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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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Moderated by Editor

So the Mets played an amazing game Saturday afternoon, with Asdrubal Cabrera hitting the go-ahead home run on the same day fans took home a bobblehead of him connecting for a walkoff home run against the same team last year, and —

Wait a second. I’m afraid this post has been flagged for review. Because what you’ve written is absurd.

How so?

Jeez, where do I start? How about the cheap theatrics? A guy hitting a go-ahead homer on the same day a giveaway is celebrating what’s pretty much the same thing?

But … that’s what happened! I swear it!

Look, you even have him hitting it against the same team. You’re the one who’s always talking about narratives, right? Can’t you be a little more subtle? More artful?

Look, I’m just the chronicler … the narrator, if you will. I don’t come up with the story myself — I just pass it along and try to give the retelling some structure. If I could determine the outcome of these things, we’d be gunning for the 13th World Series title of the Faith & Fear era.

Did you actually see this miraculous home run?

Well … no.

That doesn’t sound like very good chronicling to me.

I know. But let me explain. See, I’m in Connecticut at my in-laws for the holiday, and the game was taking forever, and we had dinner guests, and the Mets had just fallen behind 6-3 on this tremendous home run by Aaron Altherr

Was it his Bobblehead Day too?

Of course not.

Wait, I had my people review this. It was Tommy Joseph who hit the homer.

Tommy Joseph then. Anyway, it had been a frustrating game, and I kind of figured that was it, and anyway there was this huge bow wave of thunderstorms steaming from the west towards New York, so I knew there would be a rain delay. So I told myself I should go upstairs and be sociable, and I could discreetly check what happened on my phone and maybe slip back downstairs after the rain delay and hope for the best.

So the first time I check my phone the score I’m seeing doesn’t make sense: Mets 7, Phillies 6. That was pretty exciting, so I kept checking, and sneaked off during the rain delay to watch a replay of the Cabrera home run.

The one just like the one last year, you mean?

Yeah. I mean, it was uncanny — it was 20 feet or so to the left of last year’s, but about the same distance. Though of course Asdrubal didn’t punctuate events with an epic bat flip this time, seeing how this time the game wasn’t over.

See, that’s what I mean about subtlety and art. It would be more effective if this second home run of yours were hit to the other field, or clanged off the foul pole.

I suppose, but that’s where it went. And it wasn’t even the first bit of weird parallelism in this game.

Go on.

Well, Zack Wheeler started for the Mets, and he … well, he was Zack Wheeler.

That’s not very descriptive. How will your audience know what that means?

Believe me, they’ll know. It means he was really good — fastball hitting 98, sharp slider as an out pitch — but he was also really inefficient. Like it took him 40 pitches to get through the first two innings. But even then, he might have qualified for the win if not for this unlucky, unfortunate play in the fourth.

With one out T.J. Rivera committed an error at third and then Wheeler walked the next two guys — he wasn’t helped by a really small strike zone — which brought old friend Ty Kelly to the plate. Kelly’s an interesting player and I wish the Mets hadn’t lost him — he can work a count and has good instincts, though he always looks weirdly diffident at the plate, like he’s peeking around the bat. Anyway, Kelly worked the count full and then hit a grounder to Lucas Duda at first.

Duda — who had a really good day at bat and in the field, by the way — snagged it and threw to second for the second out, with Wheeler covering first for the return throw. But Zack took his eye off the ball to check where his foot was and the ball clanked off his glove. So instead of an inning-ending double play and Wheeler having the chance to come out for the fifth with a lead, the Phils had scored two and Terry Collins took Wheeler out.

OK, now I’m listening. That’s the kind of detail you want to make this narrative of yours engaging.

I’m glad you like it. But look, we haven’t gotten to the weird part yet. The Mets tied it up in the bottom of the fourth and then took a one-run lead on a Duda home run into the apple’s housing — I think they ought to call it the apple core, but nobody listens to me — but then the Phils tied it again in the top of the fifth after a two-out walk to Altherr and a throwing error and a Tommy Joseph double–

None of that sounds weird, just really sloppy. Plus you should throw some more protagonists and antagonists in the story, instead of just using Duda, Joseph and Altherr.

Hey, I chronicle what they give me. You’re right that it wasn’t exactly a baseball showcase. But here’s the weird part. In the bottom of the fifth Cabrera came up with the bases loaded —

The home-run guy? Can’t you use somebody else there?

I keep telling you that’s not how it works. Cabrera came up with the bases loaded and one out and smacked a grounder to Joseph at first, who threw to the shortstop and then back to Jeremy Hellickson, the Philadelphia pitcher, covering first. Hellickson took his eye off the ball to check where his foot was, and —

Let me guess, the ball clanked off his glove.

Nope. He caught it, no muss no fuss, and the Mets were turned aside. It was the exact same play where things went wrong for Wheeler — the two pitchers moved their gloves the exact same way, looked down the exact same way, were short of the bag and had to reposition a foot the exact same way. Except one guy caught the ball and the other guy didn’t.

Well, that’s not exactly parallelism, is it? Why do we need that detail?

Because it’s a reminder of how baseball turns on little things, and those little things are often somewhere between capricious and cruel. I think that’s something we need to keep in mind as fans — how thin the line is between success and failure.

All right, noted. So it seems like we’re up to the home runs you were telling me about — the one by this Joseph guy and the one by your pal Cabrera. What happened after that?

Well, there was the rain delay, and then Addison Reed was called on for a four-out save.

And did he get it?

Would you let me tell the story? He did, but it wasn’t easy. Altherr led off the ninth with a double — one that hit off the freaking orange line just above Jay Bruce‘s head.

Yikes! That’s dramatic! But once again, c’mon. Altherr again?

Sorry, but it was him. Leadoff double, but Reed held the line: flyout to center, grounder to first that moved Altherr to third, pop-up to right and the Mets had won.

Hmm. Well, that’s a feel-good ending.

It was! I wish they all were, but this one definitely was. Oh, and there’s one more thing I want to include. After the storm rolled through, there was a rainbow over Citi Field. It was beautiful.

That’s ham-handed — we really need to talk about subtlety in these write-ups of yours — but I agree that’s beautiful. So look, I still think you need a bigger cast of characters and a little lighter hand with the parallelism — the matching home runs and the two double plays and stuff like that. But this is good material and an OK first draft. So work on it some more and we’ll see…

Oh wait, it was a double rainbow.

You’re killing me here. Fine, write whatever you want.

I will! That was the game that brought the Mets to within four games of .500, and started their long climb back to the playoffs and then —

Let’s not go crazy.

Fine. I’ll settle for the nutty home run and how much fun it all was. But the double rainbow stays.

9 comments to Moderated by Editor

  • Left Coast Jerry

    Jason, I hate to be the one to moderate your moderation, but Aaron Altherr didn’t hit the 3 run homer. Tommy Joseph did.

  • Matt in Richmond

    It was indeed Joseph. Gary initially called it Altherr. Maybe that’s what Jason heard as he was visiting with in-laws.

  • Curt

    That was a game we did not deserve to win. Sloppy, errors, baserunning mistakes – Reyes twice on 2nd with no outs and each time gets himself out. I did something I almost never do when Cabrera grounded into the BLDP and yelled at my TV. It wasn’t a loud yell but it was more at Reyes than him. I like winning games we deserve to lose much more than losing games we deserve to win.

    It made for a very Happy Bobby Bonilla Day anyway.

    Would have let Wheeler try to finish the 4th myself.

    When I see Neil Ramirez warming up in the bullpen the theme from Jaws starts going through my head. Seriously – they had a shot of him and I started hearing, “ba-dum, ba-dum . . .”

    “I think they ought to call it the apple core” – This would be a GREAT name for a fan section of Citi. Pay a little extra money to go to charity, get the t-shirt, sit together and get a free fruit appetizer each game.

    Need to figure out how to receive an alert when a game restarts. MLBtv just puts that there’s a delay on the screen, gives you zero programming. Kept checking game updates but missed some, got it back up just as Altherr was sliding into 2nd in the 9th. To be honest, I was hoping the game was over so Sewald would pick up a save. Gotten to like him and what he brings.

    The Mets just keep lingering, doing just enough to keep us hoping. “Only” 8.5 games back – in ’73 we were 11 out on July 1. As I keep saying, .500 by August 1, trade for Kelly Johnson, make the playoffs. It’s our thing.

    • Eric

      The Mets have their current top 3 pitchers starting against the Nationals. After beating some struggling teams, the series will be a next-level measuring stick for these Cespedes seems okay, Granderson leading off like it’s 2015, 2B Cabrera Mets. Right now, the Nationals are scuffling, too, but they’re still a (the) team to beat.

  • eric1973

    I get why TC was mad about the rain delay with 2 out in the 8th inning, and not raining yet, but if Seward gives up a homer there, and the game gets rained out, we lose.

    Much rather the game gets rained out at that point, and if not, we got Reed for a four out save.

    Just another TC headscratcher.

    Edited by moderator.

  • LeClerc

    If Fernando Salas gives you one scoreless inning – thank you very much and don’t push your luck any further.

  • Eric

    The Mets clawing back to .500 against the Nationals would be a fantastic story.

    That was a sloppily played game by the Mets that they deserved to lose. It was a fun win for that, but they need to clean that up before they go down to DC or else they will lose.

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