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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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Gee, Your Wins Smell Prolific

For a pleasant change, Bichette didn’t happen to the Mets on Sunday. Unlike the first three games of their just-contested four-game in Denver, the Rockies didn’t crumble all over our starting pitcher. Our starting pitcher was Dillon Gee. While other Mets starters have seen their best days or are no doubt striding toward them, Dillon is experiencing them right now. Unlike his colleagues Colon, Wheeler and Mejia, he knows how to get through a fifth inning every time. He’s gotten way better at the sixth as well, which is an enormous help for a team that’s been tapping its closerless bullpen a little too much for comfort.

Saturday, Kyle Farnsworth’s final pitch landed in the distant shrubbery. Sunday, by contrast, everything landed beautifully…and I mean my version of everything.

• First, the Brooklyn Nets do what they hadn’t done in the seventh game of a postseason series since 1976 — and the Mets haven’t done in such a situation since October 27, 1986 — and win.

• Then, Gee leads the Mets into the seventh (inning) en route to a largely stressless 5-1 victory.

• Finally, on Mad Men, Don Draper discovers the late Lane Pryce’s beloved Mets pennant, affixes it to its place of honor on the office wall and drunkenly invites Freddy Rumsen to Shea, serenading him with a round of “Meet The Mets” when Freddy drops by to pick/sober him up.

It’s 1969 on Mad Men at the moment. May it be 1969 in modern Met-aphorical terms real soon.

If there’s a flaw Gee shares with every Met pitcher on staff, it’s the total and complete inability to hit. With his three at-bats producing no more than one solid out, the arms that are compelled to intermittently swing between throws are a combined 0-for-51. Gee’s turn to represent the hitless wonders didn’t by any means kill the Mets, but it’s embarrassing on principle.

National League baseball, fellas. Everything everybody does counts.

With that public service announcement brought to you by Citizens Forever Against The Designated Hitter made, we will gladly note that those whose primary job is hitting did hit. Juan Lagares singled twice and doubled once. Of course he did; he’s Juan Lagares. Daniel Murphy didn’t make with the swift baserunning early (tagged up hesitantly in the first, got himself Arenadoed at third) but his pair of hits, his run scored and his RBI forgives that little flareup of his inherent Murphness. David Wright didn’t homer, which sadly gets filed alongside dog bites man under events that aren’t earth-shattering, but his ringing double off the wall indicated he’ll someday soon put a ball over some fence somewhere. And, ladies and gentlemen, Curtis Granderson has crept to within .019 of Ruben Tejada’s batting average, trailing our potentially adequate shortstop .192 to .173. Neither gentleman is messing with Mario Mendoza’s meal money yet, but just you wait.

Don’t wait too long, though. The Mets return to the scene of the crime Monday night. They play at Miami, where their dignity was repeatedly stolen from them in 2013. You know how the Marlins were stupendously awful overall yet surprisingly competent against the Mets? There were nine games played between the rivals at the Loriatorium last year and the Miamians boosted six of them. (You were going to guess it was something closer to Marlins 20 Mets 0, weren’t you?)

There was some encouraging threshing of Fish at Citi Field recently, but don’t be lulled. The Marlins are about as good as the Mets to date in 2014. Actually, each combatant in the division is about as good as its competition. The N.L. East is smushed together within one-and-a-half games of itself. The Braves have been losing, the Nationals have been middling and the projected also-rans have been — depending on your perspective — encouraging or irritating in exceeding expectations. Your third-place Mets are a game from first and half of that from last. What makes the Marlins dangerous in the near term is they’ve been hellacious at home (14-5) and Giancarlo Stanton has been Giancarlo Stanton. The good news as we encounter a hot team? I count two items: Jose Fernandez won’t be phenoming against us — and there’s never a bad time to make a statement.

Does beating the Marlins in May in Miami qualify as a statement? All sorts of things needs to be stated at all intervals of the schedule. If the Mets are successful in this impending three-game series, we may not look back on it as a turning point toward winning, but you know if they find ways to not beat the Marlins in May in Miami, there’s a strong probability we’ll look back on it as a turning point toward losing.

I know a basketball team from a neighboring borough that has business in Miami this week, too. The Mets can set a fine example for the Nets, who earned themselves a date with the Heat after fending off those pesky Raptors. Then again, the Nets swept the Heat during the NBA’s regular season, so they’ve already set a fine example of how to make the most of visits to South Florida.

Let’s Go Mets. Let’s Go Nets. Let’s get Don off the bottle and out to Queens for a ballgame real soon.

15 comments to Gee, Your Wins Smell Prolific

  • chuck

    Props for the Gershwin paraphrase in the second sentence.

  • Dave

    Wonder what the over/under is on the number of pitchers TC declares are “still the closer” by the time the season is over.

    As far as games played in the MLB stadium equivalent to the Weeki-Wachee mermaid tank, I think the 2013 Marlins won about 65 games, and 66 of those wins were at home against the Mets.

    • A Weeki Wachee re-enactment would make for a better HR celebration than one they have now…though I’d prefer we skip the Marlin HR celebrations.

  • ljcmets

    I’ve been loving Mad Men this year, and I literally squealed with glee when the pennant was featured, Don sings “Meet the Mets” and Don invites Freddy to take in a game at Shea.

    Didn’t you wonder why Don was so eager to go to the game? I think he said something like, “Now that you’ve told me that, I really want to go.” What star or team was visiting Shea? Who was pitching? For a minute, I thought we were about to see or hear about some famous play or game that took place in the spring of 1969, but alas, Don was too much in his cups to make it to Queens ( and by the way, if they’re going to feature Shea at all, where are they going to film? Are there any ballparks left that feature the circular, mid-60’s through mid-80’s design?)

    Could it possibly be that Matt Weiner is using the Mets as a metaphor for the entire series? Probably too much to hope for, but he is giving a sense of how the Mets took over the conversation that spring and summer of 1969 and how everyone was talking about them.

    Back to Mets games in 2014, yesterday was the first time all this season that I actually was able to watch a game from start to finish (new job and family obligations have cut deeply into my Met-watching time) and all hail Dillon Gee.

    • All best evidence — the back page headline of the Post Don was reading the previous Friday (we know he makes his move toward Shea on a Monday) — points to April 21, 1969, an eleven-inning 2-1 loss to the Phillies. If Freddy were truly concerned with Don’s well-being, the first thing he’d have told him when he woke up was the score.

      • argman

        To remain off topic, last night’s Mad Men alluded to three of the most prominent story-lines from 1969 – the Mets, the moon landing, and Woodstock. We all know which one was most important.

  • APV

    I would have been one Mad Man had I watched the end of Saturday’s game instead of attending a Cinco de Mayo (excuse me, Tres de Mayo) party. But glad to see the bounce-back yesterday. Went to that Marlins park Labor Day Weekend 2012. From the outside, it looks like a spaceship. My friend and I joked that we were getting probed by aliens once inside. Mets won in 9th that night and Marlins opened roof for a postgame fireworks show. Grand finale was set to the Saved by the Bell theme. Hilarious!

    Awesome finish in Toronto too. Paul Pierce does it to the Raptors again, this time with defense. True Shaun Livingston’s bad inbounds pass to Pierce set up those final six seconds where everyone held their breath before Pierce blocked Kyle Lowry’s shot. But if Livingston doesn’t make his two free throws seven seconds earlier, the Nets are going home and everyone’s calling them chokers. Props to Joe Johnson too, who had 26 points and was excellent until the final four minutes. This Nets team has heart. I think they have the depth to scare Miami too. Beating them in the regular season is one thing though. I think LeBron and company are too well rested and focused to lose in the playoffs. Hope I’m wrong and I will be rooting for them. At least the Heat organization is classy enough to not talk smack about the borough of Brooklyn.

    • In the wake of Brook Lopez’s injury, Shaun Livingston has emerged as my favorite Net. But Brook chilling pregame at the Loriatorium with Mike Piazza warmed my heart all over again.

  • Bruce Grossberg

    SPOILER ALERT —- It took me a day and a half to get your shampoo reference in the headline. Thanks fellas. You make me feel very very old. (But you’re still the best bloggers in town — I look forward to reading you every day.)

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