigated the new longer lines and seemingly randomly placed metal detectors. (A tip: Use the bullpen gate.) And we cheered for the Mets.

It was a wonderful day … except for whatever those guys in orange and blue down there on the field were doing.

We’re into the second month of the season, which isn’t too early for a scouting report on the 2015 Mets: They’ve got very good pitching, iffy hitting and wretched defense.

Dillon Gee was very good, and the relief corps was terrific, particularly turbaned Alex Torres, who came in with the bases loaded and nobody out and struck out the side.

The hitting, ugh. The Mets put two men on to begin the first and squandered the chance. Then, down 1-0 in the eighth, they were a Lucas Duda fly ball from tying it. Duda fanned on a diving slider that was low and outside. Michael Cuddyer then struck out on a check swing at a slider that hit the ground. Kevin Plawecki‘s double was the lone extra-base hit.

Yet once again, it was the defense that proved the Mets’ undoing by giving the Nationals extra outs. This time the culprit was Ruben Tejada, who botched a transfer on a double-play feed from Dilson Herrera. That led to a Ryan Zimmerman broken-bat parachute that plopped onto the outfield grass behind Duda, and the only run Washington would need.

In other words, it was pretty much a Xerox of Saturday’s game, and about as much fun.

Oh, Ruben Tejada. He made a terrific snag of a ball to his right on Saturday night, but the routine plays have eluded him. Which sounds like I’m describing Wilmer Flores, currently waiting out a head-clearing three-day vacation from shortstop. Except Flores can hit, to the extent that any Met can hit right now. Your answer to “Who the heck can keep us from losing games at shortstop?” appears to be someone not currently on the big-league roster.

That question is taking on increasing urgency. The Mets can’t outhit their own mistakes while missing David Wright and Travis d’Arnaud, absences that have left Duda basically naked in an underwhelming lineup. (I have faith that Cuddyer will hit — he’s done so his whole career — but really wish he’d start proving me right.)

Until Wright and d’Arnaud return, expect more games like today’s — games that will come down to which team converts outs more reliably.

Judging from the last week or so, that’s not a reason for optimism.

12 comments to Second Verse, Same as the First

  • Harvey

    Sunday’s game was the 500th at Citi Field. The Mets have a record 0f 242-258 .484 in those 500 games, 16 games below .500. They have played 60 of those games against Washington and are a sickly 20-40 .333 against them. Against the rest of MLB, the Mets therefore have a winning record (barely) at their new home at 222-218 .505.
    Damn those pesky Nats!

  • Daniel Hall

    Glad I could witness back-to-back 1-0 losses to the same team, which hadn’t been done my any Mets outfit in over 40 years. That the last team to do it was the 1973 Edition doesn’t exactly get me excited.

  • Dave

    Harvey- you sure it was the 500th game at Citi? I thought it was the 500th loss to the Nats at Citi. Maybe the reason they haven’t gotten farther in the postseason is that they haven’t played in Flushing in October. The Wilpons should jump at the revenue possibilities.

    What does it say when a 23 year old making half a million a year for playing a game needs time off a month into the season to clear his head? These kids nowadays.

  • I don’t know of it’s lack of support — as you suggest, Jason — or that he’s gotten pull-happy since his Yankee Stadium homer, but Duda looks like he’s reverting to his 2013 self. Constantly hitting into the shift, striking out on balls at his ankles, etc. I worry…

  • Ken K. in NJ

    …turbaned Alex Torres..

    Put some fur around that thing and he would not look out of place in Borough Park.

    • Left Coast Jerry

      You know, Ken. I had a similar idea watching Alex pitch yesterday. I wanted to nickname him the Commissar.

  • Rob E

    Frustrating though it is, there IS some cause for optimism here. Last year Washington outscored them almost 2-1 on the year (95-51). This time they barely escaped, winning two games they easily could have lost (while throwing four excellent pitchers against an injury-depleted offense). The Mets haven’t made up ALL the difference, but they definitely closed the gap. They were very much in these games, and that’s an important takeaway here. This is not the same team that got steamrolled last year. There is nothing on the horizon that points to the Mets getting WORSE.

  • BlondiesJake

    I’m with Rob E. and his optimistic outlook. The Mets very much remind me of the SF Giants of recent vintage that have won with great pitching, just enough hitting and solid defense.

    OK, so the hitting hasn’t been enough, but Wright and d’Arnaud will change that.

    And the defense at SS and 2B hasn’t been solid, but the Mets have lots of prospects and a trade for a legit SS is still likely at some point this season. Heck, if the Rockies start tanking quickly enough, Troy Tulowitzki might solve two problems at once.

    The team is 16-10 with a 3-game lead in the loss column and has gone 4-2 vs the Braves, 5-2 vs the Marlins and 3-4 vs the Nats. Considering how our favorite team normally does against these squads, how can we not think more good times are right around the corner?

  • Michael G.

    There is no earthly reason for Duda to not drop bunts down the third base line until they stop shifting the defense on him. Hey Terry — make him do da(t)!

  • BlondiesJake

    Please Michael G, don’t encourage TC to bunt more.

  • Rob E

    I’m going to second Michael on that. Baseball group-think hasn’t caught up with the reality of the post-steroids era. With the focus on pitching and bullpens, one run today is the equivalent of the three-run HR a decade ago, where one run maybe didn’t mean so much.

    Just look at the past two games to see the value of ONE run today. Yet every game you see teams giving the 4-5-6 guys the opportunity for a free single, and they NEVER take it. From a strategic baseball standpoint, it makes no sense. I’m not saying I want Duda bunting every single at-bat, but even Mickey Mantle bunted SOMETIMES. There’s a place for it!

    The Mets (and many other teams) are at a point where they are going to have to get better at creating ONE run, and those single runs are going to go a long way when you play a lot of close games. If you didn’t notice, there was also a 13-inning 1-0 game yesterday, and a 13-inning 3-2 game that was 1-0 going into the ninth. One run means a LOT the way the game is now.

    • Lenny65

      I’m not going to speculate on how, but they really need to do something about the IF defense because it’s a mess right now. And it’d be really great if one (or even both) of our corner outfielders started to rake for a while, as we could REALLY use the offense about now.

      Reuben Tejada: the one shortstop to have when you haven’t got more than one. It really is remarkable that he’s STILL so high on the organizational SS depth chart, isn’t it? He’s like the SS version of Ron Hodges.