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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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Happy Flight

The Mets soared over Citi Field this past week, swooping home between excursions west and scooping up a six-game winning streak, demolishing Philadelphia, destroying Washington and , from a distance, demoralizing Atlanta. On Wednesday afternoon, they completed their perfect Flushing stand by shutting out the Nationals, 5-0. Colombian Carlos Carrasco pitched in front of his father for the first time since Cookie made the majors, showing off shutout form for five innings before turning the blanks over to the bullpen for safe keeping. If that wasn’t heartwarming enough, there was Tomás Nido collecting four hits, Francisco Lindor extending his RBI streak to ten games, Luis Guillorme remaining fabulous and…what? What else do you need as your team nears the one-third stage of its soundest season of the century?

The Mets, as Jason noted after the winning streak reached five, are really good. They may be better collectively than they were in 2006, the last time we as Mets fans who like to write concluded by June that nobody was gonna get us. I went to Tuesday night’s game. I came as close as I have in ages to being certain before I took my seat that I was about to witness a Mets win. Win Certainty transcended Win Probability. The Mets scored two in the first, two in the third, four in the fifth, two in the sixth and gave up none in any of the nine. You can’t derive more Win Certainty from any analytical formula than you could from these Mets playing those Nats.

Certainty necessarily eludes the Mets as they fly to Los Angeles. Mets-Dodgers is a matchup a competitive continent removed from Mets-Nationals. That’s all right. That’s the schedule. Two first-place teams will show down. Both will emerge. This isn’t The Octagon. It’s a series in early June. We’ll caffeine up and watch until we can’t keep our eyes open. The Mets may be all the stimulant we need. The Dodgers may put a temporary sleeper hold on our streaking ways. It’s not out of the realm of probability. Whatever. They and we are each headed for baseball beyond the requisite 162. Their lead isn’t large enough to say for sure they’ll win the West, but it’s hard to imagine they’ll miss the postseason.

Us? We’re 10½ ahead of the pack in the East and not about to plummet through the floor of the Wild Card fallback. Look around this team, this organization. It knows what it’s doing on a day-to-day, series-to-series basis. The professionalism is inspiring. The only times the Mets have had a record as good as their current 35-17 mark after 52 games were 1986 and 1988, both years that had playoffs attached to them. Throw in 2006, and that’s three dominant division-title campaigns invoked with confidence and sans superstition. Maybe I shouldn’t rely too much on precedent here because there are too many Mets fans, I believe, who — even when the best of times are in progress — only want to point out all the times the Mets fell short of their goals and aspirations and lean on those times and those Mets to wallow in residual regret that never quite fades.

Those Mets weren’t these Mets. These Mets are something else. So is this season. It’s a season of winning and a season of healing. Let the therapeutic waters of these Mets wash over your soul. Your soul will thank you.


Mets fan Dan Braun will thank you for checking out a story he’d like to share with you. Dan, who also cheers for the Red Sox, a dual loyalty permissible when it’s not October of 1986, has been in New England taking care of his ailing mother — she’s quite the “firecracker” in her own right (Ma Braun once chased George Steinbrenner off a Boston barstool) — while trying to get a new venture off the ground: a US version of the UK pub the Bootlegger, right here in New York.

There’s a lot going on in Dan’s life and he could use a hand, or at least an ear. He thanks you for any time and consideration you might lend him.

10 comments to Happy Flight

  • Joeybagadonuts

    In 2006, I knew on that 9-1 June road trip to LA/AZ/PHIL that they were going to the playoffs. Hoping for deja vu all over again.

  • Dan Braun

    Thank you, Greg, for the wonderful write-up of today’s game, the summary of the season thus far (I’m moving ever-so-cautiously off my tendency to look upwards at the rafters for a singular item of footwear dangling by a solitary shoelace), and of me and my mom.

    Ma Braun is very much a character, and similar to the Mets (and us Mets fans) in that she’s taken plenty of punches, but never gives up. She will love reading your tribute to her, and I’ll love having you all as members of my extended family when The Bootlegger opens its first stateside doors.

  • dmg

    Set aside that the Nats played Philly-bad during this series, it was still a joy to watch the Mets play this well. (Among the grace notes, a double play turned on a grounder by Dee Strange-Gordon – not easy to do.) Even so, my son advises me to say nothing more than I am “cautiously optimistic,” lest the baseball gods point to the calendar.
    Still, am jazzed enough to head west. Will attend the Saturday game when the Dodgers retire Gil Hodges’ number, then at least one game against both the Padres and Angels. Because a memorable season should include such memories. LFGM!

  • open the gates

    Just saw the replays – I don’t know if Washington always plays like this, but they were just atrocious in the field. And the Mets, of course, weren’t. It’s so marvelous that we’ve come to expect routinely excellent fielding and pinpoint situational hitting from our New York Metropolitans. We’re getting to the pinch-me-I-must-be-dreaming point of the season. This may be the most fundamentally solid Met team since the Best Infield in Baseball of the late ’90’s.

    Speaking of shortstops (shout out to my man Rey-O!), maybe we can all stop lamenting the departure of Messrs. Gimenes and Rosario. I liked them both, and wish them wonderful careers. But the guys they were traded for are both finally showing why we wanted them so badly in the first place. Carrasco is the Carrasco of old, and Lindor is now tied with Mike Piazza. Yes, I know, RBI streak, it’s a pretty obscure record, but anyone who can tie a Piazza record of any kind is welcome on this team, as far as I’m concerned. This trade is looking win-win right now, but the bigger win is probably ours.

    • Eric

      Lindor is a good shortstop, but not quite as good as his reputation, and his arm is weaker and less accurate than I expected. If it was up to me, I’d play Guillorme at SS and Lindor at 2B.

      Lindor’s having a bounceback season, but Gimenez is having a breakout season. They were a wash last season. Rosario is settling in as a useful utilityman. And he’s still young enough — Rosario is younger than Guillorme — to break out. We probably won’t feel it this season, but Gimenez is making a case that within the span of Lindor’s Mets contract, the younger rising Gimenez will turn out to be the better player.

  • Eric

    “Us? We’re 10½ ahead of the pack in the East and not about to plummet through the floor of the Wild Card fallback.”

    In addition to NL East division games, I’m scoreboard watching the Central and West division leaders while mindful that the 3rd place division leader will play in the wildcard round.

    However, I’m undecided whether the Mets would be worse off playing in the wildcard round. On one hand, the WC round adds an extra risk to be eliminated and of injury and pushing pitchers off schedule. On the other hand, especially if Scherzer and deGrom are back to their Cy Young selves, the Mets should be able to win the wildcard round while preventing the risk of going cold during a lay-off, like they did between the 2015 NLCS and World Series.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    I fully expect the Mets will go 3 and 7 on this West Coast Trip, which is on the high end of what I usually fully expect the Mets will go on a West Coast Trip. I’m becoming that optimistic.

    And so what. They will be just one game less over 500, and maybe have one or two games less of a lead. And they won’t have to go out there again until it really counts, and they hopefully will have, you know, two additional starting pitchers.

    • Eric

      The Dodgers, Padres, and Angels have been scuffling of late, which makes me more optimistic than usual that the Mets pull out a 6-4 west coast road trip before coming home to face an equally tough Brewers team.

      Right now the Mets have the best record in the National League with the qualification that they’re tied in the loss column with the Dodgers. Beating the Dodgers tonight would tidy that up.

  • Peter Scarnati

    I don’t know eric. Howie and Wayne were having this very discussion about whether a 5 day or so layoff would be a good thing or not.
    As I recall, until some idiot thought it was a good idea to quick pitch in the 9th inning of game 1 of the WS, the Mets had that game won. After their rout in game 3 they would have been up 2 games to 1. I don’t think that warrants declaring a team has gone cold off the layoff.
    If this club keeps playing the way they are, I don’t think it will matter much either way. And don’t forget, the division winner which has to play the wild card round gets all three games at home.

  • Lenny65

    “The professionalism is inspiring.”

    Yes, agreed. This is the one thing that really stands out about this team thus far, the professionalism. No massive gaping flaws, no insane drama, no one playing wildly out of position, no tabloid back-page distractions. Solid fundies, consistency, resolve and a quiet confidence that seems to be growing and growing. Who knew that having a real manager (and owner) could make this much of a difference?