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.

Lightning Strikes Twice

Back in June, Emily and I decided that a lovely summer night would be made even better by our attending a ballgame. So we did … and watched the Mets get no-hit by Chris Heston and the San Francisco Giants.

I grumbled and groaned for competitive and aesthetic reasons. The competitive reasons for not wanting my team to be no-hit and lose are, I’ll assume, obvious. The aesthetic reasons? From our perch in the Promenade we couldn’t see how well Heston was mixing or locating his pitches. All we saw was Met after Met after Met arriving at the plate, doing nothing of offensive note and departing — until the Giants were whooping it up.

Last night, Emily and I decided that though it was not a lovely night — in fact, it was windy, cold and thoroughly vile — the best way for us to spend our evening was by attending a ballgame. So we did … and watched the Mets get no-hit by Max Scherzer and the Washington Nationals.

Yes really. I don’t go that often — I think I attended around eight games this year. The Mets don’t get no-hit that often — I know that was the eighth time it’s happened to them. And yet there my wife and I were, stranded once again at the intersection of You’ve Got to Be Kidding Me and What the Hell?

If this is luck, someone else can have it.

At least there were some differences between the two nights. Our vantage point for Scherzer’s outing wasn’t that much better than it was for Heston’s — they were perfectly nice seats but unless you’re in the padded Shake Shack area you can’t really speak with authority about movement on pitches or working hitters or any of the stuff you can geek out about if you’re in front of an HDTV. (This is probably one reason I don’t go to Citi Field as often as I should.) But even from where we were, we could see the life on Scherzer’s pitches, and the Met hitters trying to steel themselves in the batter’s box, and we could tell that no one in orange and blue could catch up to what he was bringing. You needed a close-up view to appreciate how Heston was succeeding, but Scherzer’s performance was amazing to witness from any seat in the house.

Competitively it came with a silver lining too. Believe it or not, being no-hit does not mean you immediately surrender 10 games in the standings. The Mets are still National League East champs, as their new flag accurately states — a fact that will come as news to the hysterical wing of Mets Twitter, and that was lost on the dopey, dyspeptic fans surrounding me and my wife last night.

Our section suggested the Mets got the promos wrong and Saturday was actually Wet Blanket Night. The guy in front of us was outraged at watching the Mets’ JV get throttled by one of the best pitchers in baseball on one of the most dominant nights of his life. The guy behind us was merely irritated, but perhaps that’s because he was busily mansplaining the game of baseball to his female companions, whose air of weary patience suggested this wasn’t a new experience. (Most of what he told them was wrong, which I think would surprise only him.) As for the guy at the end of our row screeching in outrage whenever Harvey threw a ball off the plate on an 0-2 count, I can’t even. I alternated wanting to throttle the lot of them with wanting to scream DUDES WE ARE GOING TO THE POSTSEASON, WE BEAT MAX SCHERZER WHEN IT MATTERED, SO CALM THE FUCK DOWN ALREADY.

The Mets are playing flat? I’ve noticed. Heck, it’s been impossible to miss. I’m not that concerned — one hallmark of the 2015 team has been routinely defying whatever it is we think we know about them. The Mets looked befuddled and tired against the Marlins ahead of their showdown with the Nats — and then effectively ended Washington’s season. They followed a grumble-inducing 3-6 homestand with annihilating the Reds. After Sunday’s game they’ll have four days off. It’s plenty of time to reset. And think of it this way: If the Met bats were hot, fans would be starting cars in garages while scribbling notes explaining that the layoff will obviously cause those bats to go cold.

(By the way, another team suffered the indignity of being no-hit twice this year. That’s right, it was the Dodgers.)

When the NLDS begins on Friday, the Dodgers will have home-field advantage. Eh, so what? If you want me to worry, bring up Juan Uribe‘s sternum and Steven Matz‘s back and Jon Niese‘s learning curve as a reliever. Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke are no picnic whether the shadows are between the hitter and the mound or on the other side of the planet. But our starters aren’t exactly a day at the beach either — give me today’s pitching performances from Harvey and Noah Syndergaard and I’ll take my chances with the Dodgers.

And let’s not forget the bigger picture. I wrote this a couple of days back, but it can’t be emphasized enough: The postseason is a crapshoot, a trio of exhibition series. Billy Beane famously remarked that “my shit doesn’t work in the playoffs. My job is to get us to the playoffs.”

Well, job done — and oh what a joyous mission accomplished. On Sunday that ends and we’ll wait for baseball’s autumn exhibition games to begin. I don’t know if we’ll get an ecstatic month that brings sweet memories for a lifetime or a few days of extra baseball followed by disappointment and winter. Either’s possible. If you’re tempted to make any prediction more specific than that, stop and remember the less-famous second half of Beane’s quote about getting to the playoffs: “What happens after that is fucking luck.”

23 comments to Lightning Strikes Twice

  • Daniel Hall

    In a way, I appreciated Scherzer’s performance yesterday. He was outright filthy. There was not a batter on the planet that could have hurt him that night. Curse Yunel Escobar, that should have been a perfect game. And it’s the second no-hitter I have seen live (from half a world away) after No-han.

    If this had been Indians and Twins or any other arbitrary pairing of random teams and some random goon of their’s I don’t give a lick about, judging by the execution and little finishing touches of the fine art of pitching, this would have been the treat of the year for me (pending a certain white- or blue-clad team’s October record).

    And I don’t harbor any dislike for Scherzer, either. Somehow I’ve always seen a lot of Tigers games (are they the Cubs of the AL with tons of day games?), and between Scherzer, Fister, Verlander, Sanchez, Price and others you always had the chance for some fine, enjoyable hurling mastery. He can pitch for the Potomac Rats as long as he pleases (and is welcome to stay on their payroll forever), unless he repeats this act of perfect day at the executioner’s office in an NLCS game 7 against the aforementioned certain white- or blue-clad team of choice I still draw delight from his performance.

    … and if you take a minute or two and look at his picture, his eyes will stare deep into your soul; a cleansing moment the undeserving mere mortal has to cherish, praising and thanking the baseball gods they let him wander amongst us.


    On the other hand, that devil sucked the last bubble of air out of my little comfort zone and now I’m gasping. I need a consoling win in #162 today quite badly.

  • eric1973

    Another joke lineup, what did TC expect?

    TC expected to win, that’s the scary part. This is not the proper way to go about this, no matter the eventual result. Show some pride. Show some integrity. HFA was there, easy, right within our grasp. Wright wanted it. Keith wanted it. Now it doesn’t matter?

    Now if they don’t show up against LA, fingers will point toward this post-clinching fiasco of a week, and this will be certainly be a part of Sandy’s evaluation on TC’s performance this year. Due to Sandy’s acquisitions, TC has now replaced Lou Gehrig as the luckiest man on the face of the earth.

    Many of us know TC kinda already has a screw loose somewhere.

  • 9th string catcher

    at this point I’m actually happy about starting on the road. mets are tight at citi field, and I don’t see that changing. They’re going to be fine on the road and their pitching can win anywhere.

    As for yesterday- regular lineup has trouble against lefties, particularly ones that know them well. Sherzer was dominant against their Mendoza line offense – congrats to the nats – that was their World Series. See you again in March. Or at least whoevers left.

    Interesting – Mets no hit twice this year. Same as the Dodgers. I’m sure both teams could give a shit.

  • rich porricelli

    lets see…After 87, 88 nothing bothered me anymore..00 , 06 , 07 and 08 paled in comparison..I want to see Jacob shine today and get us that 90th win…

  • Steve D

    There was a game a few weeks ago that deGrom got shelled, the Mets scored a ton of runs and won and I made what some thought was an insane comment… along the lines that I would have preferred to lose 1-0 and have deGrom look like an ace.

    The heart of that comment was that this team will only go as far as its pitching will take it. All that hitting they did in August was needed at the time, but unsustainable. ESPECIALLY against Kershaw and Greinke in the shadows…we have to match zero for zero, play fundamental ball (also a bit scary) and scratch out a few runs. Then pray the bullpen holds up. We have to be the 1969 Mets…a little of their magic would go a long way.

  • Dave

    As much as I appreciate masterful pitching performances, my strong preference is for games in which the Mets are not the team on the receiving end. That said, in nearly 50 years watching this game, I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a pitcher better than he was last night. You knew what was coming so obviously Mets hitters did, they just couldn’t touch it.

    But I wonder what made Scherzer more happy, pitching 2 no-hitters, or knowing that you can sign a $200M contract, go 14-12, and still keep all the money.

  • ljcmets

    So…I waited seven years to go to Citi Field…..and all I got was this lousy no-hitter.

    Yes, last night, with weather that made me feel like a 20-year old again (in that I was dressed as if I was awaiting a November 3:30 kickoff in Ann Arbor ) was my very first game ever at Citi Field and my husband’s very first Mets game ever, period. We took a bus tour from Albany and got there an hour too late for the free blankets, which I didn’t care about except we could have made good use of them. We didn’t have time to really explore the stadium, because the game, along with the wind, whipped along so quickly we were back on the bus, a half- hour or so after the game ended, before 10:00.

    I knew we were in for it when I saw the lineup, but Matt Harvey makes eveything better, and even from our seats in the next to last row, we could see he was dealing. At one point I noticed that at the rate he was striking Nationals out, he was on pace to tie or break the MLB record for K’s in a nine-inning game and wondered if Terry would dare leave him in if that continued. It was about that point that I realized that Scherzer was pitching a perfect game. Uh-oh.

    I missed the Mets’ lone baserunner while in the ladies’ room, but heard Howie perfectly call Dan Uggla’s homer and knew that the Mets were not going to win this game and probably wouldn’t sniff a hit. There was nothing left to do but wait for the frozen ending so that we could get back to the relative warmth of the bus. I thought back to my first games at Shea, a double-header in August of 1969, as the Mets began their stretch run (they swept the Padres) on a perfect, 80-degree day, and thought “Citi, you and I are not off to a good start.”

    And I loved it. Even with the no-hitter (Scherzer was unbelievable, by the way), the frigid temperatures, and the loss, it was wonderful to be at the game, among Mets fans. My husband grew up a Yankee fan and has come over to the other side, and he loved the stadium, the atmosphere, and the friendly, knowledgeable fans all around us (at the end one told him, “If you can still root for the Mets after seeing them get no- hit, you’re a true Mets fan,” and he smiled). We can’t wait to go again. Sign us up for a postseason ticket!

  • Eric

    As far as Panic City insofar it applies to our traumatic response to the years of Mets failings following from the 2007 collapse, it doesn’t apply here.

    By and large, we understand these Mets have already won the 2015 season. No matter what happens this October and hopefully November, the 2015 National League Eastern Division championship was banked last Saturday in Cincinnati. It’s in the books and can’t be removed. We’ll happily recall the 2015 season and its redemption of the 2007 collapse for a generation.

    But right now is not the time for us to sedate ourselves with the team’s regular-season achievement in slack-jawed admiration. We’ll have plenty of time for that – after.

    Right now is the time for Mets fans to be back on our play-off game and as passionate and intense about what’s next as we expect the team to be. Our critical scrutiny is part of it. These 2015 Mets have earned that extraordinary care from us and for us. They’ve earned it for themselves. Our heightened attention for the play-offs is how they’ll make our memories and define their legacies.

    I’m mostly ambivalent about dropping the HFA. Last ups in game 5 is desirable, but there are pro’s to starting on the road. This team isn’t tailored for Citi Field like some teams are tailored for their home park. They’ve been playing better on the road of late. Any confidence boost from starting the DS at home probably would be neutralized by facing Greinke and Kershaw in games 1-2. Whereas coming home for games 3-4 might give them an edge against the Dodgers’ weaker 3rd starter and possibly 4th starter if the Dodgers opt not to pitch an ace on short rest in game 4.

    Mets injuries tend to linger, if not worsen (see Matz’s back and Uribe’s chest), and fitness to play is the priority. If they believe trading HFA for extra rest will help them be better fit for the DS, then okay.

    I’m not concerned much about the current ice-cold hitting because I don’t believe playing the starters more than they have been played would heat up their bats for Greinke and Kershaw. As long as they have enough reps to stay rust from setting in, that’s enough.

    These Mets have been resilient. Hopefully, this stretch of ice-cold hitting culminating in being no-hit by Scherzer will trigger their resilience just in time to face Scherzer’s peers on the Dodgers.

    I’m heartened that Syndergaard and Harvey looked sharp. Hopefully, deGrom will look sharp today, too. The post-trades slugging was fun, but for the team to go far in the play-offs, they were always going to ride the young stud starters and young stud closer.

    What concerns me more is the infield defense and bullpen. The Mets’ young stud starters are power pitchers who normally go 7 innings on a good day before tiring out. Against the Dodgers’ veterans who’ll grind, a good 7 innings may turn into a good 6 innings in the DS. The middle relievers and set-up men will need to hold up. The infield defense can’t give away extra outs and the middle relief can’t give up extra runs with Greinke and Kershaw on the other side, but the Mets infield defense and middle relievers have done that a lot.

    That being said, I do want 90 wins to cap the regular season. 90 wins is a hallmark. Losing 6 straight games to end the season stalled at 89 wins would be disappointing.

  • eric1973

    BTW: No-hitters don’t mean s### on the last weekend of the season when both teams aren’t playing for anything, and every day is getaway day. So no big deal, folks.

  • Kevin from Flushing

    I’m glad you touched on the annoying fans aspect of the game. My wife and I were there and getting completely brutalized by the wind in row 7 of the Promenade, so the experience was miserable enough, but idiots directly in my line of sight to home plate who decided “the pitcher’s finishing his windup, now’s a good time to stand,” made the night all the more annoying. To my right, another pair of guys felt standing up and dancing in the 9th inning would help the Mets get a hit. They only sat down after being yelled for a minute, and then moments later they were back up because of the Mike Piazza “ok Mets fans,” pre-tape. They turned around to the haters in the crowd and said, I kid you not, “he asked us to stand!”

    So yeah, between that, a few other miserable dickheads, insanely long lines, and the infuriating weather, I’m now more at peace with not having playoff tickets.

    Let’s Go Mets!

    • Eric

      Weather’s supposed to be decent for games 3 and 4.

    • dak442

      The Missus and I gave ourselves a 22nd anniversary present and had dinner in the Acela Club. It was so cold we ended up spending the entire game there. You want to talk dumb fans? We heard these gems from the rocket surgeons at the table next to us:
      “It is mathematically impossible to lose both games of a doubleheader.”
      “We should let the Nationals score one more run. Then they will get relaxed and we’ll be able to surprise them and come back.”
      “I bet somebody paid off Harvey to lose this game. This is definitely fixed.”

      It was kinda cool to be there for one of the best pitching performances ever. Might have been nicer were we on the dealing end of it. But ultimately, it’s a footnote. We have bigger things to focus on.

  • eric1973

    Eric, what are you willing to trade for the 90th win, and not closing on a 6-game losing streak, which I want as well?

    Put a major league lineup out there (in the cold — poor dears—- and risk someone catching a cold)?

    How precious we have all become.

    • Eric

      I’m sure they’ll play the game straight today. Not a noon start after a very late night game. Not a doubleheader. Last chance for game-speed reps before the DS. Familia hasn’t been used in a while; he’ll likely be used whatever the score. Jarred by the near-perfect no-hitter. The Mets will be using their stronger Greinke (RHP) line-up. I’ll be surprised if they lose.

  • Rob E

    Except for Lagares replacing Granderson vs. the lefty, they had their A lineup in the first game and managed 5 hits, so it’s not like Collins sat guys that were lighting up the scoreboard. The past week was tough week to get it up. They clinched a week ago and no one except the fans and Keith Hernandez seemed too concerned about getting home field. So once you take away the one carrot that remained, and add in the biggest fear they came face-to-face with when Cespedes got hit, you’re reduced to a team that is playing cautious, resting guys, and trying to figure out the details for the coming series. And when you do that, you’re vulnerable to a stretch like this. If would have been nice, but they didn’t NEED to win ANY of these games. And if they did win, THAT wouldn’t have meant much either.

    Jason is right. They clinched eight days ago, went 1-5 since, and they will still finish in first place. They have answered every bell all year including being in an offensive funk when they had to go to LA to face Kershaw & Greinke the last time…WITHOUT Cespedes, Wright, d’Arnaud, and Conforto. There’s no reason to think they’re going in the tank because of this past week. If nothing else, I think they’ve earned a little benefit of the doubt at this point.

  • eric1973

    That’s the problem. After shutting it down against Philly, their ‘A-‘ lineup couldn’t get it done. Cannot assume the lightswitch will turn on automatically in LA on Friday.

    The idea is that once you the right thing, then you can live with the results either way. Otherwise, major regrets.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Just after the game SNY showed a montage of camera angles on Scherzer’s last pitch. One showed the Nationals Dugout. NO ONE was hanging by the railing. They were all sitting back in their seats. No wonder this team doesn’t win.

    Of course, after the last out, they all dutifully got up and ran out of the dugout, but it was those few seconds during the last pitch that told me everything I needed to know about the 2015 Nationals.

    • Steve D

      At least Harper finally decided to hustle on a pinch hit double in the top of the ninth of the last game. Off to the playoffs!

  • Eric

    2015: 90 wins and the division championship!

    2007: 88 wins. 2008: 89 wins. Then 70, 79, 77, 74, 74, 79 wins. The 90 regular-season wins surpass the 2007 and 2008 collapse win totals and apply the finishing touch to the 2007 Mets collapse era that was ended last Saturday. Embrace the redemption. Next up: play-off business.