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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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Eyes on the Prize

Sometimes your ace, while perfectly worthy of New Yorker covers, is missing that little wrinkle from his fastball and can’t locate it anyway and he gets whacked around.

Sometimes an opponent who’s spent the year being an absolute tomato can manages to bewilder.

Sometimes your hitters connect with ball after ball after ball in ways that seem promising at first but wind up profoundly frustrating.

Sometimes Matt Kemp catches EVERYTHING THAT COMES WITHIN 50 FEET OF HIM.

Sometimes Freddie Freeman shows up and does Freddie Freeman things.

Don’t let it get you down. It’s just baseball, which can be beautiful and can be cruel and can also be baffling and exasperating. We weren’t going to win every game. In all likelihood we don’t need to win every game. Win series. Win series and we’ll take our chances.

It all starts tomorrow. It’s always all starting tomorrow.

21 comments to Eyes on the Prize

  • LeClerc

    12 games to go.

    Every pitcher (including the New Yorker cover guy)has to have a short leash. You cannot let a game get away. 3-0 (not 5-0) is the score that says it’s time for the next man up.

    Cardinals won. But – Dodgers beat the Giants in the bottom of the ninth (Yay!).

  • Kevin from Flushing

    I’m with you, Jace

  • Eric

    Mets lose to the Braves while Marlins beat the Nationals. Going in, Syndergaard vs Blair looked like a good chance for a Mets win on paper. Then again, on paper the Mets look like they shouldn’t be in the play-off race at all right now, and they’re holding the top WC slot by 1 game. Baseball.

    The Cardinals winning makes me wish more the Giants had won a 3rd game in their series, but the Giants didn’t win the 3rd game of their series because of a glaring problem closing games that looks like the biggest vulnerability among the 3 WC front runners.

    The Mets scoring 3 runs, like they did against the Twins, looks a lot better when they’re not giving up 7, which is obvious, but it highlights the thin margin of error. The Mets offense continues to struggle, and they’re relying on a pitching staff that has been ravaged by injuries to win when common sense says the Mets need to hit to pick up the patchwork pitching.

    With all that, the Mets won at least 1 game against the Twins they easily could have lost. And given how this stretch has gone, it would be par for the course if Gsellman beat Teheran the night after Syndergaard lost to Blair.

  • eric1973

    Slow and steady is going to win this race. Chalk up last night, as these things happen. The underbelly of the relief corp rested our good guys, and we’re ready for the stretch drive. The schedule and some of the coin flips are in our favor. Cubs and Dodgers helping us out, as we take care of our own house.

  • 9th string catcher

    I looked at that match-up on Sunday and thought, what a mismatch. 8.09 ERA vs Syndergaard. Should be a cakewalk. And with that (and perhaps because of that) I could totally see the Braves winning the game, since that’s what baseball is. Sure enough…

    The team is doing great right now, and I think they’re due to lose here and there. Because that’s baseball. It’s quite a ride!

    LGM!

    • DAK442

      I was at the game, and when Blair’s stats were up on the scoreboard we laughed at him. Then I said “Watch, this is just the kind of idiot that shuts us out for 7 innings”. I was close.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Last night makes up a bit for the 4 or 5 wins over the current hot stretch that looked like a mismatch the other way. Baseball being mostly about a regression to the mean, I hope this isn’t the beginning of the inevitable “evening out”.

  • Daniel

    As always, well done (and how succinct, too!). The mantra of Win Every Series is still accurate — a .667ish winning percentage here on out should lead to one of the two Wild Cards (and likely, the home one). And in either case, it’s been a heck of a ride getting to witness The Team That Wouldn’t Die.

    (Also, how is The New Yorker $8.99 an issue now?! That is almost criminal.)

  • Matt in Richmond

    Every ace has a rough game every now and then, and honestly, a lot of those Braves hits were bleeders and dunkers. Maybe tonight can be the mysterious Julio’s off night. Steady as she goes…

  • Dave

    Every word 100% true, Jason.

    If you told me on Opening Day that Harvey and deGrom would both finish under .500 and need surgery, that Wheeler wouldn’t throw a pitch, that Matz would make what by now seems like 16 trips to the DL, that Wright, Duda and Lagares would miss most of the season, that Walker’s season would end in August, that Conforto would have the sophomore slump from hell, that d’Arnaud’s performance and health would make a regular catcher out of Rene Rivera, and that the big deadline acquisition would make Jason Bay look good…I’d have figured we’d be 20 games under .500 and have John Mayberry Jr back hitting cleanup. Losing one game can’t put a dent in me now.

  • Curt

    I always feel better when we win the first game of a series and lose the second than losing the first and winning the second. Makes no logical sense. Hopefully Gsellman can continue the magic.

    Loved this article on NL wild card scenarios: http://www.espn.com/blog/new-york/mets/post/_/id/124318/undefined

  • Pete In Iowa

    About last night vs. Braves… Rinse, lather and DON’T REPEAT. Moving on.
    We were granted a gift last night from 3,000 miles away by Bruce Bochy, who pulled Bumgarner with a 1-0 lead after hurling 98 pitches over 7 innings of one-hit, shut out ball. What in the world was he thinking???!!! The back of his bullpen is SO BAD right now that I would have left Bumgarner out there until his left arm fell off and then let him pitch right-handed, or if the Dodgers scored two against him.
    Ninth inning in LA last night:
    Four hits, three relievers, two runs, one shaky play from Pence and ZERO OUTS!
    Thanks so much Mr. Bochy. My sincerest hope this proves to be the gift that keeps giving until October 2!

    • Curt

      The Giants SOOOO remind me of us in ’07 (and ’08 but I remember 2007 better) – complete bullpen meltdown. I’d feel pity for them except their loss is our gain.

      And they have 3 world championships since 2010. On second thought, let them feel pain.

  • Gil

    A horse race in slow motion. I’m a ball of stress. Glad to be +1, but I might in rehab by the time the wild card game is played.

  • Greg Mitchell

    For those saying this is surely just the one bad start Thor was due for–he said he felt “stiff” after his last start and was happy to take the extra day of rest. So we’ll see.

    Agree that Mets have hung in there despite adversity and it’s wonderful but, please, it’s hardly “amazing” they are in Wild Card race given how awful the Giants and Cards (and Pirates and Marlins) have largely been. Those teams have been wracked by injuries and poor years as well (as I noted last week Flores would lead the Giants in homers, for example). Mets can probably play .500 ball from here on out and get the 2nd Wild Card. They might even win the wild card game, and more…

  • Steve K

    The second game vs. Atlanta represents just another example of TC being a step behind. Gsellman has had difficulty the third time through the order. You had Freddy Freeman due up fourth in the 6th inning, Mets up 1-0.

    But, he has no lefty warming up in time to face Freeman?

    And, leaves in Gsellman after he walked Freeman?

    Earlier this month, it was not being aware enough to pinch-run for Wilmer. Tonight, his delay in removing a starter who had reached the end of his rope proved costly.

    While I applaud how he has held the team together, and has them playing hard, these repeated strategic errors are frustrating to watch.

    Or, is it just me? :)

    • LeClerc

      When Ynoa was lifted on Sunday – after getting two outs, and then yielding a single to Dozier – the reasoning was he was now on the third time around in the batting order and the Twins’ best hitters would be on to him.

      That was exactly the situation with Gsellman in the sixth. He retired Teheran and then Enciarte hit a single. It was the third time around and – yes – they were on to him. Unfortunately, he was left in for three more batters. The rest is history.

  • Greg Mitchell

    For those who still defend Bruce pickup: ever think you’d see Soup pinch hit for him?

    Also (ahem) it appears Travis is not going to come around this season.