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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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They Tugged on Superman's Cape

You know things have really taken a turn for the worse when even Jacob deGrom can’t save the Mets.

The Mets and Marlins reported for makeup duty a little after 1 pm Monday, with Miami not particularly excited at having to fly up and back to New York in a single day, and presumably even less excited to face the best pitcher in the National League. The Mets didn’t look terribly excited about the matinee either, having just had their season holed below the waterline by a mostly anonymous band of Plan B Yankees and now being required to make a home stopover before heading to Baltimore. The early innings fairly whizzed by, with 18 different guys not looking terribly interested in hanging around the batter’s box longer than necessary, and I had the same thought I think a lot of Mets fans had: DeGrom is dealing, the Marlins don’t want to be here, this could be a special day.

Call that Exhibit No. 954 in the continuing series, Don’t Try to Outguess Baseball. DeGrom gave up an infield single in the third to Lewis Brinson on a ball perfectly placed to confound both Andres Gimenez and Amed Rosario, was staked to a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the third, and then had the roof cave in come the sixth. Yes, there was an error by Pete Alonso that made three of the four runs unearned, but there were also too many balls left over the middle and hit a long way — deGrom has absorbed an absurd amount of unfairness during his tenure as the Mets’ ace, but he was beaten fair and square on this day. Shocking though it was to watch, even Superman occasionally flies into things.

After the game, the Mets made some head-scratching moves, acquiring Robinson Chirinos and Miguel Castro and reacquiring Todd Frazier, who left the team about five minutes ago. Chirinos is a backup catcher who seems to have forgotten how to hit in 2020, Castro is a reliever who throws a 98 MPH sinker but still somehow gets lit up a lot, and Todd Frazier is Todd Frazier. None of the acquisitions did much of anything to fill holes; Frazier, while a genial sort, threatens to block players who deserve playing time more than he does. We don’t know what the Mets gave up to get this underwhelming haul, beyond marginal prospect Kevin Smith, but I trust neither Brodie Van Wagenen nor the Wilpons in their red-giant phase.

The pleasures of the game were faint. There was the fact that it happened it all, I suppose, which really ought not to be nothing — it wasn’t so long ago that the idea of baseball as a distraction would have seemed like deliverance, regardless of the final score. And there was Robinson Cano, who may not like DHing but sure seems suited for it. In a season full of sighs and grumbling, Cano has looked a lot more like the Hall of Fame bat he once was than the player who stumbled and gimped through a foggy first season as a Met; it’s not enough to make the trade that brought him here a winner by any means, but seeing how that’s a sunk cost, anything that makes the deal more palatable is welcome.

But again, faint pleasures. The Mets aren’t out of it — it’s hard to be out of it in this weird sprint of a season — but it certainly feels like their chances are slipping away, and nothing they did at the trading deadline changed that dispiriting equation overmuch. To steal a beat from Sunday’s post, today wasn’t a good day either.

15 comments to They Tugged on Superman’s Cape

  • Seth

    McNeil had a faintly good day, too. Good to see.

  • Lenny65

    Former Little League World Series Champion and Toms River NJ native Todd Frazier is back! While I was watching the Mets blowing another game I thought to myself ya know, what missing here is the energy and life Former Little League World Series Champion and Toms River NJ native Todd Frazier brought to the team last year. Imagine my excitement when I heard the re-acquired him. It’s like Mike Jorgensen all over again!

  • open the gates

    I’m not quite sure that the Wilpons haven’t totally bypassed the red giant phase and morphed into a black hole. As for me, I am breathlessly awaiting the return of Omar Quintanilla and Victor Zambrano.

  • eric1973

    Of course we lost that first game of the doubleheader against the Yankees.

    Everybody knows you shouldn’t bring in your closer in the 7th!

  • Daniel Hall

    Mets are done. Not because of the tragically pointless acquisitions they made, but because of the tragically pointless acquisitions they didn’t make. They needed a STARTING PITCHER. I am YELLING because maybe then BRODY DYNAMITE will actually HEAR ME. (yes, the Y was intentional)

    Any sort of starting pitcher at least vaguely having his act together. But no. Perpetual Todd Frazier it is. (Kelly Johnson retired years ago, although I sort of hoped the Braves would sign him again so the Mets could trade for him for the 11th time)

    Mets are worse off than those 1940s Braves, who coined the term ‘Spahn and Sain, and two days of rain’. Well. Spahn just got beat, Sain got moved to the pen, and not a cloud in the sky.

    Doom. Boundless, terrible, certain doom.

  • Steve

    I have to admit, I needed to tune out for a while after watching the meltdown in the 7th inning Sunday. So, I didn’t watch game 2 or yesterday’s game.

    That said, I’ve never been more confused than when I heard we got Todd Frazier back and we traded one of the few minor league pitchers I can name for a pitcher with an era around 4.00. Oy.

  • open the gates

    I dunno – to me, Omar Q is the guy in all the replays whose fielding almost sabotaged Johan’s no-hitter – twice. And the second time he had to be bailed out by some glove work from Daniel Murphy, of all people. But yeah, I guess he could play some short.

    Ruben Tejada was last seen doing a standup comedy duo act with Chase Utley. And that wouldn’t have been the weirdest thing that happened this year.

  • Seth

    It was important to make sure Frazier didn’t go to another NL East team, otherwise he would come back and absolutely crush the Mets (as every ex-Met does, no matter how they performed when with the Mets). Think of it as keeping him out of trouble.

  • Dave

    Somewhere around the house I have a book called something like The Best (some number) Things Anyone Ever Said. One of the quotes is from a book review in which the critic said “this book fills a much-needed gap.” That pretty much sums up my feelings about the reacquisition of Toms River native Todd Frazier.

    Even better was in yesterday’s postgame interview, when a reporter asked deGrom for his thoughts about his once and then again Toms Riverian teammate, and it took everything Jake had not to say “what the f**k are you asking me that for?”

  • eric1973

    Dave, you got that right. Jake was a total pro about it.

    And after questioning whether it was really true, the Polar Bear was as giddy as a schoolgirl. Another guy to fool around with.

  • Harvey Poris

    I hear the cutouts at Citi are putting bags over their heads.

  • Richard Porricelli

    At least this crap season is a short one..Unfortunately it is in many ways a preview of whats to come..My God how this game has changed..Minor league talent on a major league level.Theres deGrom and everyone else..