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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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Avast, Matey! This Be Pittsburgh!

Forget the Florida Marlins on final days of the season. As Mets fans, what really ought to make us shiver is the thought of playing the Pittsburgh Pirates at PNC.

Before everything went straight to hell tonight, Emily and I were lying in bed admiring the vistas of PNC and all those unoccupied seats and we agreed that next year we would join the hordes of blue-and-orange fans to invade the Pirates' home. How soon we forget. The Pirates promptly rose up against J.J. Putz, battering him like a steelworker with doubts about unionization, and I remembered. Oh yeah, this is the last place any sane Mets fan would want to be.

The Mets are 12-14 at PNC since it opened; 6-8 in the less-remarked Faith and Fear era. But oh, the gag jobs we've seen. Take some Dramamine and buckle up — we're going down Bad Memory Lane.

July 8, 2005: After eight very good innings by Victor Zambrano, Aaron Heilman comes in and gets two outs, but also allows three runners to take bases. Handed a four-run lead and needing to get one lousy out, Braden Fucking Looper proves the wisdom of his middle name by allowing a two-run single to Tike Redman and a sinking Matt Lawton liner that gets past Cliff Floyd for a tie game. Looper, sent back out for the 10th because Willie Randolph doesn't hate us enough, is victimized by “defenders” Miguel Cairo and Jose Offerman, two ex-Mets I'd gladly kick in the head if I could get away with it, then allows the game-winner to Humberto Cota.

July 9, 2005: The not-yet-useful Heath Bell and the long-proven-useless Danny Graves conspire to allow seven Pirates run in the seventh, with the big blow a Jack Wilson grand slam. Mets lose, 11-4.

September 15, 2006: With the Mets on the verge of clinching the NL East title, Pedro Martinez returns from a month on the DL with a sore calf. But that's as good as the storyline gets — Pedro is not himself, or more accurately (though we don't know it at the time) is what he will be from this point forward. The Pirates lead 4-0 after three and don't look back. Insult to injury: The Mets spend the evening batting in front of a bizarre banner for something called Pup-Peroni.

Sept. 16, 2006: Keep that champagne on ice. This one's 2-2 with two outs in the bottom of the ninth when Ronny Paulino drives in Joe Randa with a long double off Heilman, who bites his lip and makes his I Just Ate a Big Lemon face. (At least I'm assuming. How long will it be before I can no longer instantly summon up what Aaron Fucking Heilman looks like just after losing a game? HOW LONG, GOD?)

Sept. 17, 2006: Oh, fuck. For the third day in a row, the Mets are beat by a Pirate left-hander and denied a chance to clinch their title. Afterwards, David Wright says all the right things. Greg Prince, on the other hand, has had it. The Mets will clinch the next night, but the memories of PNC and the reverse broom will endure.

Aug. 16, 2007: Mets up 5-0 after three. And then … oh, for fuck's sake. There's no link for your own protection. Greg and I could only manage total denial and curt surliness, respectively. If you remember, you don't need another poke with a sharp stick. If you've forgotten, leave it that way.

June 1, 2009: Mets up 5-0 after three. We should've known, shouldn't we?


Need to deal with the pain? Call our office in the morning, but for now, read two chapters of Faith and Fear in Flushing: An Intense Personal History of the New York Mets, available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble or a bookstore near you. Keep in touch and join the discussion on Facebook.

8 comments to Avast, Matey! This Be Pittsburgh!

  • Anonymous

    I apologize. I noticed when I went to bed after the game that I'd accidentally put on my Pirate colored Reyes shirt I got at the All-Star Game in '06. Sorry. If I wear my USA Wright 4 shirt tonight will Wright helps the Mets pound the Pirates into a mercy ruled 7 inning win?

  • Anonymous

    You're gonna have to have one of these once-in-awhile over the course of a mighty 162. Even the gods that were the '86ers had a couple — 'course that didn't matter since they had a bajillion-game lead.
    I actually put this one on Gansta Jerry: everybody knew Putz has the hokies this week, so why pull Livan in the 7th? I'd have let him finish the inning, then go to some combo of Feliciano/Parnell in the 8th, K-Rod in the 9th, books.
    But nooooooooooooooooooooo…

  • Anonymous

    Hi Jason,
    In the “Bill James Baseball Abstract” the author points out too much emphasis is placed on the performance of the pitcher and too llittle to the defensive ability and placement of the fielder. Had he seen Putz last night, I believe he would have revised that summation somewhat.

  • Anonymous

    Phew, I got that 2005 Pirate game confused with this Brewers game a month later for a moment. As some may recall, Fran Healy's comments on that postgame were, “the story of the night: Mike Piazza! 5 RBIs!”
    Did everyone get a chuckle? Good. We need one.

  • Anonymous

    “Fran Healy's comments on that postgame were, “the story of the night: Mike Piazza! 5 RBIs!” ”
    Almost as ludicrious as Michael Kay saying Chamberlain striking out all those Red Sox was one for the ages. (while adding as an afterthought that a win would have also been nice).

  • Anonymous

    It just seems like these happen more than once in a while.
    I don't get the way people are killing Putz… sure his velocity is down, but it's not as if the Pirates were hammering him last night. Maybe if one of those grounders is a couple feet one way or another we're celebrating JJ's gutty return to effectiveness.
    It's a lucky win for a crappy team over the Mets minus half their starters. Whatever.

  • Anonymous

    Exactly my point…

  • Anonymous

    Sure, Putz was nibbled to death by a couple of grounders through the infield, but he was up in the strike zone all inning. Any one of those pitches could have landed in the river. The fact that none did is perhaps more of a commentary on the Pirates' hitters. Putz isn't right. He hasn't been right since 2007.