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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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Unswept in First at Last

“And I guess that’s what I want to do with this campaign: sort of calm things down a little…”
—Former Gov. Fred Picker (D-Fla.), “Primary Colors”

Early during the seventeenth game of the Mets’ 2018 season, I found myself longing for the Mets of the first not quite fifteen games of the 2018 season. That was a great team and a great year. Alas, the Mets from the end of the fifteenth game through the first several innings of the seventeenth game were such a comedown. We were obviously sentenced to be stuck with them forever.

On the other hand, I thoroughly enjoyed the throwback game the Mets spontaneously staged in the nine-run eighth inning of the seventeenth game, bringing back to Citi Field the 2018 Mets from the first not quite fifteen games. They even wore the same uniforms.

Whichever team it is we have this year won the seventeenth game, much as it had won twelve of its previous sixteen, which reads as pretty impressive on paper and in pixel, but registered as useless in our hearts and heads. We knew the magic was gone after the defining lead-blowing elements of Monday night. No wonder Tuesday was ruined. No wonder Wednesday, until the eighth, was a lost cause for the potentially 12-5 first-place Mets.

Thank goodness it wound up a won cause, 11-5, for the actual 13-4 first-place Mets, the team that came back on the Nationals in the eighth inning the way the Nationals came back on the Mets two eighth innings prior. It was almost as if, across a 162-game season, some nights things suddenly fall apart wildly; and some nights things suddenly come together sensationally; and sometimes those nights and their aberrant things occur in counterintuitively close proximity.

These Mets, the eighth-inning Wednesday-night Mets…the ones who tied the score on Todd Frazier’s two-run single up the middle, surged ahead on Juan Lagares’s pinch-hit two-run double down the right field line and slammed the hammer down via Yoenis Cespedes’s four-run homer to distant galaxies…these were the real Mets. Not those Mets; these Mets. I know we decided the eighth-inning Monday-night Mets were the real Mets, but we have since obtained new information which we have verified as reliable by tasting it for salt and pepper.

Given that we could really use a sip of water, we can say with confidence it checks out. The momentum-depleted 2018 New York Mets were going to be swept and the competitive portion of their season was going to be cancelled. Instead, the momentum-fueled 2018 New York Mets stand unswept and nobody is going to catch them — certainly not the momentum-depleted Washington Nationals, who couldn’t even sweep those lousy Mets.

The magic that was gone is back. All hail the way things are going now until they’re not.

14 comments to Unswept in First at Last

  • Louis Verardo

    Well-spoken, sir, and probably reflective of the mindset of the guys in the dugout, too…

  • Seth

    Bravo! Sometimes the best posts come in small packages. :-)

  • mikeski

    I thought Marc Malusis was going to burst a blood vessel on SportsNite re: Callaway taking out Matz after 4. Ya gotta mellow over, man.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Of all the possible outcomes of a game in which the Mets trailed 4-2 after seven and a half innings, 11-5 Mets would be about as likely as (given the Mets bullpen, and, you know, it’s the Mets) 14-2 Nats. Perhaps even less likely.

  • Dave

    Now, nothing against Lagares, but that was, in my memory, approximately the first time he ever delivered such a big hit. If there’s something that escapes said memory, all apologies, but as soon as that ball landed fair, I knew momentum was back on the Mets’ side. Felt very the-powers-that-be-must-want-us-to-win.

  • dmg

    because i’m a mets fan and thus life’s little negativities, let me be the first to note this was the first series the mets have lost this season.
    on the other hand they really needed that win, and the fact they got it … i’m having a hard time finding fault.

  • Gil

    I find it hard to believe that something Mets related on the internet, paper, or radio has been delivered to me without even a mention of JT Realmuto. Shame on you, Greg. We want to know who you think we should give up to have this catching dynamo on our team.

    Had the pleasure to take last night in from section 112. Pretty good crowd for a midweek game in April, and it got real loud when Cespys hit the 4 run tater. Nice night to be a Mets fan.

    Also, no more fastballs for Zim. None.

  • mikeL

    nice encapsulation of the collective mets-universe psyche-disorder. cespedes’ smash was a nice tamping-down of doubt and dread.
    we’re happily back on the good end of the swings…for now.

  • Made in the Shea-de

    Brilliant. Brevity that captured the essence of Mets Fandom.

    For some reason as I read it I keep seeing this in my head: “Those responsible for sacking the people who have just been sacked have been sacked.”

  • LeClerc

    Viva Lagares !

    • Eric

      We’ve been hoping on Lagares for years – a speedy gold-glove centerfielder who can reach base even at a roughly average rate is a valuable member of the team. Hopefully, Lagares keeps it up. It’s a bonus that Lagares, like Nimmo and Conforto, is a homegrown Met.

  • Kevin From Flushing

    Mets baseball has been played for three weeks, and they’ve lost 4 games…. it’s still crazy.

  • Greg Mitchell

    Mets will need all 5 OFers.

    If Sewald is for real it’s a giant plus given the usage of RPs. Or he’ll get burned out like last year–when he also started strong.

    They still need a Catcher who can throw. Some say, never happen with that pitching staff. But consider how well Rivera did. At least he was respected enough to cut down attempted steals, even if he didn’t throw out 50%. They need someone with at least some kind of respect…

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