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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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We Lost, But...

It’s dangerous to saddle wins or losses with caveats. Wins are good, losses are bad. You depart from this simple equation at your peril.

The Mets put themselves in an eight-run hole tonight against the A’s, as Zack Wheeler had no feel whatsoever for his curveball and iffy location with everything. (He also claimed the A’s had his signs.) Brandon Moss hit a ball into the Pepsi Porch that wound up bouncing up to the plaza above it, which I don’t believe I’ve ever seen at Citi Field before and don’t particularly want to see again. Then Yoenis Cespedes whacked a three-run double and Wheeler was done as soon as his spot in the lineup came around. The Mets didn’t do much against reclamation project Brad Mills until it was too late, and that was all she wrote.

Except I detected silver linings — or at least aluminum alibis — in a hopeful number of places.

  • If you’ve been paying attention, you know Wheeler’s a young pitcher who’s still learning his craft. He’s going to have nights when he throttles opposing hitters and nights when his mechanics are a mess of popping springs and grinding gears. When it’s the latter, a team as smart, aggressive and good as the A’s will do cruel things to him. Nothing to see here but the learning process.
  • The Mets lost, but they hit in a fashion we aren’t used to, particularly not at Citi Field. Lucas Duda clubbed a home run. The beleaguered Chris Young hit his third in two days. Ruben Tejada — who hasn’t been bad at all for a month now — collected a pair of hits. Eric Campbell had two, which probably means his exile to the bench is nigh. (Though with Wilmer Flores sent down to make room for Juan Lagares, Campbell’s our only backup shortstop. Yipes.) Oh, and Curtis Granderson had three, which would have been extraordinary a couple of weeks back but now, happily, is not.
  • Met relievers acquitted themselves rather well. Dana Eveland did his bullpen mates a service by soaking up three innings. Gonzalez Germen worked out his issues over two innings of so-so work (hey, that’s what blowouts are for), and Josh Edgin and Jeurys Familia were solid for an inning each. Familia’s frame was particularly fun, highlighted by his successful duel with Cespedes, which he won by moving 97 MPH sinkers in and out and mixing them with the occasional slider. There’s talent there to be harnessed.
  • The A’s are the best team in baseball, but tonight they were also pretty lucky defensively. Josh Reddick made a circus catch at the perimeter of the stands and survived a misadventure in right. Dan Otero‘s deflection turned a Daniel Murphy single into a double play. Moss corralled a popup that had disaster written all over it. Add an inch here or subtract one there and the Mets could easily have had four or five additional baserunners, and then who knows.

This isn’t to say the Mets are suddenly good; they still have a bevy of problems. But they’ve been playing without the little black cloud of doom that accompanied them earlier in the season. That makes them a heck of a lot easier to watch, and to root for. Even after a loss, that seems worth noting.

4 comments to We Lost, But…

  • Keith just about said as much on the air Tuesday night: “There’s a feeling around this team…”

  • The Jestaplero!

    I agree. I’m staying positive about this team. With the A’s in town I’m reminded that we can still go last to first beginning in late August if we don’t fall too many games out.

    And with our rotation due to be quite formidable next year, I keep hoping that 2014 will turn into a reasonable facsimile of 1984, one of my favorite Mets seasons ever.

    I am also a dissenter in the Tejada-Flores controversy. Tejada HAS been not-bad, and Wilmer has not, and I agree with SA and TC that we should be focused on winning games. That’s what teams are supposed to do. Winning is better than losing. Minor leagues are for developing players, so I’m glad they sent Wilmer down.

    (David Wright can also play SS in a pinch.)

  • Skoonix

    Good piece – I also was glad to see them fight back offensively – and sadly, yes, once again all Campbell did was deliver and he will probably go back to riding the pine (I wish they would platoon him at first with Duda). And as you said, Wheeler is young and hopefully will keep learning. If he can get consistent with his stuff, he could be amazing! GO METS!

  • open the gates

    I hear ya – but eventually, one tires of looking for silver linings. It starts to sound like “The operation was a success, but the patient died.” Actual wins – in bunches, in a row, more than sporadically – would be nicer.