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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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The Creme of the Crap

Thanks to doctor’s orders that didn’t come with an expiration date, I haven’t indulged in an Oreo or, for that matter, a Hydrox in many a year, but I think I still remember the optimal method for sandwich cookie enjoyment:

1) Pull apart.
2) Lick and luxuriate in the creme center (Oreo calls it “creme” rather than cream); it’s the best part.
3) Resign yourself to the rest of the cremeless cookie.

I found these instructions applied as well for getting the most out of Saturday night’s Mets 10-3 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays at Citi Field. You were best served by going for the yummy part in the middle, specifically the bottom of the fifth when the Mets filled their biscuit — as the British might call it, per Ted Lasso — with five consecutive delectable hits.

A Luis Guillorme single.
A Brandon Drury pinch-double (FYI, Brandon Drury has returned).
A Brandon Nimmo single that scored Guillorme.
A Pete Alonso single that scored Drury (who was still with the club as he crossed home plate, though you can never be certain these days).
A Dom Smith single that scored Nimmo without doubt rather than what happened in the first, which was Nimmo getting thrown out at home on a daring but ultimately futile send by Gary DiSarcina after a James McCann single.

All of this raised the volume at the ballpark, raised the expectations of the faithful everywhere and knocked out the perennially bedeviling Hyun Jyn Ryu, who in any shade of blue is usually impossible for Met batters to exorcise from their systems. Ryu’s most recent visit to Flushing, for the Dodgers in 2019, saw him squelch the Mets on two hits for seven innings in a dual shutout battle versus Jacob deGrom; the Mets went on to mount a winning rally only after Dave Roberts called it a night on Ryu’s behalf. Last September, in Buffalo, Ryu was more pedestrian (6 IP, 8 H), but nearly as effective (one run en route to a Jays romp). The lefty’s career ERA in ten starts versus the Mets is 1.57. No wonder it appeared he woke up and hurried to the stadium for Saturday night’s assignment without bothering to change out of his jammies.

Technically, all the Blue Jays were wearing powder blue uniforms, but on Ryu (and Vladimir Guerrero, Jr.), the ensemble looked comfy enough to sleep in. Yet the Mets in the bottom of the fifth were alert, running around and acting as if their sugar rush would never end.

That was the creme filling of Saturday night. As delicious as it was, there was only so much of it. And once it was lapped up, you had to resign yourself to the two cremeless sides that had surrounded the good part.

The first side carried the residue of the six runs Taijuan Walker gave up in four-plus innings; Nimmo getting gunned down at home by left fielder Lourdes Gurriel (you take your chances with Ryu on the mound, but the scoring threat vanished on the throw); Nimmo getting robbed when reflexively reviled ex-Astro/would-be Met George Springer made like Kevin Piillar/Superman and flew through the while diving in the direction of the outfield fence to take away a certain double; and the pregame news that David Peterson, whose ongoing injury list stay was in service to an oblique strain, had been transplanted to the 60-day IL after he hurt his right foot from simply walking around, no kidding.

“He didn’t step on anything,” Luis Rojas confirmed. “He was just walking, and he felt a pop. That’s it.” Of course that’s it when it comes to your 2021 Mets pitchers absorbing injuries atop injuries despite being stored for safe keeping on a list of the already injured. Peterson’s pop led to a diagnosis of “a Jones fracture of the fifth metatarsal” — broken pinky toe — and he’s going to have to have surgery, endangering what might have remained of his season.

The second side? More Blue Jay runs (Toronto went deep five times in all); no more Met runs; and Walker, whose outing lasted appreciably longer than the implosion in Pittsburgh yet also resulted in a 6-0 deficit, downplaying the possibility that he sustained an injury while batting. There had been a meeting at the mound involving a trainer while it was still 3-0, Jays, in the top of the fifth. Taijuan stayed in. Then he left after three more went up for the road team via a Marcus Semien home run. Still, according to man who has lately not performed like his All-Star self, whatever “pinch” he’d felt in his left or non-throwing shoulder wasn’t an issue.

“I’ll be fine.”
“Everything’s good.”
“I felt great.”

Maybe Walker was reaching for the creme center of his evening. Saturday’s game wasn’t fine, little was good, and we didn’t feel great, but we had the pitcher’s word that he wasn’t really hurt (you can always trust pitchers to be frank), we had the anticipation of yet another new Met starting pitcher for Sunday — one we’ve heard of in Rich Hill — and we had that three-run bottom of the fifth when Citi rocked with raucousness and we really thought we might pull out another incredibly unlikely win.

Which was sweet while it lasted.

8 comments to The Creme of the Crap

  • Greg Mitchell

    Take your pick: Walker may have the good old 1) “tired arm syndrome” and will bounce back as most do 2) pretty much sucks without the sticky stuff (so not much hope for comeback) 3) his slight injury not so slight and in Mets fashion will soon disappear for the season, or simply 4) as I have warned for months re: nearly every pitcher this year has already blasted through last year’s innings pitched and in Walker’s case is basically toast. This latter is all too possible and may likely soon bedevil everyone from Stroman to Megill to all the relievers. Hold your breath (and Sandy, please find 5 more pitchers or welcome Nick Tropeano to a key role from August on)…..

  • Steve

    Well, we did it wrong here. We switched to short bread we should have been working on the creme, only to switch back in time to get more dry cookie. Springer’s catch was amazing though.

  • Seth

    If a young, fit, finely-tuned athlete (or David Peterson) can break a foot just walking, what hope is there for the rest of us?

  • Eric

    Going into the game with Ryu’s track record against the Mets, I thought the Mets wouldn’t score much off him — 3 runs was the optimistic projection — and maybe the team would be better off sacrificing one of the emergency fill-ins and saving Walker for the rubber match. As it turned out, Walker got blown up with a short outing again, which is what I would have expected from an emergency fill-in against the Blue Jays, so it worked out to the same.

    If the Mets had the viable arms to afford it, I’d recommend extra days off for Walker, but they don’t. Though they can’t afford short outings from him either, especially with deGrom unreliable. The Mets may not have a choice in the end if Walker is IL-bound.

    Sad to see deGrom’s historic stats fall off the MLB leader lists because he no longer has enough innings pitched to qualify.

    With Peterson, I assume something was already wrong with his toe and the pop was it finally giving out. The injuries just keep coming, yet somehow they’re still in 1st place.

    On that note, is McNeil going to play again, go on the IL, or just stay on the active roster indefinitely with leg “fatigue”?

    Here’s hoping Hill turns out to be a southpaw, curveball-heavy version of Colon as a reliable 5th starter. And he isn’t a washed up hit machine without the sticky stuff. And he doesn’t suffer an injury within minutes of the start of his Mets career.

  • open the gates

    Note to Mets pitchers: we don’t want any more injuries, so for the foreseeable future please don’t a) use hedge clippers, b) take any taxi rides (no Ubers either, just to make sure), c) step off any sidewalks, or d) walk. Anywhere. Hire people to carry you in around in a litter. And make sure they don’t trip. On second thought, just lock yourselves in your rooms and stay in bed.

  • Bob

    Also did the same with Oreos and my Mom used to buy Mallowmars where you would eat the top part first….which my older would eat in large amounts…
    That was in 1960s.

    Good Mets game just now–cannot watch Edwin Diaz–I just leave the room.

    Let’s Go Mets!

  • Eric

    I didn’t mind Diaz walking, working around Guerrero. Wild pitching him to 2nd base though looked like the penultimate step to a typical Diaz blown save. I was waiting for the line drive RBI single or double from Bichette to tie the game. Diaz K’ed 2 good hitters to strand Guerrero instead.