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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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Boredom > Terror

Tuesday’s game at New Soilmaster marked an unhappy milestone for the new season: it was the first time I found myself deeply bored.

Seriously. The Mets scored a flurry of runs off Jose Urena and the Marlins’ slapstick defense (that part was fun), and then the game bogged down in a quagmire and 50 dudes more or less waited for the tow truck. The Mets kept putting guys on and not bringing them home, turning a laugher into a chuckler and then a snoozer. Meanwhile, Jason Vargas was on the mound, sweating like Niagara Falls — seriously, has a doctor looked at that? — and every time you took your eye off the Marlins they crept a little closer, as Marlins tend to do.

The Mets got another run but it came because Brandon Nimmo took a ball off his knuckles, and meanwhile our manager was busy making his nightly contributions to the WTF, Mickey? fund. If you’re down your two best relievers and Seth Lugo‘s sick, why in the world do you take Vargas out after only 74 pitches with a three-run lead? Why put a glove on J.D. Davis‘s hand when you don’t have to? The Marlins got closer and closer, until the lead had shrunk to a skinny run and Justin Wilson was on the mound with the bases loaded and two outs in the eighth and suddenly I was sure all of this was my fault. I’d been bored, but the game wasn’t boring anymore.

It was terrifying.

And somehow it got scarier in the ninth. Wilson hit speedster Lewis Brinson. Peter O’Brien hit a screaming liner that Amed Rosario caught rather than allow himself to be decapitated by it. (Good choice!) Chad Wallach singled, leaving the Marlins a modest hit away from a tie and a long hit away from a win that would have been oh so Soilmaster. Up came Miguel Rojas, who hit another liner — one just above Rosario’s head. Rosario caught it, Brinson fell down, Rosario flipped the ball to second, and the Mets had survived.

They’d survived, and are 4-1. They’re 4-1 despite important outfielders taking balls off hands and Mickey Callaway looking like his bullpen-management skills have actually gone backwards and having to play the goddamn Marlins. Maybe those are blemishes, and months from now we’ll smile and nod when they’re mentioned and go back to talking about the starting pitching being awesome and the hitters using the whole field and the depth having proved so important. Or maybe they’re portents, and we’ll talk about all those terrible things and wonder, once again, “Why us?”

But for now, the screamers have been caught and disaster has been averted. I keep reminding myself that counts too.

19 comments to Boredom > Terror

  • LeClerc

    After the first inning the game curiously resembled something called torpor. Lugo laboring. Nimmo nicked.

    But somehow a nice surprise ending: A screamer to Rosario followed by a happy flip to Cano.

    Afterwards, Callaway revealed Lugo’s been sick as a dog. I guess Doctor Mickey thinks it’s therapeutic to have Seth get knocked around by the Fish.

  • Daniel Hall

    Call away Callaway before it’s too late …! Seriously, I watched this one this morning from the archives and it was just one mind-boggling move after another. The most infuriating one was Nimmo; he’s been nailed in the paws, he is shaking, he is obviously in pain, he makes that “am I gonna live?” face that every extra with shrapnel in the stomach makes in old WW2 movies – and they let him run the bases, despite him barely getting the batting glove back over the hand. Seriously, what the flying forks!?

    Out-hit 16-9, thankfully Brinson is a replacement level runner with no baseball insticts and/or spatial awareness. I like to imagine he is still lying there, face down, after Keith Hernandez would have walked over and just said: “Fundies, Kid. Fundies.”

    And foolish me thought this would be a doozie after they sat on Urena’s face for five in the first… no, no, these Mets always have something up their sleeves to keep the viewer engaged. And if it does not happen magically by itself, Tricky Mickey makes it happen for sure! If he hadn’t burned Diaz yesterday for no greater good, he could have had him in this game. Ugh, that guy …!!

  • eric1973

    When you waste Diaz and Lugo in blowouts, this is what happens. Rather be lucky than good. What role does Riggleman play in all this?

  • eric1973

    Ron Darling should be terminated immediately. The way he castigated his former mates, including Dykstra, Frank Howard, Ron Hodges, saying Bob Murphy was passed out drunk, and saying Tom Seaver was a dick in 1983.

    Plus he is a very boring announcer.

    • I suspect yours will be a minority opinion. Darling’s a terrific announcer, and I prefer truth to old-teammate omerta.

      • LeClerc

        The most truthful thing in “108 Stiches” is Ronnie expressing his frustration that he never got to sit at “The Big Table” at Elaines.

        If you want to win a World Series, You’re better off having a vulgar chap like Lenny Dykstra on your team than a gentleman like George Plimpton.

        • George Plimpton? Please. Ron Darling grew up outside Worcester in a working-class family. It wasn’t exactly a life of privilege.

          A note to everyone that I’m not going to have a lot of patience for this kind of thing.

  • K. Lastima

    If the adage is true that a manager can only win or lose 10 games for the club, mark us down for 10 in the loss column

  • chuck

    I think I only watched last night because a friend of mine told me he’d be sitting a few rows behind home plate. Too far up for the CF camera shot. Being a musician, he would have had more fun with Steve Gelbs and Communidad 305.

    The Marlins are unwatchable.

    If that was Marlins Man in the second row (partially obscured by the SNY logo) he’s put on a few pounds.

  • Pete In Iowa

    Jason man, you kill me.
    Nightly contributions to the WTF Mickey fund? Beautiful. And perfectly legit as well. And sadly, it is indeed a NIGHTLY contribution.
    And what IS up with Vargas sweating like Niagara Falls? The wife mentioned it last night and I said, come to think of it, he’s ALWAYS losing about 15 pounds of sweat every time he takes the mound. Much more of that and they’re going to have to spread some of that stuff to absorb water on the mound every time he pitches.
    And, thank you indeed Mr. Brinson for breaking the wrong way on that game ending line drive.
    Through it all, a win is a win is a win. I’ll take it. Especially in Miami!!
    LGM!!!

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Re: The WTF Mickey Fund? My problem is I felt the same way last year at 4 and 1 (not to mention at 11 and 1) and we all know how that turned out.

    Great line, BTW.

  • JoeG

    When Nimmo didn’t hi-five God at first base after getting on via HBP I thought “That must have REALLY hurt!”. Get him out of there!!

  • Joe

    Jason, Greg: Are you going to be at tomorrow’s game? I assume so. I’d love to buy you a beer as a thank you for all the great writing.

  • Scott M.

    I too would contribute to the Buy the FAFIF guys a beer on Opening Day fund. Think I remember Jason say he doesn’t like Opening Day crowds. I don’t blame him but it’s a hard habit to break for me.

  • 9th String Catcher

    Wretched managing two days in a row. Looked at tonight’s lineup – I guess he’s going for three. Nimmo was doing poorly before he got his hand smashed – now he’s leading off? No McNeil against a lefty? JD Davis of the terrible glove and .212 batting average batting 5th? Is it a rule that deGrom gets no more than one run a game?

    Seriously, I can’t believe he states the strategies he employs publicly. We burned both of our closers yesterday, so we’re going to pitch Lugo for two innings with pneumonia and have our lefty specialist do a five out save. I have a feeling Brody is not going to put up with this for long.