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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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A Night of Good, Bad and Ugly

The good:

  • A night after making solid contact but coming up short, Michael Conforto showed why he merits all the excitement, mashing a rising line drive off Charlie Morton that hissed over the fence above the Mo’s Zone. (Not sure it’s still called that; quite sure I don’t care.) That tied the game at 3 and allowed the Mets and Pirates to play on into the night. On and on and on into the night.
  • Yoenis Cespedes uncorking an unbelievable throw from the deep outfield to nail a thoroughly startled Sean Rodriguez at third. If you missed it, don’t worry — you’ll be seeing it on highlight reels for a long time.
  • The Mets’ bullpen gamely holding the fort while waiting for the offense to reappear, with Carlos Torres, Tyler Clippard, Jeurys Familia, Hansel Robles combining for six scoreless innings, followed by one by Sean Gilmartin (and one that, alas, was not scoreless).
  • Jon Niese recovering from an early bout of Nieseness to pitch effectively, as he’s done for months now.
  • The Giants continuing to whup the Nationals, who fell to .500 with their loss in San Francisco. Yes, the Mets have missed a chance to put even more space between themselves and the Nats these last two nights. But the Nats have lost something even more precious at this point in the season: time to fix whatever it is that’s ailing them.

The bad:

  • Morton being even more effective than Niese, mixing a bowling-ball sinker with a darting curve and sending Met after Met departing home plate disconsolately.
  • Gilmartin finally crumbling in the 14th, with an anti-assist to the Mets’ defense, plus a side of bad luck. Gilmartin’s been useful this year — certainly worth a Rule 5 pick — but that was unfortunate.
  • Niese falling into old bad habits I’d persuaded myself he’d grown out of. Yes, the pitch Bob Davidson called ball four on Andrew McCutchen in the first should have been strike three and the end of the inning. But Niese then flipped in a nothing, call-this-a-ball fastball to Aramis Ramirez. Ramirez, not one to examine the dental work of the equine prize presented to him, walloped Niese’s pitch over the fence. It’s not fair to say it was the difference in the game, but it is fair to say that Niese lost his cool, his focus and a chance to escape the inning unscored on.

The ugly:

  • Davidson’s wandering, approximately rectangular strike zone. Niese wasn’t the only one upset with him. Multiple players had reason to be.
  • Whatever the hell Daniel Murphy thought he was doing in the 14th. Murph is an alternately entertaining and exasperating avatar of chaos, but not even he can rewrite the law of physics.

PSA from the proprietors:

We pride ourselves on having some of the smartest, best commenters in Met Blogland. But recently the tone of the comments has taken a turn we don’t like.

By all means debate, cite evidence/strong feelings and take issue with each other’s points. But don’t make it personal. We don’t do that here. We’re all Mets fans and can disagree while being friendly.

We’ve asked multiple times in recent weeks; we’re not going to ask again. Comments that cross the line and get personal will be deleted; commenters who can’t stay civil will be excused for a period ranging from a couple of days to eternity.

It’s no fun posting pissy notes like this, so please let this be the last time we have to do so.

14 comments to A Night of Good, Bad and Ugly

  • Matt in Woodside

    Man that game bummed me out hard. Bought some great seats, first time I’d ever seen CitiField so engaged and loud, figured the game was ours in the seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh, and twelfth. Had planned to stay and see Ne-Yo, but it was already 11:15 when the game ended. Stood forever on the seven platform with about 10,000 people because there were no trains at all for half an hour.

    But then I got home and saw this tweet, which made me feel better https://twitter.com/annfrazi/status/632779073991798784

    It didn’t make me happy in a schadenfreude sort of way. Definitely not in a “Mets are playing with house money” sort of way, either. I think it’s that the Mets just played two tight extra innings games that could’ve gone either way against a really good team that’s also fighting for their potential playoff lives in a division where the Cardinals have an insane lead and they’re fighting the Cubs for a wildcard spot. Meanwhile, the Nationals right now remind me of John Maine’s quote right after the 2007 collapse. “Maybe because we were so good, we thought this would have been easier.”

  • Matt in Richmond

    When you get a play like that one Cespedes made, you feel like the game just has to go your way. Much like Endy’s catch for the ages felt like it sealed victory. I just kept expecting someone to come up with the big hit after that. Never happened. How on earth did Blanton, with his middling stuff, strike out 6 in 3 innings?

    • Parth

      Thought exact same thing re: Endy catch. Tempered my enthusiasm as long as game was still tied.

      • dmg

        exactly right. yoenis reminded me of endy reminded me of the mets fan credo: take nothing for granted.

        • Eric

          No fastbreak buckets off steals or interceptions returned for touchdowns. In baseball, saving a run doesn’t mean scoring a run even when it feels like you did. Chavez’s breathtaking catch and subsequent letdown taught me that.

  • Richard Simon

    How did two straight Pirates starting pitchers with ERA of 4+ muck up the Mets so badly?

  • Steve D

    This team has to overcome an entrenched losing culture. Beating the better teams will be hard. Our schedule is so easy the rest of the way, but we have to learn to beat the better teams. I hope somebody busted something in that clubhouse last night.

  • Eric

    Good effort against a good team, but they’re still losses at home.

    Going over 6 up on the Nationals extinguishes the looming threat of the 6 head-to-head games.

    The Nationals allowed the scuffling Mets to hang around and the Mets caught up in a head-to-head series. Now the shoe’s on the other foot. As the Blue Jays are relearning, momentum can turn on a dime.

    On one hand, the Pirates are a good team. On the other hand, we entered the series looking at opposing starters with bloated ERAs and figured the offense would pick up the benchmark 4 runs a game. The question was whether the back end of the starting rotation would keep the strong Pirates offense in check to make the runs stand up. Colon, Niese, and the bullpen have done their job, but the hitters, besides some timely HRs, haven’t taken advantage of those bloated ERAs.

    Granted, the Pirates have a good bullpen. But the Mets saw the back end of it last night. Pitchers like Hughes and Blanton should not have stopped the Mets cold for as long as they did.

    Luckily, the Giants are better at tacking on runs than the Mets because the Nationals have been scoring. Between the 4 losses of winnable games at the Rays and versus the Pirates, there was a lost opportunity to go at least 5 games up (in the loss column) on the Nationals.

    Let’s get one back from the Pirates this afternoon. Happy Harvey Day.

  • Bob

    Jason is correct–Met fans should not turn on each other when Mets lose.
    Dark forces are at work–look what happened @ Toronto last few days.
    Mets will make you nuts and there are still 6 weeks to go —with the evil ones playing 3 games in Queens and the DC Expos ending season in Queens. The mind boggles….
    In past Met Septembers –lets say when Armando Benitez gave up late inning HRs to Brian Jordan, I put my fist thru a closet or beat a bed with a bat–it helped …
    I flew into NY from LA for game 3 of 2000 WS and was very happy till the next day when that scum-sucking shortstop hit Bobby Jones 1st pitch for a HR & it was all downhill from there.
    Ya’ never know what the Baseball Gods have in store.
    My goals for Met this year were 82 Ws and fire Collins–we’ll see.
    Let’s Go Mets–Met fan from 1963–Polo Grounds

  • Lenny65

    Damn, even one win would have expanded that division lead. Suddenly Bobby Parnell has become Doug Sisk 2.0, didn’t see that coming. And when the Mets lineup goes quiet, they really commit to it, eh? Oh well, not good but not the Metspocalypse either. Regroup, re-tool, recoil, whatever.

    Man that Jenrry Mejia suspension suddenly looms large. I feel for Parnell, but he’s clearly not the same guy and he can’t be trusted in those set-up or “hold” spots right now. IMO all the razzing is uncalled for there, I realize they’re “big games” and all but still I felt it was a little classless. That said, I hope there’s a viable alternative because right now it’s a glaring weakness.

  • eric1973

    Parnell not handling himself well at all, and that’s aside from the pitching. You’d think he’d be able to handle the fans, and then face the media after the game. Guess not.

    Verrett got that 3-inning save and then they sent him down. Worth another look-see.