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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 Dog That Didn't Bark

So. Whew.

I know we're all in this together, but forgive me: I needed that one. Me. Jason Fry.

Because yesterday sucked.

The silver lining of Day 1 of unemployment turning into a Shea Stadium matinee turned out to be a downed power line. And it had been a lovely day — the game got off late and it drizzled early, but then the sun came out bright and strong, without the usual August humidity. My seatmates were civilized. David Wright hit his 120th home run and Robinson Cancel hit his first. Pedro, until he got tired and his location drifted, looked like the Pedro we hoped he'd become — no longer physically more talented than his opponents, but so much smarter that it didn't matter. I enjoyed the goofiness on the Diamondvision, the speedy little swifts chasing each other around the concourse, the occasional thrums of saws from Citi FIeld, and of course the game.

And then the bullpen did that, right in the punchbowl.

Regarding our bullpen's execution, I had to say I was in favor of it. Smith sucked. Feliciano sucked. Sanchez sucked. (I know the box score suggested he didn't, but they hit rockets off him.) Heilman sucked. Schoeneweis sucked. The Pirates have been stripped of Jason Bay and Xavier Nady; what took the field wearing their uniform resembled a minor-league team and sure played like one in the early going. But a minor-league team against our bullpen is a fair fight these days.

So, another night, another supposed pushover team. Only this time it was worse, because it was Johan turning over another perfectly fine pitching performance (not a dominant one by any means, but a brave scuffling) to Vandals & Failures Inc. When we were tied, I told Emily and our friend Jeremy (an Oriole fan by trade, so not unacquainted with disaster and dismay) that we'd lose in the 10th on a bloop. When we took the lead, I debated projectile vomiting immediately to get it out of the way. When Joe Smith walked Kearns, I knew we'd lost. When Kearns stole second while various Mets slumbered, I knew we'd lost in humiliating fashion. At least this time Johan had had the good sense to hide in the clubhouse, where his agonies would be private.

Except … we didn't lose. Smith righted himself and dismantled an overeager Lastings Milledge and Jesus Flores with sliders, then got Ronnie Belliard to ground out. Pedro Feliciano showed a worrisome aversion to the strike zone, but got Harris, Nieves and Bonifacio without incident. I still don't quite believe it, but the box score swears it's true.

4 comments to The Dog That Didn't Bark

  • Anonymous

    Smith and Feliciano looked like different men out there on the mound , Schoeneweis called a relief pitchers only meeting after Manuel called them out , I'm sure that helped them get back on track…..see meeting work when the result is right….do relief pitchers only meeting get held in the bullpen?

  • Anonymous

    Of all the horrible things that happened on Monday, the worse was learning it was the first day of unemployment. If this wasn't writer's prose, just hang in there and take it from one whose been through it, you'll land something that you will be much more happier with.
    Of course, you can apply for a job with the bullpen….

  • Anonymous

    Thanks Joe — appreciate the kind words. I'm confident things will be OK, though not blowing it to the Pirates would have been a nice gesture on Day 1….

  • Anonymous

    Hi Jason,
    No thanks needed.