The blog for Mets fans
who like to read


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.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at (Sorry, but we have no interest in ads, sponsored content or guest posts.)

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

Sentence Pronounced, Execution Imminent

The Wilpons let Zack Wheeler walk as a free agent after the 2019 season, with zero negotiations and one knife in the back from Brodie Van Wagenen, who said that the Mets had helped Wheeler “parlay two good half-seasons over the last five into $118 million” with the Phillies.

That was the Wilpons in their red giant phase: a bad decision, borne of cheapness, executed gracelessly not by the principals but by some pathetic goon. Wheeler didn’t forget, and Sunday afternoon he gave the Mets a jab of his own: a two-hit shutout that completed the Phils’ three-game sweep of their supposed rivals. The Mets are now in third place, behind not only the Phillies but also the Braves. Should those two clubs be worried about being caught? Yeah right. More like the Nationals should be worried about getting brained by the plummeting club temporarily above them.

The Mets can’t hit, their pitchers fail to be perfect and therefore lose, and these days they barely register a pulse in making outs and losing games. After a day off Monday – hey, no chance of losing! – they have three games with the Nationals and then begin a two-week stretch that would be a brutal gauntlet even for a good team: thirteen games with the powerhouse Dodgers and Giants, including a West Coast trip. You never know with baseball, but I will be shocked if the Mets emerge from that stretch with any realistic hope of playing October baseball.

This has been a startlingly fast fall that’s left us scratching our heads about the team we’re stuck rooting for, as Greg discussed on Saturday. To a certain extent that fall it was masked by factors that let us fool ourselves: the team’s pluck in overcoming a rash of injuries, a flukey statistical run/admirable knack for clutch situations from bench players and fill-ins (call that Rorschach however you see it), and most of all the basic lousiness of the competition.

Now the illusions have been dispelled. The injuries continue, the flukey statistical runs/pluckiness belong to the other guys, and the Mets have sunk below whatever Mendoza line denotes basic lousiness. The sentence has been pronounced and the execution appears imminent.

Which has been frustrating and aggravating and maddening but mostly just made me sad. I thought my team was good and they were writing a story that might lead somewhere joyous; they turned out to be not so good and writing a forgettable story I’ve read too many times before. There are a fair number of pages left in this volume, but I don’t think I want to know what’s next.

25 comments to Sentence Pronounced, Execution Imminent

  • Dave

    You already know what’s next. You’ve seen it before.

  • DAK442

    I never thought this team was that good, but thought we had a chance because other teams seemed worse and/or had significant travails. And they are certainly not on the level of the Dodgers and Padres.

    The bigger shame is being robbed of what I hoped would be an historic season by Jake.

  • 9th string catcher

    There is a lot of season left. And it’s baseball so you just never know. The reality of the situation is that most of the hitters in the Mets lineup are not hitting. They haven’t been hitting all year. And there is a very strong possibility that this will continue. I would say it’s also a strong possibility that they will find their way and start heading at the level that they’re capable of. If that happens, they will win a lot of games. If McNeil, Smith, Davis, Alonso, Conforto and Baez do what they’re capable of doing, the Mets will still be a player in this season. I believe this is still a possibility. If they continue to be mediocre players, this team doesn’t have a chance.

  • open the gates

    I remember the early-’80’s Mets always starting the season with a strong few weeks, then plummeting. Once of the baseball writers (I think it might have been Mike Lupica, I always read his columns until he started writing about politics) described these falls from grace as “twenty-five men jumping off the George Washington Bridge.” The only difference in 2021 is that the mirage lasted longer, and it seems more like 250 Mets jumping off the bridge.

  • Harvey Poris

    Here’s a telling stat. In the last 44 games, Mets starting pitchers have exactly 3 wins!

  • Iowa Pete

    I see where Looie the gas bag is calling for the “fans support” of “the guys” at the upcoming homestand. Nice try pal. I have a feeling they are going to get exactly what they have coming to them. Especially El Magoo — as in Mr. — if he even makes the lineup.

  • Left Coast Jerry

    Yesterday was one of the most frustrating games of the year. Nimmo leads off the game with a double and doesn’t even sniff third base. The “greatest power hitter in the world” swinging at crap. And Gary Thorne calling the Phlllies catcher Real Moto. I thought that was a character played by Peter Lorre in the movies.

    Three games coming up with Washington followed by 13 with the Dodgers and Giants. The way this team is going, 5-11 sounds about right.

    • Seth

      Poor Gary Thorne. Once a great announcer, sidekick to the legendary Bob Murphy, now reduced to (poorly) calling games off monitors and subjected to the two worst series of the year (Pittsburgh and Philadelphia).

  • Eric

    It’s frustrating, but we’ll keep following: Bad Mets baseball is always preferable to no Mets baseball. And there’s only 51 (only 51 sadly) games and less than 2 months left of Mets baseball to ride this year.

    When the opponent scores 3 runs, the pitchers have done their job. The injured and worn-down pitching needed more trade deadline help and has taken a step back over the free fall. But it’s held up as adequate to win most games if the position players were scoring as advertised. Instead, remarkably, what was supposed to be an above-average line-up is now mostly intact yet mysteriously unable to hit fastballs, which is an assumed skill for big-league hitters. They already were chronically baffled by curveballs.

    Right now, there’s no such thing as a pitching “match-up”. The Mets hitters are elevating every opposing starter into an ace and every true ace, like Wheeler yesterday, into peak deGrom (plus 2 innings).

    Taken out of context, 2.5 games behind is not insurmountable. In this moment there’s still hope for a turnaround. But it has to happen now and then soon versus top NL teams who are currently playing up to their own pennant race.

    The Mets finished in last place last year. The 2020 season was rightfully set aside as an outlier. Yet we’re seeing the same flaws in this more-normal season. If there’s no turnaround, then the sensible conclusion is they are what their record says they are.

    Even setting aside the ace deGrom window, which appears to be closing more suddenly than we expected, the Mets overall aren’t young up-and-comers and may be considered effectively older than their ages given their injury record.

    The trade deadline rental filling in at shortstop, Baez, is now hurt. Hip. No IL yet, but what was already an underwhelming and insufficient addition is downgraded further. It’s looking more and more like the Mets wasted 1st-round pick Crow-Armstrong as a trade chip around the same time as wasting this year’s 1st round pick on Rocker. In the off-season, the Mets chose to scoop up McCann rather than bid for Realmuto. The other day, the Mets pinch hit for McCann with a cooling Drury.

    This is Cohen’s grace year with the team he purchased late fielded largely as is with an interim front office, which has been markedly restrained in its moves overall. If the Mets do not radically pivot I expect there will deep changes made as soon as the season ends, maybe starting as soon as the Mets are eliminated.

    • 9th string catcher

      I think I would give Cohen more than one year to figure this out. He’s shown that he is committed to providing resources to make this team better. And other than waiting a little longer before giving out that huge contract to Lindor and trading a 1st round pick on a two month rental (shades of Brodie), he’s done a good job, considering he’s new at this. Frankly, the bench squad put together in the off-season has outperformed the starters. And the bullpen is one of the best I’ve seen the Mets ever have. Fact is, no manager or general manager in the world can get guys to hit in the clutch, or get their averages up beyond .235.

  • Eric

    Yes, the substitutes and the substitutes’ replacements have been play-off calibre in their role. And the relief corps has done yeoman’s work this year despite the constant emergency TBD “need” starters, the regular starters often leaving starts very early or typically topping out at 5 innings, and tight games due to the bad offense.

  • Christian Limbach

    Fastballs. We have a team that has “trouble” with fastballs. Trouble with the curve? Sure, I get it. A knucksie? Makes sense. I guess the MLB grapevine has finally fully passed the “don’t throw the “Eephus” to the Mets” message to everyone. Lord help Brock Holt or Willians Astudillo should they face our fearsome roster of batting practice sluggers.

    • Guy Kipp

      It sure is a good thing they let Chili Davis go as the batting coach. Remember, when they fired Davis, it was not about “results,” it was about “process.” Thank heavens they addressed that whole “process” issue. Who cares if they can’t hit a fastball. At least their process is proper.

  • WayneGarrett11

    It doesn’t look or feel good, but perhaps the Metsdemic will break sometime.

    The A’s were going through a similar funk. The Mariners were catching up, the Astros were pulling away, and the wild card was slipping away. Bad go-for-it swings, bad hitting… same thing we’re seeing now. They’re figuring it out (Of course, Starling Marte helped them. Plus Jed Lowrie, of all people.)

    This is the ebb and flow of baseball, isn’t it. Of course, the glass half-empty New Yorker will see the tide has gone out and see everyone as naked.

  • Bob

    You say it all in 1st paragraph!
    Who knew that Karma would come back & bite the Mets? DUH?
    I do recall my immediate reaction when Wheeler ended up with Phillies was–Great move, assholes, this guy will get his revenge & end the Mets season one of these years…
    STUPID move comes back & bites the Mets!
    What a surprise…..sigh…

  • Avi Kessler

    Does anyone remember a guy named Carlos Delgado? Maybe I’m dreaming or wishing that something that I think once was can be again, but isn’t it so that Carlos Delgado could, single handed, carry the Mets offense for weeks on end and make it seem like there was hope?

    Or maybe I don’t remember well. Maybe Carlos wasn’t that good, and maybe it wasn’t so… What say you, mourning Met fans?…

    • mikeL

      …important to remember that delgado actually had a team to carry.

      and yes this franchise let a carpetbagging agent bring *his* sleazy game to the front office. bad enough he made so many awful signings of ‘former’ clients (where was the SEC on THAT?!)…but to dis wheeler after he was gone?
      an a-hole move even below the low bar brodie had set.
      like he was 15years old.

  • Matt T

    Over the course of 162 there will always be quite a bit of ebb and flow. Generally speaking your team isn’t as good as it appears when things are going swimmingly (May), but it isn’t as bad as things appear when they can’t stop stepping on their you-know-whats (now). We have been missing our two best players for quite some time, one of whom happens to be the best player in baseball. If we can remain in shouting distance until (if) we get them back, we have a puncher’s chance. Either way I’m doing my best to avoid expectations and just try to enjoy the fact that we still have baseball for a while longer. Those cold months will be here before we know it.

  • Greg Mitchell

    Rosario with 4 hits last night and up to .277 with .717 OPS. Lindor OPS: .702. Baez OPS with Mets: .575.

    Reminder: we signed Lindor to mega-deal after he hit just .253 last year. And he is signed for ten more years. And traded top prospect for Baez even though he hit .203 last year.

    • Matt T

      Despite all the time missed Lindor has 2.0 WAR to Rosario’s 1.0 WAR. He was just finding his groove when he got hurt, and is always money in the bank defensively in addition to being the consummate teammate and leader. I have no concerns about him. Baez is another story. Hard to believe he came in second in the MVP race a few years ago. Talented but absolutely no discipline. May turn out to have been a wasteful trade, but it would have been really tough to do nothing.

      • mikeL

        he’s hurt
        he’s sucked
        a first rounder has been squandered
        his presence did nothing to stop the current collapse.

        conforto for a decent starter might have been a better move.
        he *can’t* be coming back!

  • eric1973

    When we signed Lindor for 341 mil, we thought we were getting a little more than an Al Weis-type. (No knock on Weis, a 1969 idol.)

    He has been an overall disappointment this year, and the fact that he has a WAR that is better than anybody’s just calls into question the usefulness of this stat.

  • Richard Porricelli

    You guys have to believe in yourselves… that’s right! You gotta believe ! You gotta believe!! Loosen up guys..

  • mikeL

    eric…for that money we should have been getting a mike piazza type…or at very least a player not yet showing signs of decline.

    hard to believe *anyone* still signs players on these 10 year mega-deals. but then again i thought *that* signing model, and the 20 million per year salary would be obsolete after arod to the yankees.

  • […] said not so long ago that I figured this stretch of 13 against the big bad Dodgers and the somehow bigger and badder […]