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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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Stolen Moments

Let’s see, what did I do with that piece I wrote about the Mets’ Monday night 11-4 loss to Washington? It had everything in it: how they led 4-0 in the middle of the third inning; how they probably could have led by more; how Brandon Nimmo recorded the first hits of his major league career; how everything looked fine in the game itself despite the news beforehand revealing Steven Matz’s elbow spur; how Matz might miss his next start and perhaps require surgery; how the Mets had Noah Syndergaard on the mound and Joe Ross on the ropes, then suddenly Syndergaard gave back the lead and then some; how Ross was untouchable after the third; how the Met bullpen didn’t help matters; how the Mets looked unhinged in the field and, ultimately, helpless at the plate; how they Mets are now four out in the division and in possession of neither Wild Card; how Syndergaard was reported to also have a bone spur, though he denied it afterwards; and, most of all, how the Nationals stole six bases, five off of Thor, including four in the wretched, ragged bottom of the third?

That’s right — I left my article on second base. The Nationals must have stolen that, too.

44 comments to Stolen Moments

  • Dave

    And to think that just yesterday we thought Alejandro De Aza was our biggest problem. Ah, the good old days, huh?

  • Daniel Hall

    Just read the Matzie and Syndergaard news on SB Nation. It’s all pointless now. I should fake a nasty stapling accident just so I can ditch the last few hours of work and go home to have a manly cry.

    Sandy better start looking at the top prospects list to see what he can pry from some unassuming team for two to three months of the sore, strained mess Cespedes. Maybe someone needs a shortstop, I heard we added a cheap option. Or a left-handed reliever. That would be Blevins of course. You could coat Bastardo in honey and wouldn’t find a grizzly dumb enough to take him.

    Daniel is sad.

    • Dennis

      You’re kidding me right? Three out in the loss column on June 28, and it’s “all pointless now”?

      • Daniel Hall

        It was already pointless about a week ago when they were six games out. The River Rats won’t have 8-game losing streaks forever. Especially not the next two weeks.

        • Dennis

          You confuse me… do root for the Mets, right? This season is pointless while they picked up 3 games from a week ago, with 87 games left?!
          At this exact date in the season last year, they were 3 out in the loss column as well. Was it pointless then?

          • Daniel Hall

            They picked up three games because the Nationals had a really ugly stretch, not because the Mets were ANY good. It doesn’t matter, even. Today, Lucas Giolito will casually no-hit them on 88 pitches in his MLB debut, and by Friday morning, they’ll be six out again with Matzie and Syndergaard cut open, and Rafael Montero, who has been nothing but utmost horrendous at AAA, in the weekend rotation.

            So, yeah, it’s pointless to even keep worrying. I have accepted a losing record, and they’ll have one by the All Star break.

  • Greg Mitchell

    Yeah, that 115 pitch attempt for a “milestone” complete game with 11-0 lead looks even wiser now. Oh, I forgot, any concerns about that were pure “nonsense.”

    Then there were some who fully accepted the Mets’ (the Mets, of all front offices) announcement that Noah’s 2nd MRI came back “clean,” so all of this was no big deal.

    Was painful to see the usually motor mouth Terry in the postgame interview suddenly sputter, stutter, stop, mutter, stutter again, when asked if it was true that Noah has bone spurs? As if realizing, how the hell do they know that? Should I lie or tell truth? Before punting with, “He told he felt okay.” This fits with reports that it was Thor himself who asked them to deny fact of bone spur.

    • Dennis

      Obviously since you’ve had a career in managing pitchers and sounds like you’re an expert, exactly which pitch put Syndergaard over the edge from that performance? Was it pitch 78? 95? 108?

      • Greg Mitchell

        Do you consider Terry and Noah himself as “expert” enough? Both of them–after the following start and MRI–flatly declared that they needed to reduce “wear and tear” and watch the number of pitches–from now on. So it seems they acknowledge what you, and some others, do not.

        • sturock

          Come on, guys! Hindsight is always 20/20. Noah is bound to have a couple of bad games. The Mets still need an offense.

        • Dennis

          Never said they need to be careful….I’m just not beating to death the 115 pitch game as if that definitively is the cause of Syndergaard’s ineffectiveness lately.

  • Watching that game gave me a bone spur in my eye.

  • Mikey

    this sucks

  • Mikey

    it’s just so hard to watch right now, like a slow motion car wreck.
    I’m already envisioning Neil Walker in a Cards uniform in a few months, spraying line drives all over the postseason

    I think more than anything I hate that our entire pitching staff save for Bartolo has become utterly hittable

  • Gary Arne

    Mets haven’t hit much in 2 months, but with the pitching starting to unravel, this season is getting ugly very fast. Home Runs alone don’t win games. Fundamentals and good pitching are the bedrock of a solid team. Can Loney dive to his right for a ground ball? Can D’Arnaud throw a runner out? How about a timely hit by Granderson or Cespedes. Hustling and moving runners along the bases wins games too. Time for management to consider adding a big bat very soon as I don’t see this team playing small ball anytime soon. I just hope this team can stay within striking distance of a wildcard while Wheeler gets ready to pitch again. But, now I’m sounding hopeful again. Nats have a rookie pitching going today. Be great if Mets take advantage of a young kid. Tune it for more fun tonight.

    • Greg Mitchell

      And given Noah’s track record with base stealers–especially vs. Nats–why wasn’t Rivera behind the plate?

      In my mind, Thor’s downfall started with Revere line drive to right in front of Grandy. It should have been routine run in and grab at shoe tops, but he froze or backed up, then came in and decided not to dive (probably wise by that point). Announcers covered for him by claiming the ball must have “knuckled.”

      • sturock

        Good point. Why isn’t Rivera Noah’s personal catcher? Brittle d’Arnaud could use a game off every five too.

    • Mikey

      since you’re name is Gary, I’ll say this in response: “fundies, Gare, fundies!” you are so right about that.

      Loney was so frustrating to watch. he makes great plays and shitty mental mistakes. How do you dive for that foul ball and then not catch a semi-routine grounder that breaks the game open? at least he’s hitting well.

      watch the Nats hitters tonight. they have a much better approach than we do and wind up hitting pitches that most of our guys would flail at. if anything Harper looks more like a Met this season.

      and for the love of God, please do not bunt anymore…..the whole team

  • Stephen Kairys

    Re: Thor…

    If he can get through his next two starts:
    Saturday: 7/2 vs. Cubs
    Thursday: 7/7 vs. Nats

    The All-Star break provides a great opportunity for extended rest. Which includes Terry NOT pitching him in the ASG even if he is selected.

    The first game back after the ASG is Friday, 7/15. So, if the Mets pitch him last in the post-ASG rotation, that’s 7/19, giving him 11 full days of rest.

  • Wheaties54321

    This team is broken. It’s sad. Too many problems. They’ve looked like meat to me all season and I am typically extremely patient. They never come back. Especially when they start with the lead and then the other teams comes back, smacks them in the mouth, knocking them to the canvas, and takes control of the game. This year, they never get up after that.

    If there was ever a game the Mets needed it’s today’s. A couple of surprise wins in Washington would inject a ton of belief, but a Nats sweep is the far more likely outcome.

  • Matt in Richmond

    What a bunch of wimps you guys are. And not just wimps, but wimps with zero memory. There were multiple times last year when things looked far worse than they do now. Spine, stiff upper lip, backbone, man up people! It’s not supposed to be easy. Granted, it would be nice if it wasn’t quite this hard; the bad injury luck is really getting bothersome, but that’s what makes the ultimate payoff that much more rewarding. The struggle and the battle through the adversity. I can understand some frustration, but I can’t understand the completely over the top hand wringing, the “this is pointless” attitude, or the perpetual second guessing of management. It’s time to dig in now, not give up.

    • Seth

      Should we tell him? Sure, why not. OK, sit down for this one. This isn’t 2015.

      • Dennis

        I think the comparison to 2015 is a fair one…..Mets are in a similar situation standings wise and the same people are whining and ready to give up on the season.

  • Matt in Richmond

    And for the umpteenth time, it doesn’t matter how hard you try to connect the dots from one particular outing to arm trouble, it doesn’t fly. Pitchers get hurt. Arms and shoulders and elbows get sore. Whether they throw 60 pitches or 30 or 100 or 120. Strasburg just went back on the dl again!! Nobody has had their arm babied more than this guy and he just can’t stay healthy. Noah is a horse, and he was firing on all cylinders when he went back for that 9th inning. I’m sorry that you didn’t like the decision, but that’s your opinion and nothing more. Noah wanted the cg, and I and many others wanted it too. There is ZERO evidence that those extra 20 pitches have anything to do with any current struggles, and as pointed out ad nauseum, even with the proverbial handling with kid gloves pitchers go down all the time.

    • Greg Mitchell

      And for “the umpteenth time,” a fact-free post. Strasburg is out with rib injury–from lifting weight–with nothing to do with arm. The “babied” Strasburg has put up consistently good numbers for several years now after, fortunately, not having his career ruined by over-use. “Noah is a horse”–well, yes, but so is Harvey et al, who all got Tommy Johned. And “firing on all cylinders” is exactly the problem, as some of those old pitchers who could throw 250 or more innings have testified–they knew when to back off, while today’s pitchers do not. And it’s funny that while you love to cite Noah and Terry defending going for the CG you ignore what they said loudly after his MRI last week–that he had suffered too much “wear and tear” and thrown “too many pitches.” But I guess you know better. Yeah, that CG would have put him in Cooperstown.

      • Matt in Woodside

        Syndergaard’s biggest problem last night had nothing to do with his arm (he threw several strikes at 100mph) and everything to do with the fact that baserunners were stealing on him at will. The Nationals deployed the exact same gameplan against him during spring training and it worked then, too. It got to his head. Also, if the source of the discomfort is a bone spur (which sources are reporting, but Syndergaard is denying) then it almost certainly was not caused by throwing an extra 15 pitches two starts ago.

  • Dave

    Syndergaard is the size of an NFL tight end. He’s 23 years old. A generation or two ago, pitchers who were older and far less impressive physical specimens than him threw 250+ innings a year and no television coverage showed pitch counts along with the score.

    And here we are debating whether or not 115 pitches in one game killed him. He’s as strong as an ox…only way I’m accepting the possibility that he can’t throw 115 pitches is if no human being had previously thrown more than 75.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Bravo Dennis and Bravo Dave

  • Guy K.

    Before anyone else tries to parallel last season at this point with today, or to cheer the cynical Mets fan with the fact that “they’re still only three out in the loss column!”, please consider that the Mets have just gone 2-5 against the Braves over the last 12 days, and the Braves are actively trying to suck.
    The Mets have shown an inability to hit pitchers like John Gant and Bud Norris. They have no bench, and if their starting pitcher does not go seven innings, they cannot bridge the last three innings of a game.
    Their medical disinformation campaign resembles something that would come from an incompetent White House press secretary.
    But we’re supposed to “buck up” and steel our resolve??

    • Dave

      Guy- Thank you. If this “but this is where they were last year” argument really held up, then there would be teams repeating their championships all the time. The problem here is that the Nationals and even the Marlins have done things to their rosters with the intention of improving their teams. So the 2016 Mets don’t have to beat the dumpster fire that was the 2015 Nationals, they have to beat the 2016 Nationals. And that might not be quite as easy.

      Oh, and the big turning point last year was acquiring Cespedes. He’s already here this time around. Whatever anyone might think about whether or not the Mets should have brought Reyes back on moral and ethical grounds, I doubt even his biggest supporters imagine he’s going to have anything close to the kind of impact that Yo had after he arrived.

    • Dennis

      Ok…they’ve gone 2-5 against the Braves. Granted, that’s a piss poor showing against a bad team. But trying to suck or not, they are still professional players who played well against the Mets. Go through the history of MLB and you’ll see bad teams from certain years having a winning record against better teams….it happens.

      And sure…..this isn’t last year. But the fact is, they are “only 3 out in the loss column” with 87 games to go. Once again people are overreacting and ready to throw the towel in and it’s not even July! Yeah….the big turning point was getting Cespedes (which occurred on July 31 by the way…..not June 28), and I don’t think anyone expects Reyes to be a savior or have the impact Cespedes did, but who is saying that’s the only move that will be made? The trade deadline isn’t even a month away!

      Its’ amazing…..if this team went 140-22, some of you would complain they didn’t win 141.

      • Daniel Hall

        Well, please tell us what trade pieces they should ship in to solve this wretched mess, especially with a farm that has been largely picked thin? 60% of last year’s saviors are already here (again) and they are still a wretched mess. The entire lineup would best be disposed of in a 3-for-the-price-of-1 sale. Time to sell anything of value, and that will be less than you might think. Pathetic out after pathetic out after pathetic out. They are completely unwatchable.

        The most pedestrian, regularly blown-up pitchers routinely and regularly throw seven-, eight-, or nine-inning shutouts against the lifeless pulp that occupies the order top to bottom, or they sprinkle a few singles here and there, but it doesn’t matter, because the Mets will hit into four double plays. Nobody steals a base EVER. Runner on third with one out? Nothing to see here, that run ain’t scoring! Last night they had 14 hits to the River Rats’ 17, and yet they were blown out by seven runs, and the Rats scored 11 unanswered runs. Surely it doesn’t help when half the lineup goes onto the DL, but all those guys were horrible even before they got hurt! Wright was batting .230-something, Duda wasn’t hitting anything, and d’Arnaud has been nothing but either hurt or horrible for THREE YEARS, can’t throw out a single base stealer, and keeps keeling over with ailments big and small (although you could make an argument that the DL is where he does the least harm to his team) and yet keeps being advertised as a keystone to the defense AND the offense.

        Oh wait, my bad. He is a keystone to the offense. An offense that wouldn’t be able to score a run on three hit batters and a balk and for which John Mayberry jr. would be an ACTUAL improvement. And that’s why the Mets will be soundly under .500 by the All Star break.

        • Dennis

          Wow….OK. Not sure how to respond to this rant about a team that is so horrible it’s a few games out of 1st and one year removed from the World Series. If they’re that unwatchable to you, you should do yourself and health a favor and not watch them at all. It doesn’t sound fun for you.

  • Greg Mitchell

    Well, they just released Danny Muno–so who says they are not making progress?

    The Mets, beyond current roster disadvantages, also face a possible prospect deficiency when considering other top teams. The Nats have just called up one of the two or three top starter prospects in the minors–and they have another ultra prospect, Trea Turner, ready to come up and play SS or even CF (where they are now trying him). The Cubbies just brought up a superstar catching prospect who would fill their only weak link and is off to great start. The Pirates have not one but two of the top 5 pitching prospects who could help them rally. So one has to hope that Nimmo OR Conforto take off, or Herrera when called up, or Wheeler if he ever does return for a few starts….

  • Bob

    Hang on–let’s not turn on fellow Met fans.
    Yeah–season took a bad turn…..BUT ya’ never know.
    As an OLD fan, I’m baffled (by most things)by all these arm problems with young pitchers. I recall Nolan Ryan had blister problems with Mets–but if I recall, kosher pickle brine solved that..
    Met History–Jim Hickman passed the other day–
    Take a deep breath (something done with caution here in LA)more than half the season to come…OY Vey!
    Met Fan since Polo Grounds..

  • AJM

    I’m not ready to throw in the towel on June 28th, that would just be silly. Yes it’s not last year, and yes the adversity is growing, but if last year taught us anything important it’s that crazy stuff happens in baseball – like going from the worst offense to the best in a matter of a month. Keep your chins up.

  • Left Coast Jerry

    Greg and Jason, I apologize for calling out another poster, but when you present Fact A and Fact B, and are so certain that Fact A caused Fact B, you come off as a pompous know-it-all. Now if you have a degree in kinesiology or sports medicine, and have access to Noah’s medical records, maybe you can connect the dots. Other than that it’s just opinion. Just like what I and everybody else posts here. For example, it’s my opinion that Rivera should have been the starting catcher last night. It’s also my opinion that bringing Bastardo in the 8th inning on Sunday was wrong. Does that mean I’m more qualified than TC to run the team? I don’t think so.

    It’s also my opinion that the Mets will not make the same run they did last year. But I could be wrong, and I’m going to continue to root.

    • Greg Mitchell

      One small problem, if you’re referring to me, is: I never claimed, in any post, that leaving Noah in to pitch that 9th inning “caused” his current arm issues. Why would I? He already had expressed some concerns himself and had one recent MRI already (which TC seemed to ignore). So it’s the willful creation of a “straw man” to shoot down a non-existent claim that an extra inning or two “caused” an elbow problem. The point was and is: It was utterly foolish to risk aggravating any possible “issue” by pushing him out there in an 11-0 game. Was something aggravated by that? I would guess yes, but of course, who knows, although look what’s happened since: another MRI five days later, and then last night’s debacle. Plus: Noah and Terry THEMSELVES later admitted he had maybe thrown “too many pitches” lately and been exposed to too much “wear and tear.” But, again, that’s the point: why risk that for no real reward? And that’s no “straw man.”

  • Left Coast Jerry

    “Utterly foolish” is an opinion. You have a stud pitcher who had completed 8 stellar innings. Why not send him back out for the 9th in a stress free environment and save the bullpen? Would you be complaining if he had shut the opposition down in the 9th with 8-10 pitches?

  • Matt in Richmond

    I don’t think any of us “faith” fans are naïve enough to feel certain that this year will mirror last year. We are pointing out something that is true however. Last year around this time and for weeks afterward, I would visit this blog and argue with posters that were convinced the season was ruined, TC was the worst manager ever, our GM was clueless, getting back injured players wasn’t going to help at all, etc etc.

    My contention is that these guys are the defending NL champions and have shown a great deal of grit and resolve. They have earned their fans support, and yet as soon as things get difficult a bunch of you are ready to fold. I don’t get that. I will support and believe in these guys until they are mathematically eliminated, and even if that happens I will still root for them and look forward to next year.

    And Dave, they don’t have to beat the Nats. That would be nice, but remember, there are 2 WC slots. All the more reason it’s crazy to give up so soon.

  • eric1973

    It was understandable last year to think things would look up, eventually. Crummy replacements dotted the lineup, and the pitching was stellar, and on the rise.

    This year, these are our starters in this lineup (yes, Flores and Loney should be adequate enough replacements for Wright and Duda). They are not playing up to their capabilities, and neither is the SP —- Harvey is Exhibit A, deGrom can’t buy a win, Thor and Matz have bone spurs, which has got to be messing with their minds —- to blow those leads like that. Maybe get a LF.

    That’s why some of us are reasonably concerned this year.

    • Dennis

      All good points eric. Reasonably concerned is one thing……this team being described as a mess and should be blown up is another thing.

  • eric1973

    I equate misery with fun, Exhibit A being 1987.

    Imagine how much more fun/miserable this year would be if there were NO wildcards to fall back on. Win or go home. Every nite a nailbiter, starting NOW. Currently, it’s a casual ‘Oh, we always have the wildcards.’ Ho-hum.

    Just a mishmash of teams with no definitive team to root against. Enthusiasm is tempered —- kind of like Instant Replay, where that’s a fallback for any close play, and we have to wait before we can cheer.

    They should put these two Propositions on the All-Star Ballot. I think the fans would vote down Instant Replay, at least.