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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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New Worst Order

The problem when your team has given up double-digit runs in ten different games in a season that is only seventy games old — and five times in a month that still has ten days to go — is keeping track of which of those losses is the worst. It’s tough, I suppose, to top (or bottom) the 23-5 farce at the hands of the Nationals from April 30, the one that featured three Anthony Rendon home runs, Kevin Plawecki’s pitching debut and Noah Syndergaard’s probable 2017 farewell. The lightning-quick burial of Tommy Milone by the Angels in a 12-5 romp on May 21 also springs to mind. Oh, and what about the Mother’s Day Massacre in Milwaukee, wherein a 7-1 midgame Mets lead dissolved into a 11-9 loss to the Brewers? Personally, I retain a sore spot for that flaming pile of baseball.

The Mets can pack plenty of pain into a defeat that doesn’t tilt the scoreboard quite so dramatically. There was 7-5 to the Braves on April 27, when Yoenis Cespedes strained a hamstring and Syndergaard turned down his employer’s gracious offer of an MRI. There was the afternoon of May 7, when Adam Wilk came and went at Matt Harvey’s inadvertent behest, leaving behind a 7-0 whitewashing by which to vaguely remember him. Way back when the Mets were a .500 ballclub, on May 10, you had the Mets carrying a 3-2 edge over the Giants into the ninth at home only to call it a day by losing, 6-5 — and then they lost the pitcher who lost the lead, Jeurys Familia, for the bulk of the year.

There was also a string of late and close losses to the Marlins in Miami that combined to tear out our then thick, luscious hair in the middle of April. And the wrong end of a three-game sweep in Arizona that ended with an eleventh-inning home run struck by a Diamondback (it doesn’t matter who anymore). And two consecutive nights playing down to and below the Padres. And the night Mr. Met’s finger pointed out how bad the Mets were. And the next afternoon when Mr. Met was proven correct yet again.

And so on.

You can see the problem. You’ve lived the problem. Your team, like mine, is 31-39, and you, like me, are moved to recall the exchange between manager and coach from Bull Durham (revised to reflect our bush league entry’s current statistical circumstances):

“What’s our record, Larry?”
“Thirty-one and thirty-nine.”
“Thirty-one…and thirty-nine. How’d we ever win thirty-one?”
“It’s a miracle.”
“It’s a miracle.”

As Met miracles go, this realization is as sad as it gets, which is to say as sad as Tuesday night’s 12-0 loss in Los Angeles, which, in the moment, I was convinced was the absolute worst Mets loss of 2017. Perhaps it was the onset of the summer solstice that helped convince me. With the start being late and the night being short, it was literally darkest before the dawn. The literal dawn, that is. Met-aphorically, there seems little danger the darkness will be lifting anytime soon.

Upon further review, I realize the competition is too complex to bestow such a weighty title as Worst Mets Loss of the Year so cavalierly. Maybe the relentless clobbering of Robert Gsellman & Co. at Dodger Stadium represents just another night at the ballpark. Maybe it embodied the new if depressing normal. After all, exactly a week before we lost, 14-3, and it barely registers within the realm of anything I’ve cited above. Yet as I was watching Dodger hit after Dodger hit; Dodger walk after Dodger walk; Dodger run after Dodger run; Dodger home run after Dodger home run; and Met after Met ceaselessly suck, I honestly couldn’t think of any 2017 Mets loss that was worse. Thus, I stand by my assertion.

Ninety-two games, however, remain scheduled. The committee to determine which Mets loss is worst this season shall remain open for nominations as necessary.

***

Much better news on the Mets front emerged Tuesday if you include news about Mets fans, and, as Mets fans, why wouldn’t we? Our dear friend Kevin Chapman went into the Hospital for Special Surgery and, contrary to popular belief where anything Metsian about that facility is concerned, he came out in one piece. With his shoulder socket expertly repaired (and his morale thoroughly supported by his loving wife Sharon), we look forward to his complete recovery and to seeing him — should the Mets miraculously cooperate — raise two good arms in victory real soon.

24 comments to New Worst Order

  • Seth

    I watch some part of every game so it’s very telling that I don’t even remember most of those horrendous losses you cite. It makes me think that, possibly, the worst Mets’ loss of the year is always the last one.

  • kdbart

    The 2016 Mets pitching staff gave up 7+ runs in a game 24 times in 162 games. The 2015 staff, 30 times. The 2017 staff has already given up 7+ runs in a game 24 times in the first 70 games of the season. At the pace they’re surrendering runs, this year’s staff is going to give up about 260 more runs, 1.6 a game, than the 2016 staff. They are basically pitching at the level of the 2016 Cincinnati Reds staff which won all of 68 games despite the team scoring around 4.5 runs a game.

  • Shawn B

    Any chance this season can be edited by moderator?

  • LeClerc

    My vote goes to the meltdown in Milwaukee.

    Recent DeGrom, Wheeler and Gsellman shellackings were quick and (somewhat) merciful.

    By contrast, the 7-1 Mets to 11-9 Brewers fiasco inflicted vicious blood pressure spikes and brain pain that only time (and an occasional Mets win) can heal.

  • Inside Pitcher

    Thank you for the shout out, my good friend. Kevin is recovering well so far. Our biggest disappointment with HSS is that their socks for their patients didn’t come in Orange and Blue.

  • Guy Kipp

    The Mets’ team ERA is 5.01.

    The 1962 Mets’ team ERA was 5.04.

  • Pete In Iowa

    Greg, I think the loss to the Giants you touched on was clearly our worst loss of the season. After a slog to get back to .500 after the epic 11 of 12, holding on in that game would have put us over .500. Immediately after the loss came the Familia news and then six infamous road losses in a row. Poof!
    Been a fan since the mid 60’s. Sure, there were some really bad clubs, but I just can’t remember giving up so many runs — and home runs — with the regularity which this club seems to have made into some sort of perverse art form.
    It’s depressing…

  • Gil

    I didnt see the game last night because I’m becoming a believer of the MetsPolics guy who is urging me to pursue other endeavors. Which I am. At least when the games start at ten. But I have to imagine it was a Tops baseball card kind of night pretty early on. I couldn’t bring myself to watch the daily recap.

    Hot damn. We stink.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    At about 9 PM last night my wife says to me “Do you want to watch the movie Paterson, it’s streaming on Amazon Prime” I check the movie running time, not bad, I’ll only miss the first 1/2 hour of the game (like it matters these days).

    At around 10:15 i take a peek at the At Bat app and say to myself, that’s odd, they haven’t updated it from this time last night, 4 nothing Dodgers, bottom of the first.

    Really, that’s what I thought. You’d think I’d know better by now.

    PS: Good movie.

  • Dave

    I’m going to make Guy’s 2017/1962 team ERA comparison worse by pointing out that at least some of the Original Mets’ pitching woes (not all, not even most, but at least some) could be attributed to playing home games at a stadium where 260 foot home runs were possible. None of those at Citi. Nope, now at home the Mets aces give up homers that get hit halfway to Bayside.

  • eric1973

    What I would give now for those 5 run leads in the 9th, when JF came in and nailed them down, only to be unavailable the next day.

    O the Good Ol’ Days…

  • Curt

    Two nights ago I could turn off the game with one out in the bottom of the 1st. Last night I could turn it off one out earlier. Not sure how to beat that tonight. Competitive and winning Mets games on the west coast are bad for my sleep schedule. Not a problem so far.

    The Milwaukee game is the one that sticks with me. See, now I have no expectations. Then I still had concepts like, “If we miss the WC by one game . . .”

  • Ken K. in NJ

    I just want to add that the reader comments are much more fun to read when this team is going badly. Thanks everyone, I need that.

  • Lenny65

    And all that there remains, is the bitterness of delusion. The 2017 Mets are like a sad drunken angry clown popping children’s balloons with a lit cigar stub. They pack all the excitement and joy of hearing your oral surgeon suddenly saying “ooops…uh-oh”. This season has played out like urgently needing to use the bathroom at your in-laws house then discovering that you’ve broken the toilet in the guest bathroom. I do like how they get the losses right out of the way early, it’s very considerate for their east coast fans.

  • Jacobs27

    The worst just keeps getting worser.

  • Tammy P

    Bring Plaw back to catch….the year the Mets went to the World Series, he was a factor in getting them there (but received NO credit or playing time in the Series…maybe that’s why they lost???) The pitchers need a better catcher, and Kevin IS the answer.

  • BlackCountryMet

    Games on the West Coast are actually better on this side of the pond, starting at 03 10, I can go to bed slightly earlier and wake up and watch before work. Had we be going well, I’d have woken in time for 1st pitch and done so. In view of recent performances I “scaled back” and set my alarm for 04 30to get the last 5ish innings. the 1st 2 days, I woke, saw score and immediately went back to sleep. Today I turned on 1 pitch before Puig deposited his homer. Tomorrow, I won’t bother!

    Could someone please explain why Puigs slow trot/celebration of his HR is SO OFFENSIVE? I seriously don’t get it? If the other team don’t like it, here’s a radical idea, prevent him homering in the 1st place?

    • 9th string catcher

      It’s a dick move and he knows it. Pummeling a team in free fall against a AAA pitcher is nothing to jump up and down about. It wasn’t long ago that they shipped his sorry ass down to Triple A. Guy deserves a 97 mph fastball right on his thigh.

  • 9th string catcher

    In the meantime, I like to think that I’m not a knee-jerk fan, and while I’m not the biggest TC fan, I always thought he did a pretty good job here. But for the sake of the players’ collective health, I think it’s time to clean house. The way the pitchers are dropping like flies, there are some fundamental problems that are either being ignored, or possible exacerbated. Is it lack of preparation? Is it overuse? Is it a general disconnect between management and player? I don’t know if management change would help, but what’s in place is not working. And I believe it’s a top to bottom issue – GM, manager, pitching coach, trainer. The only significant area of sustained improvement has been the offense, pretty much coinciding with Kevin Long – I would keep him in place.

    Do I have suggestions for replacements? No, I’m guilty of addressing a problem without a good solution in place. I tend to think Frank Viola is getting good results in a hitter friendly environment and knows the pitchers well – perhaps he’d make a good solution at pitching coach.
    Injuries affect everyone in MLB, so maybe this wouldn’t even work. But by leaving the status quo in place, I don’t see how we’re going to see a full season out of any of our starting pitchers.

  • Kevin From Flushing

    I am in awe of this how wrong everything has gone. Thanks for keeping track of the finer details, Greg.

    And a speedy recovery to fellow Kevin, Mr Chapman!