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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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A Case of the Nopes

I missed the first game of Sunday’s day-night doubleheader, but it was for a baseball-related reason: we took the Staten Island ferry to get our first look at the 2017 Brooklyn Cyclones.

It hasn’t exactly been going well down on Coney Island — the Cyclones are last in their division and have a .266 winning percentage, which is ’62 Mets territory. But it was a beautiful afternoon, one of those gentle, gorgeous late-summer days that just about breaks your heart because you know in three weeks such days will be impossible. And at least for a day, the Cyclones thoroughly outplayed the sloppy Yankees, spanking them by a satisfying 6-0 score. I wasn’t paying avid attention beyond what was required not to be killed by a foul ball (one near-miss), but I can report that Wagner Lagrange — making his Brooklyn debut after an impressive summer with Kingsport — is at least worth a weather eye, and not just for that indisputably awesome name. The kid knows the strike zone and has a live bat and good speed. You heard it here first, maybe.

The nightcap was under way when we returned, and for a while it was a taut game, marred only by those execrable Players Weekend uniforms. Then Seth Lugo faltered, but Tanner Roark out-faltered him, with Brandon Nimmo lining a two-run homer for a Mets lead and then lighting up all of D.C. with his goofy smile. If Nimmo can even hit his weight he’ll be a great MLB ambassador, as he all but radiates that baseball is fun and everyone playing it should enjoy it and everyone watching it should enjoy it too, and then all involved should hurry home for apple pie, stopping only to buy mom some flowers.

Alas, Nimmo’s invitation for us all to be more joyful was followed by discouraging work fromĀ Hansel Robles. Robles — snarked at by Keith Hernandez for giving up homers — chose a lower-altitude way of driving us insane, walking three straight guys before being sent to the clubhouse to think about what he’d done. He also screwed the mound up so completely that the more-reliable Chasen Bradford couldn’t pitch either — Bradford immediately walked a fourth guy, giving the Nats back the lead.

I know Robles has been better of late — he picked up two key strikeouts in the matinee, for instance — but he’s become too exasperating for logic to rule the day. I’d suggest the Mets establish a farm team in Antarctica, with Robles as the entirety of its roster.

The Mets did fight back: Wilmer Flores looked like he’d tied the game with a drive off of Shawn Kelley in the eighth, but the ball died in the air. Erik Goeddel then gave up a seemingly cosmetic, ultimately crushing home run to Adam Lind, and Sean Doolittle arrived to close things out for the Nats.

Doolittle kept throwing strikes, and the Mets looked helpless against him early in their at-bats. But they persevered, with Travis d’Arnaud, Gavin Cecchini and Jose Reyes all singling to bring up Juan Lagares with two outs and the tying run on third, go-ahead run on second. Lagares clobbered a high fastball that seemed certain to go over old pal Alejandro De Aza‘s head, which it did. But it was only high enough to require a little crow hop from De Aza; when he came down the Mets had lost.

The Mets had lost and I was yelling obscenities and reminding myself that remotes are too fragile and expensive to become missiles launched with sports-related pique. Which was a victory of a sort, if you think about it — the season’s lost, but I really thought a bunch of 51s wearing absurd uniforms were going to triumph, and was undone when they didn’t.

9 comments to A Case of the Nopes

  • Left Coast Jerry

    I don’t know what was the worst thing about last night’s game, the uniforms, Robles, the inane ramblings of the folks in the ESPN booth or Alan Porter’s miserably inconsistent strike zone.

    I guess the game worn jerseys will now be auctioned off to raise money for charity and Rob Manfred and his minions will pat themselves on the back for being such wonderful human beings. Does anybody know what a slightly used jersey that says LA POTENCIA will fetch?

  • Pete In Iowa

    The home plate umpiring was absolutely brutal yet again. It is a daily occurrence. MLB must fix it and when they do, it won’t be a second too soon.
    How much longer will we be subjected to dozens of missed ball and strike calls EACH AND EVERY game??!!
    BTW, Eduardo (?) Perez must really like to hear himself talk, no matter how inane his droning truly is. On the electronic strike zone discussion, he blathered on about how it would make the games longer (HUH??!!) and that the hitters won’t like it. Does he truly think all of these missed calls are favoring the pitcher?? I’d say it’s about 50-50 as far as that goes. Unless of course Mr. Perez watches completely different games than I do. Little League maybe??

  • Eric

    Nice touch linking to Keith Hernandez’s player page.

    At this stage, team wins and losses don’t mean much, with the exception of deGrom’s starts, so Robles’s latest game-changing meltdown doesn’t bother me beyond signifying that he’s iffy for a prominent role next season. The victories to hang onto are the younger players, including not quite established young veterans like Lagares and Flores, showing signs of progress. The defeats to worry over are the younger players repeating mistakes, holes in their game not shrinking, and apparently not adjusting to the big leagues.

    • K. Lastima

      Iffy?!? The prospects of Robles having any role on this team is like asking Jim Mora whether his team had a shot to make the playoffs.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    And will they ever figure out exactly what to do with Wilmer Flores? He really doesn’t seem to have a fixed place on this team. Yet my fear is that if he is traded, with his new team he will be 2018’s Justin Turner/Daniel Murphy. 30 HRS and 100 RBIs wouldn’t be out of the question. Yet, if he stays with the Mets, not a chance.

    • Steve D

      That’s what you should expect from possibly the worst franchise in baseball history at developing hitters. After today I would be shocked if Wright ever gets another hit for the Mets, so our all time hit leader will be 1777 for the foreseeable future.

    • Curt


      Right with you. Trade him and I have a feeling we’ll have sent our third questionably fielding big hitting 2nd base all-star (Kent, Murphy). Not blaming anyone for Turner, nobody saw that coming. But Kent and Murph . . .

  • Dave

    Ken – With you 100% on a non-Mets Wilmer future. Guy can hit, he probably has never felt fully settled because the organization never picked a position for him and stuck with it. If he got traded, we’d be hearing non-stop commentary about how much better the Mets would be if they had kept Murphy, Turner and Flores.

  • eric1973

    Last year, I said Wilmer was a Miguel Cabrera-in-waiting, and he’s got pretty good stats this year, considering he plays sporadically at best, when he is not on the DL for some strange malady.

    If the powers that be think he cannot play the field, he could bring back a pretty penny in a trade to an AL team.
    However, given Sandy’s recent trades, getting virtually nothing for guys who are tearing it up, who knows?