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.

Maybe the Last Time (I Don’t Know)

A sense of finality hovered over the Mets on Tuesday night. Last series of the proving-ground stretch versus the Dodgers and Giants, a span in which they’ve mostly proven they are almost if not quite completely done contending. Last serious shot, with 38 games to go from a distance of 6½ out of first, to begin making up ground on the Braves before it’s absolutely too late. Last realignment that might make a significant difference, as Francisco Lindor returned to active duty to partner with Javy Baez as the DP combo of dreams. Jeff McNeil moved to left. Dom Smith and Jonathan Villar were on the bench. Tylor Megill, who stymied the Giants for six innings six days earlier in San Francisco, was on the mound.

Last chance, last stance, last dance. And Mets came in last in their last tango in Flushing. By a lot.

The Giants of the best record in baseball clobbered Megill and the spiraling Mets, 8-0. Our surprising rookie hurler was no surprise to the team that figured him out from the previous week. Three Giants smacked four homers off Tylor, who gave up eight runs on eleven hits without making it out of the fourth inning. No Met batter — not Lindor, not Baez, not McNeil nor anybody else — put serious wood to Sammy Long or the mop-up relievers who followed. Poor J.D. Davis took a pitch off his batting helmet, but didn’t leave the game. The game left the Mets, however. So, perhaps, did the illusion that the legitimate competitive aspirations they and we carried into August haven’t fully evaporated.

Except there’s another game Wednesday night, and if the Mets win that (it’s possible), they’ll cut a half-game off the idle Braves’ lead. And if they somehow win Thursday night (it’s not over before it’s started), that’s another half-game, with Atlanta mysteriously on hiatus two days in a row. Now we’re 5½ out and the Braves’ schedule toughens, while ours lightens up, and Francisco didn’t look bad at the plate by any means, and Pete is hitting pretty consistently, and Brandon keeps getting on base, and Jeff was pretty good in the outfield in 2019, and nobody can blame the Heath Hembree-enhanced bullpen very much, and the more Carrasco pitches the more he’s bound to find his form, and isn’t Syndergaard about to begin a rehab assignment?

It will be all over mathematically eventually and over beyond semantics soon enough. Until then, you never know and can’t help yourself from hoping accordingly. Even if you pretty much know it’s hopeless.

The year it was never hopeless, with the notable exception of a tenth inning with two out and nobody on, the Mets down by two, is going to be the subject of a forthcoming 30 for 30 feature on ESPN, airing four hours over two nights, Tuesday September 14 and Wednesday September 15, 8 PM EDT both evenings. Knowing that Once Upon a Time in Queens deeply explores the mythology and reality of the 1986 Mets and that it’s directed by Mets fan and ace auteur Nick Davis (who gave us Ted Williams: The Greatest Hitter Who Ever Lived on PBS’s American Masters three summers ago) means I’d recommend you set your DVRs as soon as you can without my knowing anything else about it.

But I do know that I sat for a full day’s interview with Nick in February 2020 for the film and that I saw my talking head among several others in a trailer teasing its premiere, so yes, by all means, watch it for that, too. (I’m the guy in the commercial who mentions “managers came and went, players came and went, but a core was being built.” Keeping track of Met comings and goings then didn’t require nearly as much energy as it does now.)

And as long as I’m in a self-promotional mode, I’ll add that if you’re in the greater Freeport area — Long Island, not the Bahamas — I’ll be at the village’s splendid library, 144 W. Merrick Rd., on Thursday September 16, 7 PM, the night after Once Upon a Time in Queens initially airs and an off night on the local NL schedule, to talk Mets fandom, Mets writing and, should circumstances allow, the Mets’ unforeseen rise through the current standings. For more information, check out the library’s September/October newsletter.

14 comments to Maybe the Last Time (I Don’t Know)

  • H from NJ

    Spot on – what a disaster from the get-go… Megill hit far better than he pitched. I was um, surprised when Baez drew a walk (!) but McNeill and Davis were lost at the plate and the hustle factor was clear in Alonso’s exasperation when Tylor didn’t cover first on a grounder to Pete’s left. Then Pete butchered one later but he got 2 hits — they just looked lost. Which they did. Went to the Mets HOF for respite in 8th… I was hoping to see more about the greatest clutch hitter of our century, Fonzie, other than his plaque. It WS awful…expected little, got less. #LETSGOHOME

  • Bruce from Forest Hills

    Was at the game. I thought the highlight was the energy and joy that Mr and Mrs Met bring to Citifield every single night. Still. Ya Gotta Believe. This is the team of 1969 and 1973. But also of 2007 and 2008. As long as the Mets are within 7 games with 17 to go, you know it’s possible. The Mets play the Nats and the Marlins for 2 straight weeks. I think you have to wait at least until then to give them the full Charlie Watts treatment.

    • greensleeves

      Ouch! Charlie Watts deserves much better; underrated and underestimated by casual fans, he kept the beat and much more- regardless of genre. Our Mets? Deadbeats. Pass the fork.

      • mikeL

        an indespensable element of the stones’ sound.
        didn’t appreciate him so much in my younger days – enamored as i was with big, prog drum setups and the complex bombast that usually followed.
        in the late 70s/early 80s, when the stones fit in so well with the stripped-down, edgy aesthetic of punk and post-punk it became clear that charlie had always been ahead of the curve.

        and yes greensleeves, the mets are well past fork-ready.
        unbearable to watch, embarrassed to the point of irrelevance after this collapse and so NOT 1973!


  • Greg Mitchell

    It would be funny if not so pathetic–Rojas complaining AGAIN after the game about his hitters “poor approach” at the plate especially dealing with fastballs. As if he is a bystander, and apparently unable to direct hapless hitting coach he helped hire, Allen Quartermann or whatever his name is….

    Also: Nice to see at least one prominent reporter finally point out last night that Megill now over 100 IP after hurling zero innings last year and previous high 71. I did warn over a month ago that he’d be toast by now and indeed his ERA has more than doubled in that time. New pickup Trevor W.–who has plenty of innings left in arm for this season–should be in rotation soon–not just to help this year but save Megill for next (he could move to pen).

  • Eric

    As disheartening as last night’s loss was, the Mets didn’t lose ground. For the season picture, the loss didn’t change my mind. I’d already written off the rest of the Dodgers-Giants gauntlet, so any win this series would be a bonus.

    I’m holding onto my hope until I assess the Mets in the standings at the start of the Yankees series following the Mets’ relatively easy stretch and the Braves’ tough stretch.

    If the Mets are in arm’s reach on Sept 10, then from there they just need to make it to the season-ending series against the Braves still in it, assuming the Phillies don’t pull away either. Which I don’t foresee happening.

    The Phillies and Braves lost last night and are losing to the MLB leaders, too, which bodes well for how much ground the Mets could make up over the Braves’ tough stretch as long as the Mets win the games versus the Nationals and Marlins they’ve lost versus the Dodgers and Giants. Clearly — like the Phillies and Braves — the Mets are worse than the top teams. But I believe — again like the Phillies and Braves — the Mets are better than the bottom teams.

    7 games back of the Reds for the 2nd wildcard berth. There’s a chance there, too, if the Mets have a win streak versus the Nationals and Marlins.

    That being said, last night’s game was disheartening because the Giants pitched a fill-in starter and rested their top relievers, yet the Mets once again made mediocre pitchers look elite. Of course the Mets have benefited from unexpected good performances from fill-ins, too, but not with easy shutouts. After beating the Dodgers on Sunday and with Lindor back, I expected better against Long at home.

    Hitting HRs seems easier for other teams. A lot of warning track power on the Mets.

    • Jacobs27

      These are all very good points.

      Still, in my gut as a fan, having watched them these last two games against SF in particular, I don’t expect them to beat any opponent, even the bottom teams. They just make too many mistakes, miss too many mistakes.

      The warning track power is a real concern going forward, too.

  • Michael in CT

    “May be the last time” — RIP to the incomparable Charlie Watts of that band, The Rolling Stones.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Kudos on the appearance in the 30/30 special. Hopefully you’ll give us some Inside Baseball on how that came about and how it went.

    I too know someone who it looks like will also appear (only briefly) in it. I worked with the guy who was moonlighting as a security guard and was the first one to reach the parachute guy. We lost track of him years ago but it still comes up with my fellow retirees.

  • eric1973

    Every time I hear about Michael Sergio, I think of Regis Philbin referring to him, on The Morning Show, as Sergio Leone.

    The things you remember….

  • Seth

    Well, you can’t always get what you want.

  • Bob

    Last night watching McNeill make last out with bases loaded 2 out and if I recall count was 3-1.
    So instead of trying take a pitch, to walk, score a run, keep the line moving,….but McNeil (who I love) swings at a pitch around his ankles and hits grounder to 1st.
    Mets “hitters” inspired this–
    apologies to Jimi.

    Wild Thing
    With your wild swing
    You miss everything
    never make contact
    Wild Swing

  • Eric

    McNeil seems to be trying to apply the Daniel Murphy adjustment of becoming more aggressive. Yet Murphy made the adjustment without losing his batting eye and contact skills.

  • Henry J Lenz

    Nice to see you in the trailer. I submitted my Mookie story when I was in the Mets dugout for CBS Radio. Hope it makes the cut :) 1983 was a strange year too. We came in last and Charlie Watts rang my doorbell by mistake several times. He and Mick were looking for Ronnie Wood, who had just bought the USW brownstone where I was renting the garden apartment.