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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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Those Guys!

I love the way the Kansas City Royals play baseball. They’re impossible to strike out, they pressure defenses on the basepaths, and they play a wild-eyed, high-stepping game. Which is pretty much the way they look on infield defense too, smothering balls and getting filthy and recording outs.

It’s exciting, fun stuff.

The only problem with that — and unfortunately it’s a pretty huge one right now — is they’re doing that exciting, fun stuff against my baseball team.

If you really want to, focus on the negatives. Jacob deGrom lost his command in the middle innings. The Royals’ scouts came up with a plan for neutralizing the Mets’ strengths. Our young arms may have reached the point where fatigue is a factor. DeGrom might be tipping pitches. The Mets hitters’ bats might have been replaced with sawdust and soap bubbles. Rob Lowe and Fred Savage — the stars, if you haven’t heard, of THE GRINDER ON FOX — may have fixed the whole thing.

Some, all or none of that may be true. (OK, probably not all of it.) I’d rather just give credit to the Royals. They’ve played great baseball and thoroughly earned their 2-0 lead.

An hour after you’ve been whomped isn’t the best time for perspective, but I’ll try. Game 2 was a hot mess, but if the first pitch of Game 1 isn’t hideously misplayed, Alex Gordon‘s homer becomes a cosmetic smudge, we all shrug and say that Jeurys Familia was due for one of those, and the series goes back to New York tied 1-1. The difference between that situation and the one we’re actually in isn’t very big.

Well, except for the fact that that isn’t what happened. That first pitch of Game 1 was botched, Gordon’s home run was a lot worse than cosmetic, and 0-2, well, it ain’t good. But it’s not grounds for panic either. I can recall a World Series in which a Mets mistake was the difference in a crisp Game 1 and they followed that up with a Game 2 gag job, but wound up as immortals.

Hey, ya gotta believe.

And if that isn’t working right now, try dispassion. Remember that the postseason is a randomness machine from which we conjure stories. That randomness doesn’t account for everything — the lack of missed swings in Games 1 and 2 wasn’t the product of rolling dice, and neither was the really good infield play from Mike Moustakas and Alcides Escobar and Ben Zobrist. But it’s a factor, and a bigger one than we like to admit when things are going well.

Mid-July’s crummy series is a reason for fans and columnists mutter for a couple of days; late October’s crummy series is a referendum on character. But that should be on us, not on our baseball team. The Cubs are home after a four-game series in which they never held a lead for a single solitary inning, which is pretty much as thoroughly as you can get beaten. That didn’t mean the Cubs were a bad team that tricked dummies into thinking otherwise. But neither did it mean that the Mets were invulnerable. There’s no defense against a magical Daniel Murphy, but there’s also no way to conjure one into being. All a team can do is prepare the best it can and play the best it can and hope the pixie dust rains down in its dugout instead of the one across the field.

We’re in the World Series. Twenty-eight other teams’ fans are watching the Mets and the Royals and wishing winter hadn’t arrived quite so soon for them. On Saturday I’m going to be in the stands watching the Mets play a World Series game. I’ve never had the chance to do that, and I’m so excited — just like I’ve been so excited since the Nationals faded away and the champagne fountained in Cincy and Jeurys jumped for joy in L.A. and Travis d’Arnaud came chugging out from behind home plate in Chicago.

I hope Saturday night will end with me high-fiving random Mets fans, strangers made friends by shared blue and orange and the intoxication of having fought back to a tie. And if not? If the Mets face an elimination game Sunday or the walk down from the Promenade takes me into winter? I’ll still be pretty damn glad that I was there to see it and everything that came before it.

When baseball is at its most beautiful I never let myself forget how cruel it can be, and at its cruelest I force myself to appreciate its beauty. This game’s had a hold on me for nearly four decades now. I couldn’t get loose even if I wanted to.

48 comments to Those Guys!

  • Matt in Richmond

    Thanks for the perspective Jason. I’ve been in a sour mood all evening, even though I knew that it was silly to be so cranky. I’ve been pissed at the umpire for his dubious strike zone, pissed at Jake for giving them such hittable pitches (particularly when up in the count), totally miffed at our whole lineup for making Cueto look like Koufax,and completely fed up with Fox, Joe Buck, and Alex fucking Rodriguez. You’ve helped restore my typically positive outlook. Friday is another day, and NY is another city. Let’s welcome the boys home, and let’s go Mets!

  • Usha

    Deprived of the Mets, I stumbled across the Royals wildcard playoff game last October, and enjoyed their rise all the way to the World Series. They felt a bit like my Mets, to tell you the truth. Never say die, come from behind, modest payroll team that was built up in a similar stadium that doesn’t favor hitting. I hurt for them as Madison Bumgarner finished them off in Game 7, and said, ‘Next year, these guys are going to go all the way.” Damn!!!

    Even while expecting the Mets to go much farther than they had in 2014, I didn’t foresee them attaining the dizzy heights of the World Series so soon (did anyone?) And this year, as they progressed from nail-biting NLDS, through the NLCS, the Royal’s matching rise was beginning to feel ominous. And here they are, and here we are. They’re living up to the hype, and we are not. Yet.

    You are so right. Beauty and cruelty are interwoven in this game and the Mets do that combo very well. Let’s hope they find the magic once again.

    And I’m very sorry that I thought even for a second last year that the Royals will go all the way. I take it back. #LGM

  • Matt in Woodside

    Great post. I don’t feel fantastic with the team down 0-2, but that was a tough performance by everyone in game one, and deGrom, well, 3-0 in his first postseason with a 1.80 ERA entering this game, gotta forgive one really bad inning.

    Get ready Syndergaard and LGM!

  • Lenny65

    Part of me wants to rage and gripe and worry about the suddenly-punchless lineup, the tiring aces, the horrible at bats and the blown opportunities but a) it’s pointless, b) it’s been done already by now and c) it takes credit away from our worthy foes who are playing much better baseball than we are right now. No, down 0-2 isn’t where you want to be but these are the Mets were talking about here and sometimes some weird things happen so you never know. That NLCS was an aberration, they never make it easy. Win game three and they’re in a position to climb right back in this thing.

    All I ask is that they make a series out of it. I just don’t want to see them go out in a dead-eyed daze, at least make them work for it. They sort of look like the Cubs did against us, kind of stiff, tight and overwhelmed. But like they say, shake it off, only four in a row and we’re world champs.

  • Daniel Hall

    Dear Diary,

    last night, Johnny Cueto sucked all the fun out of baseball. Johnny Cueto is so evil! I wish somebody cuts his hair while he sleeps!

    Ah. It’s not even Cueto’s fault. The Mets looked horrendously bad at the plate, and when they did make contact, it was right at one of the white guys. They went completely ice cold at the wrongest of times, and now Faith’s all gone…

  • This is a ride a lot of fans never get to be on. We should enjoy it while we can. Ya Gotta Believe!

    Maybe they let their bats in their lockers at Citi?

  • Steve2916

    Food for thought:

    Does anybody else think that Terry left deGrom in too long in the fifth?

    That said, all it will take is one win at “Shea 2” Friday and we’ll all be happy! :)

    #LGM

  • mikeL

    yea, i rooted for the royals last year…adopted them as the kind of team i wanted the mets to someday become. they had managed to stave off elimination after elimination and were a tough and likable bunch.
    they are indeed playing like a team that can’t be beaten.
    in that 5th i couldn’t tell if it was degrom struggling or if the mets’ pitching talent had found its match – or kryptonite!
    they are old-school, like the teams before free-agency: the dreaded big red machine – or the even more dreaded charlie finley era A’s.
    thry rake and they play like their on fire.
    the mets did that for a stretch this summer, but yes, they look tired and lifeless these days. lots of young guys playing well beyond their season’e bed time.
    maybe they can indeed make a series of this. unlike harvey and degrom, syndergaard seems to have his best stuff this post-season. it’s a long enough series that lightning can strike, pixie dust can be sprinkles, planets can line up – and the mets can climb back into this tomorrow nite.
    jason, i hope indeed that you’ll be high-fiving and leaving citi on saturday nite with the mets having tied it up.
    but if things don’t work out the way we all want (the KC Royals fan reader here not withstanding), i hope our guys find the fight in them and eke out a win or two so that they all know that 2015 was not a fluke but a great start of something they’ll pick up again in a few months…or the following evening, week.
    citi will be loud tomorrow night,
    and they’ll be back in their time-zone.
    LGM!

  • Dennis

    Great post Jason!!!!! The last time I checked a series wasn’t over until a team won 4 games. Disappointing two days in KC, but we’re going home and we have Thor ready to do battle. LGM!!!!

  • Brad

    I don’t want to say it’s over but I think we have to recognize that the Royals are probably a better team than the Mets. They’ve smacked around our strength: starting pitching and the closer. For this team to win they need to get those things and the offense has to hit, neither of which is happening. Cespedes doesn’t look interested (although I can’t read what’s in a person’s mind) and the rest of the offense looks like they’re stuck back in June.

  • Gil

    The big spot for Syndergaard just became a huge spot. And young Matz behind him….
    The Royals raked last night despite good pitching from deGrom. But it comes to Queens now. One at a time.
    LETS GO METS!

  • kdbart

    What the first 2 games have shown is how much Murphy’s exploits at the end of the NLDS and through the NLCS covered over what has mostly been an impotent Met offense since Game 4 of the NLDS. While Murphy has been 15 for 33 with 8 XBH in that 8 game span, Cespedes, Wright, d’Arnaud, Granderson, Flores and Conforto/Cuddyer have been a combined 29 for 165 with 8 XBH in that same 8 game span. The Royals have cooled Murphy downed while the rest of the lineup, except for Duda the past 3 games, has continued to hit rather poorly. Cueto was far from unhittable last night. He only struck out 4 while inducing only 3 swings and misses, less than the Mets pitching induced, all night and throwing less than 60% of his pitches for strikes. He had much better #s in those areas when he went 8 innings in the ALDS clincher versus the Astros. He could’ve been had last night. Particularly in the 4th. It was pretty much a weak offensive effort by the Mets.

    • Lenny65

      This is so true. I thought the non-Murphy bats were on the verge of coming to life toward the end of the NLCS but the opposite has happened, they’re dead weight right now. Playoff Murph is gone and there’s no one picking up the slack at all. IMO they had Cueto rattled in the 4th inning, the “Hot Mets” would have jumped all over him there but alas….

  • nestornajwa

    Screw Kansas City and their “better brand of baseball”. Only 7 teams of 36 that have lost the first 2 games of the World Series have gone on to win. And most of those comeback teams (those that I either remember or can recall reading about) have been among the best ever. Say what you will about the 2015 Mets — they’re dramatic, dynamic, mostly young and star fabulous pitching, they are simply not an historically great club because their lineup is about average. Is there a “1968 Orioles” vibe around this team? Only time will tell. Would I trade Matt Harvey for Paul Goldschmidt? Yes I would.

    The last 9 teams that have fallen into a 0-2 hole has lost the World Series. and those 9 have all been of relatively recent vintage. Since the World Series stabilized at seven games and “Hey, we really need to do this EVERY year — I’m looking at YOU John McGraw” since 1895 or 1904 (depends how you look at it) 13 0-2 teams have gone on to win a 7 game Series. So it’s time to plan some kind of parade, probably in the drabber-than-drab gray concrete cityscape of Kansas City (seriously, it’s like the city from “Soylent Green” minus the people – there’s actually an organized crime-related reason for this that I won’t go into now. I’m not Ken Burns).

    I’m not even going to bother to look this up, but Bats Go Cold in October, especially power bats. That’s why the hitting stars of so many World Series seem to come out of nowhere, or are noted for hitting wall-pounding doubles and not home runs. Yes, there are exceptions. That trend actually gave me hope going into this thing because, aside from Cespedes and Duda, there aren’t any power bats in this lineup. Then again, I remember two Daryl homers — Game 3 NLCS and Game 7 WS – without which those Mets probably would not have been champions. This team needs a Keith — a guy who makes a lot of contact and hits line drives. We DO have a good number of THOSE guys (there was only one Keith — I am NOT making a comparison. EVERY team needs a Keith from the 1905 Giants to the 27 Yankees — who had Lazzeri — to, well, every other Series team except the 82 Cardinals and 86 Mets. They had a Keith). Sometimes “bats go cold in October” can be offset by the presence of an indoor stadium (see: 1991), but Tampa peaked a few years ago, and Toronto had a shot, but… Let’s just say Daniel Murphy got hot at exactly the right time, and it wasn’t as unpredictable as it seemed. He is EXACTLY the kind of hitter that tends to get hot in October (and — ugh – November). But we had no right to expect him to continue his NLCS umm…hotness (?), especially with a long rest between Game 4 of the NLCS and Game 1 of the World Series. Someone needs to put on their Murphy shoes. Or their Billy Hatcher shoes, etc.

    But you know what’s weird? The 2015 playoffs re playing out as if the 2015 Wild Card and other “innovations” were present in 1985. You’ve got Toronto winning the East and The Cardinals winning… their division, but we’ve just added some of the teams that came close, but had no WC to fall back on, chiefly the Mets. I’m glad the comparison does not stretch so far as to admit the Yankees, as they would have been in WC contention in 85. I’m going to be lazy again and not bother to look this up, but since 1985, has any team with a better record than the 1985 Mets missed the playoffs? I’m going to say no (unless it’s the 1987 Mets), but I’m too bummed to play around with Baseball Reference. Of course, 29 years later, those 1985 Mets look like Mets Mt. Rushmore, and the games they played against the Cardinals — especially during that classic series at the end of the season — were as epic as any ever played. The Darling-Strawberry HR off the Clock game, the Cardinals’ “we’re not even going to try to win because Doc, so we put all our Tudor eggs into the Game 1 basket” game — even though Doc was as hittable as he was in almost any other 1985 contest. And, of course the “Sid! WHAT ARE YOU DOING???” game, that all but sealed the fates of both teams. If only, instead of Sid, we’d had a “Stuart” in 1985 to succeed Tudor… ah, that’s not funny unless we’re talking Cricket, so I’m not even going to try to finish that thought. Always and forever, hail, hail Don Denkinger!

    Back to 2015 and (mostly) 21st Century baseball, 9 consecutive teams have fallen to 0-2 World Series without coming back to win it. So, if it’s any comfort, the 0-2 teams are due. Actually, that’s no comfort whatsoever (ask me again Saturday). However, the last three clubs to go down 0-2 to win the whole thing were the 96 Yankees (I went to game 2 rooting hard for the Braves, as they had not yet become The Braves and had only recently joined the East — ruining the longstanding rivalries the Mets had with the Cardinals, Pirates and Cubs — oddly, the Phillies NEVER mattered to the Mets until 2006), the 86 Mets (I attended games 1 and 7) and the 85 Royals (damn — I watched those games on TV. No help there). But the fact remains that the only World Series games I have ever attended have involved teams that have fallen to 0-2, but come back to win the title. Screw sample size!!!! But no, I don’t have tickets. Yet. Unfortunately, I suffered a huge personal financial setback recently. But my team needs me and my 16 year old son needs to see a Mets World Series game. So who knows?

    And even if things continue to go horribly wrong, I’m sure it’s occurred to everyone who remembers the 80s Mets that the last time the Royals won the Series was in 1985. Good things happened after 1985, but that WILL NOT happen again if management fails to improve the team with a real bat or two, because as the Natinals can tell you, just GETTING here is the hardest part. And if there is a common thread that runs through all successful Mets teams since 1986 (when the Mets made an honest, if misguided and ill-fated attempt to improve the team by losing Mitchell and gaining McReynolds), it’s that management has ALWAYS taken a “we’re good enough with what we’ve got” attitude, which NEVER works. Improve or backslide. It’s as simple as that.

    Oh, almost forgot. LGM!!!

    • kdbart

      What the Mets have are a lot of streak hitters. Guys like Cespedes, Granderson and Duda who can go on a tear for a week to 10 days and produced monstrous numbers over that span that will carry a team. We’ve seen that during the course of the season. But these same hitter also go cold for stretches at a time. Duda might be heading into one of those hot stretches. But the rest, except Murphy and he might be coming out of it, are currently in a cold cycle. Murphy has cooled down but he is probably their most consistent hitter.

      • Eric

        I don’t lump in Granderson. When he’s not hot, he’s been consistently productive. The rest have run hot or cold with Duda as the extreme example.

  • 9th string catcher

    First – great post. Perspective is important, especially when you’re a Mets fan! What’s great about this site (among other things) is the opportunity to be philosophical about a very philosophical and psychological game.

    Thoughts that spring to mind:

    I think it’s harder in general for NL teams to play AL teams, particularly one like the Mets. The Royals have an extra bat that the Mets really don’t have, even with their improved depth.

    The Royals are the best team the Mets have played this year.

    Johnny Cueto is a damn good pitcher who had one bad game in the post season. Don’t know why this is coming as a surprise to anyone. It’s not embarrassing to lose to him.

    The starting rotation is a little out of gas, and haven’t had the luxury of pitching to the pitcher. It’s a burden for all NL teams, and in this case a distinct disadvantage.

    The Royals’ WS experience is helping them so far. If the Mets get there next year, this experience will help them then.

    That all said, I still think the series is far from over. The Mets are as good as the Royals, have better back of rotation pitching, have enough bats, and will have the advantage of Citi Field which is as unfamiliar to the Royals as Kaufmann was to the Mets. Not to mention similarly insanely loud fans. And one less bat for the Royals. If the middle of the Mets lineup gets going (and I think it will), they will be very hard to beat.

    Game on. Faith on.

  • Steve D

    It seems good hitting (pre-1990s version where not everyone swings for HRs all the time) CAN beat good pitching (if it is inexperienced in big spots).

    We have seen their game now. We must ADJUST ADJUST ADJUST. It would help if our spiritual leader/captain was more clutch and our Cuban import would smash a 3-1 cookie instead of grounding it. I still believe this is possible.

  • GaryGMan

    You gotta tip your hats to the Royals players as every swing of the bat seems to make solid contact, and not one player lets a strike go safely by without a good hack. Their defense has not been flawless, but they have all the positions covered and don’t give away any cheapies. The Royals appear to be loose and confident, while the Mets seem to be a bit tentative and tight. Let’s get behind our our Mets who will come out loose and swinging on Friday night as they did against the Dodgers and Cubs. Kansas City here we come!
    GMan

  • Left Coast Jerry

    Tip your hats to the Royals. They are relentless like a swarm of bees. But, fans of 28 teams are watching NASCAR or Dancing With the Stars. We’re playing in the World Series.

    Daniel has come back down to earth. Yoenis has been cespedestrian. Michael has been disconforting. Let’s hope they find their stroke tomorrow night in Citi Field.

    Regardless of the final outcome, it has been a fun ride this year.

    • otb

      Cespedestrian – I love it! We have to be able to laugh even down 0-2.

      It has been a fun ride, much more so than any of us expected in April. And, as a wise man (maybe) said, “It ain’t over ’til it’s over”. LGM!

    • Bunker

      Michael has also been downright Duffy cudDyer.

  • Dave R.

    Nice post, Jason.

    I agree that it’s not over. A win in Game 3 changes things. I will say that after the Mets went down 2-0 to the Red Sox, I didn’t think the Sox were the better team. I do suspect that the Royals are better than the Mets, although I wouldn’t be saying that if not for one bad pitch by Familia.

    But…other than the Cincinnati series, the Mets haven’t been hitting since mid-September, and it would be crazy to think David Wright isn’t seriously hurting.

    You know what’s funny though? I remember cursing at the TV when Armando blew Game 1 in 2000 and being mad beyond belief about no sac bunt in 2006, and I’ll never forgive Yogi for not starting George Stone in Game 6. But after Game 1 of this series, I wasn’t mad at Wright. I felt bad that his first World Series memory would be such a bad one. I felt bad for Familia for the same reason. The 2000 WS was a disaster because I’d rather not make the WS than lose to the Yankees. There’s just a different feeling I have about this team. It’s like they’re a gift, and I refuse to be greedy about it.

    Basically, I know it’s been said before, but I can’t believe that it’s October 29 and there’s a game tomorrow. And, also, if they do lose this series, at least it won’t be to the Yankees.

  • Whaties54321

    Royals. I want to congratulate you. You beat the Mets. Once. Twice. Congratulations. You’ve done what the entire National League couldn’t. But take heed, Royals, because there’s one thing the Mets do. The Mets. Come. Back. And Royals, we actually have to thank you, because now brothers, you’ve given us something to come back from. All of New York City screaming the Mets! Will! Come! Back! Mets! Come! Back! Let’s Go Mets!

  • argman

    If nothing else watching the Royals at the plate is interesting in that they don’t try to work counts, but aggressively try to not let the pitcher get ahead. A lot of guys (and whole teams) used to have that approach but it has disappeared with the emphasis on OBP. Not saying that OBP isn’t important but KC seems to proving it isn’t the only consideration.
    Having said that, I still think our guys have a chance. It’s all on Noah and our hitters to change the momentum. LGM!

  • Jothar

    It’s like every hitter was replaced with John Mayberry Jr. The clock has seemingly struck midnight on this Cinderella story. The only plus from this is cheap Mets gear on Ebay in a week.

  • cleon jones

    THe series should be tied. Where are the Mets bats? Lets go Mets!!!!!!!!!!

  • Matt

    I’m hoping the good ‘ol ‘well now your pitcher has to hit’ will disrupt the absurd rhythm the Royals offense has found itself in right now.

  • Eric

    For the 1st 3 innings, deGrom looked sharp. He wasn’t striking out the side, but he was in control with his good stuff. When he worked his way out of the jam in the 4th inning, and preserved the 1-0 lead against the Duda error on Zobrist, Hosmer single, and Moustakas walk, I thought that was typical deGrom – the same deGrom who covered for Cuddyer’s misplays in DS game 1.

    I realized the Mets needed to tack on to the lead, but I was confident with the way he was throwing that deGrom would at least hand over a 1-1 tie to the bullpen to start the 8th inning.

    But boy oh boy, the Royals worked him over in the 5th inning. That was demoralizing. Even there, after he left a flat slider up for Escobar’s hit, I was confident deGrom – the same deGrom who held the line in DS game 5 and LCS game 3 without his good stuff – would escape the inning with a 1-1 tie after Cain made the 2nd out. The backbreaker was Hosmer’s sharply hit 2-RBI single up the middle.

    The Royals consistently fight off good pitches, lay off chase pitches off the plate, and hit mistakes hard. They’re not jacking HRs like Schwarber, but they’re not just hitting ’em where they ain’t with soft contact. They’re making solid contact.

    Lagares’s defense is disappointing. Against the Royals, gold-glove Lagares would have made a difference. It’s not just Lagares’s arm is no longer a laser-sighted sniper rifle. His gold-glove range has disappeared, too. He just missed a ball in front of him and a ball behind him he would have caught in 2013 and 2014.

    Interesting relief choices by Collins in the 3-run Royals 8th inning. The Mets’ backs were against the wall with comatose bats and only a half inning left to come back, but the game was still within reach at 4-1.

    First, Collins left in Niese for 3 straight hits in his 2nd inning of the night after relieving in game 1. The odd choice was going to Reed next, who throws batting practice when he inherits base runners, with runners on 2nd and 3rd. True to form, Reed gave up a near-HR sac fly and a triple that drove in both inherited runners. At least Gilmartin finished the inning.

    Reed is a fine set-up man when he starts an inning clean, but he’s worse than post-TJ Parnell and O’Flaherty when he inherits runners.

    Cueto was good, but not 2-hit CG good. The Mets had chances to at least put up a WS game 1 stat line, and just couldn’t make it work. The closest NL ‘comp’ for the Royals is the Pirates (who don’t hit like these Royals) and the WS so far reminds me of the August series against the Pirates. Chris Young in game 1 reminded me of Joe Blanton shutting down the Mets in relief for the Pirates. Except for Granderson, the Mets are streaky, and right now, the line-up has fallen asleep. Weak contact, taking strikes, swinging at balls. In August, the bottom half of the Mets order was very productive. Now it’s a dead zone.

    Conforto has gone from 110-MPH exit velocity wunderkind with advanced pitch recognition to an overmatched rookie who can’t read breaking balls in the dirt. The way he’s popping up makes me wonder if Conforto has simply hit a rookie wall.

    It doesn’t help that the Royals defense is elite, though they’ve made some errors that have helped the Mets.

    At least, the Mets situation is better than the Cubs situation at the same point of the LCS when Lester and Arrieta just got beat and next up were Hendricks and Hammel. One reason for fielding a staff of aces is that when 1 and 2 get beat, the team can look to 3 and 4 to serve as stoppers, too. On the bench, Syndergaard and Matz were smiling over something they saw on the tablet, which presumably was a scouting report of some kind.

    The Royals forced past the big brothers, Harvey and deGrom. It’s the little brothers’ turn to be men and defend the family.

    • Lenny65

      Very well said. Pretty much the entire lineup has gone onto hibernation mode, with the Ks and the lousy ABs. DW’s fourth inning AB was especially painful to watch, the Hot Mets would have jumped all over Cueto right there.

      So true re: Thor and Matz, on paper it looks like a good advantage our way there. But it won’t matter if they don’t shake off the lethargy at the plate (and in the field too). Maybe the urgency involved here will wake a few of those guys up enough to give us a legit shot here.

  • ljcmets

    Me to the dog at midnight, after my husband had quite sensibly given up and gone to bed: “It’s OK, Mac. Don’t be worried about the Mets. This is who they are. They wouldn’t be the Mets if they made it easy. I know we’ve been watching the Mets with you all summer, so you know you can never give up on the Mets. We’ll get them at home and then it will really be on. Ya Gotta Believe, right Mac? Right? Mac?
    Mac: Stares at me with his big puppy dog eyes. Silence. Rolls over and goes to sleep.

    Lets’s Go Mets! You DO Gotta Believe or why are we even here? Can’t wait until tomorrow’s game and Mac told me this morning he thinks Syndergaard and the Mets will come up huge at Citi. Who am I to argue with a dog that’s been following this team all season and knows what kind of play they’re capable of?

    • Love the dog thing. My pup gave me the sad eyes…and then demanded belly scratches. Sort of like….I’ve been putting up with this baseball stuff for years and all I have to show for it is a few belly scratches….

      • ljcmets

        I will look for reassurance wherever I can find it, especially at midnight after a loss like that. If Mac says the Mets are going to come back, they’ll come back. He picked the Giants last year, so I know he knows his stuff ;).

        When Murphy hit that final home run in the Cubs series, my husband and I both yelled so loudly that we woke Mac from a sound sleep. He looked at us with disgust, as if to say, “Humans are nuts,” and walked off to the kitchen, where he remained until the broadcast ended.

  • vertigone

    You’ve gotta tip your cow to the Royals.

  • Dave

    A team doesn’t make back to back trips to the WS unless they’re damn good, and that describes the Royals pretty well. They might not have a Kershaw or a Grienke, but top to bottom they’re a far better team than the Dodgers; obviously they strike out about 99% less than the Cubs’ young millenials do. Maybe the 2015 Mets are the 2014 Royals, who knows, and next year we’re the 2015 Royals. As Jason said, 28 other teams would gladly trade places with the Mets right now.

    We’ll just have to hang our hats on the words of one of the 20th century’s great philosophers…it ain’t over ’til it’s over.

  • The Royals face something of the same issue as the Mets. Limited resources, and facing the loss of two key pieces, Zobrist (who scares the crap out of me) and Cueto. Without those two, they’re just a good team in the weaker league.

    • Dave

      Hmm, they got this far with Cueto being extremely up and down; unfortunately last night he was extremely up. Yes, Zobrist is the type of player whose primary skill is beating you, and if the Mets never see him and Justin Turner again it will be fine with me, but that Royals lineup is just one real tough out after another. It’s not just him.

      • mikeL

        …i’d say never see them again UNLESS in a mets uni…though i’m sure that won’t happen.
        one silver lining is that i think most mets fans are ok letting cespedes’ lease run out.
        for a while he looked like THE high-impact player to have in the post-season. not only does he have one swing – set to ELEVEN (and therefore subject to streakiness discussed above) but his poor play off WS pitch #1 really made the kind of opening statement i never expected the mets to make.
        coupled with lagares’ loss of range and arm, it looks like finding a high-impact CF needs to be a high priority.
        next year the young arms (hopefully bolstered by a healthy 5th) will be stronger for the long and post-season grind. we’ll hopefully get blevins back and be set up to be the 2015 royals in 2016.
        unless, that is, the 2016 mets need to emulate their 2015 championship-winning selves to win in november.
        no pressure noah, but we’re all counting on you to stifle the royals’ bats and inspire those of your teammates. and show stephen matz how to beat these tough royals. once you’ve done that i hope you both hold a team meeting ahead of game 5 to make sure everyone else is on the same page, and ready to go back to KC and WIN in their house.

        …i see high 100mph pitches brushing guys back.
        maybe one gets a little loose and makes every royal just a little tentative at the plate. like bobby ojeda recommends: make the royals prove they can hit YOUR stuff before displaying your entire arsenal.

        HFA is ours for the next 3 games.
        let’s take it back to KC up 3-2 and make this a series!

        (ok now I’M ready for tomorrow nite.
        hopefully the guys who matter will be as well!)

  • Henry

    Greg & Jason,
    I read your blog all the time and enjoy your take on all things Mets. My first game in person was Memorial Day 1962 at the Polo Grounds against the Dodgers with my dad. One of my favorite memories with my dad was at Shea-staying the whole doubleheader, including the 25 inning game 2, against the Giants in 1965. My first triple play and Willie Mays at shortstop! Many trips to Cooperstown for induction weekends. Attended Dream Week in 2000. Now retired and living in LA, seeing them when they visit Chavez Ravine. Even an occasional trip back east to Citifield. Rooting for the uniform for their entire existence! I worked for CBS Radio and was lucky to be in the Mets dugout in 1986 when Mookie hit his ground ball past Buckner.
    I saw that miracle up close and feel that there are more thrills to come in this World Series! Thanks

  • Ed

    Keep the faith people

  • Stan

    Somewhere in my digital flotsam I have a picture from Game 1 of the World Series at Yankee Stadium in 2000. The Mets were ahead and Armando Benitez was being called in to close it out. I took a picture of the scoreboard and said “this is the last time that we’ll see the Mets ahead tonight”. Because Benitez.

    When I left the only Mets games that I was able to attend this year, watching them get swept out of Atlanta at the end of June, I did not expect to be watching Mets baseball at the end of October. This wasn’t supposed to be their year. As far as I’m concerned, any post season play that we got this year was gravy. That they got to the World Series doesn’t even seem real yet.

  • eric1973

    Like many said, if Yo catches that ball, it’s a regular 1-1 series. But we had ’em where we wanted ’em anyway, and Familia… Well, stuff happens.

    Very good chance whoever wins game 3 wins the series.

    Keeping the faith,
    LGM

  • NostraDennis

    In honor of the Mets’ performance Wednesday night, let’s play a little music by some great artists from the past. A-Ha…The Cure…Paula Cole…Was (Not Was)…Falco…Golden Earring…Barenaked Ladies…Maureen McGovern.

    You know, artists who also had just two single hits.

    • vertigone

      Don’t lump The Cure in with those others. They just sold out 3 nights at Madison Square Garden. They are heavy hitters and their 2 lightweight “hits” were flukes, like Duda’s.

      I guess Matt Reynolds is Was (Not Was).

  • MetFanMac

    I also noticed the 1986 parallels and frankly that’s all that’s keeping my hopes alive at this moment. The Royals were the AL contender that gave me the most dread because of their contact hitting (as opposed to the free swingers on the Dodgers, Cubs, and other ALers) stacking up agaist our power pitching, and they’ve proven it; out of 330 pitches they’ve seen in these two games, they’ve only swung and missed at 25 of them. That’s unreal, and may very well be the stuff of champions. #LGM

  • Ed

    Let’s do this

  • Steve D

    KC seems to hit righties and lefties equally. Does anyone think Colon would be a better choice to start than Matz? I think so, but at this point they probably wouldn’t be bold enough to switch. His experience and craftiness might better neutralize the smart KC hitters. Assuming Syndegaard goes deep into the game tonight (because if he doesn’t we have bigger problems) I would save Colon and keep Matz on an extremely tight leash.