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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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And Yet Somehow They Didn't

I began Sunday’s finale against the Marlins annoyed about Peacock, which my wife had already forked over $5 for (complete with a calendar reminder to cancel the subscription 25-odd days from now). But Peacock’s broadcast was fine, other than the absence of our home announcers. Jason Benetti handled play by play ably, Tommy Hutton told amusing stories about never getting hit by pitches and hitting the tar out of Tom Seaver‘s pitches, and Cliff Floyd was entertaining throughout and quarterbacked an excellent interview with Miami’s Jazz Chisholm Jr.

So that part was unexpectedly fine. The part that was unexpectedly not fine was the Mets reverting to their pre-2022 selves and proving inept with runners in scoring position: 1 for 13, if you’d like to relive the sordid details. What looked like a first-inning statement of purpose fizzled, the second inning came to naught, and even a two-run third ended with lost opportunities. Then the Mets had J.D. Davis on second with the game tied and nobody out in the ninth … and couldn’t convert that.

Honestly, it’s a sign of how satisfying this season’s been that we were all dumbfounded by what didn’t happen — over and over again, it felt like the Mets were about to bust out and score a bushel of runs, or at least push one across when it was really needed, and yet somehow they didn’t.

Everything else was fine — David Peterson pitched well, Luis Guillorme flew through the air with the greatest of ease — except for the fact that the big hit got erased from the script. Or rather, it got penciled in on the Marlins’ side: With two out in the bottom of the ninth, Adam Ottavino left a slider hanging in the middle of the plate for Nick Fortes, who blasted it over the left-field fence, one of those drives so obviously gone that the fielders are trotting in even before the ball lands.

Beaten by a rookie backup catcher! It happens, and honestly baseball is wonderful for the fact that it does. Except when it happens to you, on a day when everything is so obviously engineered to turn out differently but inexplicably never does.

7 comments to And Yet Somehow They Didn’t

  • open the gates

    Seems Ottavino and Shreve are battling it out for the honor of being this year’s Jonah.

  • Greg Mitchell

    Food for thought: the SABR/SDI defensive rankings are out–they are used to help pick Gold Glove winners–and Mets have no one in the NL’s top 25. By position: despite claims about his improvement, Pete is the worst ranked first sacker. Nido is half way down for catchers, not terrible but in negative territory–ditto for MacNeil. I’ve always laughed about all the hype that Escobar has been great at third and the numbers show he is worst in league except for (gulp) Alex Bohm. Lindor, Canha and Nimmo all slightly below average. Marte one of the better RFs, hooray, but nothing special.

  • Daniel Hall

    I will leave as much to Fortes and Ottavino, the latter one I loathe – it was not one of those cheap ones that they adress the day after as “you know, Keith, it doesn’t go out in 27 of the league’s 30 ballparks”. That one was so far gone, it should have counted double…..

    Fun fact: I could watch the game on, since NBC doesn’t cater to the trade of filthy foreigners. I will just pretend the scathing email I wrote when MLB first started balkanizing games elsewhere, e.g. then region-locked on Youtube, has something to do with that.

  • Seth

    What if their pre-2022 selves are their actual selves? I am sometimes confused as to which team they are.

  • Eric

    Frustrating loss wasting a fine pitching effort before Ottavino gave it up. I wouldn’t have expected a longer or better outing from a just-returning Scherzer. It wasn’t like the Mets were hitting hard shots into bad luck all game. When he wasn’t giving up an extra-base hit, Castano kept the Mets off balance.

    Thankfully, the Braves didn’t gain ground due to an arguably equally tough loss to the Dodgers. The Marlins aren’t the Dodgers of course, but the top of the 9th, 2 outs, 2 strikes, game-tying hit was delivered by light-hitting journeyman Trayce Thompson, not one of the Dodgers’ stars.

    Phillies beat the Padres, and they’re breathing down the backs of the Braves, though the Phillies are not quite yet in the Mets line of sight. The upcoming Braves-Phillies series this week will be interesting.

    Ottavino, like Diaz, relies on an elite slider, which is a swing and miss pitch when it’s on. When it’s off, though, like we’ve seen with Diaz, it usually gets hit a long way.

    McNeil’s bat was missed yesterday, especially in the top of the 9th. If his chronically strained hamstring misses the Astros series, too, then he should have gone on the IL in the first place. If he’s good to go for the Astros, then leaving him active was justified.

    Guillorme’s bat has cooled off, but he’s still making contact. His contact is just finding gloves. So he’s still good for at least a productive out. If McNeil is ready to go, then it’s time for Escobar to sit or at least focus solely on hitting as the DH. Lindor’s streakiness and shaky arm make me wish homegrown Gimenez was the Mets shortstop, but Lindor is still doing enough at bat to justify playing over Escobar.

    • mikeski

      Harper is out indefinitely with his fractured thumb; there is currently no timetable for his return. I have a hard time seeing the Phils constituting a real threat over the rest of the season without him.

      Buck said yesterday that he expects McNeil to be back in the lineup tomw.

  • Charlie Jacobsen

    In the second, and again in the ninth, Davis was on second with no outs. Both times Escobar failed to advance the runner. Imho that was the game. I see Buck is keeping him in the 6 slot tonight ahead of two far superior contact personnel. We’re stuck with a non hitter for catcher. I would prefer Guillotine getting the bulk of time at third.