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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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Ducking Karma

On Saturday night, in the second inning, Dillon Gee lofted a fly ball to left with Dilson Herrera on third and one out. Donald Lutz, a German citizen playing on German Appreciation Night, settled under the ball and caught it. Tim Teufel told Herrera to stay put and Herrera did. The Mets didn’t score — not in that inning, and not in any remaining inning. In the ninth, their rally against Aroldis Chapman fizzled when Eric Young Jr. failed to do the only thing he’s still paid to do, popping up a touch too hard off third on a double steal and being called out (properly) after a lengthy replay review.

So today, you could feel Karma putting extra bullets in the revolver for the afternoon’s game of Mets roulette. In the bottom of the fifth, with two out and no score, Skip Schumaker singled up the middle off Zack Wheeler. Enemy pitcher Mat Latos took off from second, reached third … and kept going. Juan Lagares uncorked a very un-Lagaresesque throw, and Latos was safe. The Mets would catch up and then go ahead, but squander a few golden opportunities, as they so often do. Then Jenrry Mejia came in and was discombobulated, and suddenly those Reds in the rearview mirror were closer than they appeared. Todd Frazier was called out at first for the presumable end of the game … except there was another lengthy replay review.

Mejia had already performed his trademark stomp of triumph; now he had to stand around for three minutes while the umpires compared angles with their brethren in New York, discussed tax shelters, asked about football scores, opined on whether candlesticks were really an ideal wedding gift, and, I dunno, regretted not being able to go to London to watch Kate Bush return to the stage. Whatever it was, it took quite a while. When it was over, Frazier was awarded first (properly), and Mejia had to take the mound post-stomp, with Kris Negron just 90 feet away as the tying run and superfast Billy Hamilton just a single away as the winning run.


The Reds had played execrable baseball. First Hamilton dropped a catchable fly ball in center that led to three runs, one on a Curtis Granderson single and two more on a laser-beam homer by Anthony Recker, whose every hit is so highlight-worthy that one feels bad about pointing out that he needs a lot more mundane ones to not be hitting .188. Not to be outdone, Jack Hannahan dropped a foul pop-up in the eighth. That gave Granderson extra pitches, the fourth of which he hammered into the right-field stands for a run that looked cosmetic but turned out to be anything but. Meanwhile, Wheeler, being Wheeler, was variously wild and on point, saving his best work for a no-out, bases-loaded jam of his own making: Frazier chopped a ball to the right of the mound, which Wheeler snagged gracefully and then shamed his fellow Mets pitchers by throwing into his catcher’s glove, rather than at a hot-dog guy in the mezzanine, an imaginary Red 10 feet to the right or a distant 747.

But still, there we were in the ninth, with Mejia having had three minutes to consider the noose he’d knotted around his own neck as Devin Mesoraco came to the plate.

Like I said, gulp.

So of course Mejia fanned Mesoraco on three pitches, leading to an even more emphatic stomp — and leaving me to laugh at the absurdity of it all.

Baseball, man. You never know.

8 comments to Ducking Karma

  • Paul from Brooklyn

    A taste of the John Franco years in 2014. Jenrry was just toying with us.

    • open the gates

      If Mejia spends the next few years emulating Johnny Franco, I wouldn’t mind it a bit. Everyone knocked Franco until they realized how irreplaceable he was.

  • Dave

    If I could go just slightly off topic, Bobby Abreu…because we’re trying to win some games here. And to keep Thor from being a Super 2 any time this decade.

    Wow. Where else could you get a hit by Googling Kate Bush and Jenrry Mejia? Nice job.

    • open the gates

      Let’s be fair. DeGrom, Montero and Herrera all earned their promotions. Syndergaard didn’t.

      As for Abreu, he’s a handy guy to have on the bench when you’re not restricted to 25 players. And he’s paid his dues many times over. Syndergaard hasn’t.

      Let the kid work out his issues in winter ball. Unless he totally fizzles, he’ll get his shot.

      • otb

        Thanks for clarifying. I had no idea who “Thor” was. I googled and found out about Syndegaard’s nickname. Kind of stupid, but then most player nicknames are. I agree with you, by the way, although I’m not sure if Abreu can be as effective as he was earlier in the season. He tailed off dramatically before the Mets sent him down, or did they release him? I don’t remember the details, I’m afraid.

      • Dave

        Open – If it was all about earning promotions and paying dues, then I can’t help but wonder why the Mets’ current major league roster includes Gonzalez Germen, who we already know isn’t going to be of any use at all, Dario Alvarez, who was pitching in Savannah about 15 minutes ago, and Eric Goeddel, who Vegas apparently had no use for as they were entering the playoffs. My point about Syndergaard – who agreed, seems to have a ways to go – is that I get the impression that his promotion is going to have at least as much to do with delaying a big payday as it does his progress as a pitcher.

        And as far as Abreu goes, his dues are paid in full, he owes no more. His average as a pinch hitter is hovering in Bartolo territory. I would give him the same speech that Crash Davis got about making a fine minor league manager someday.

        • A caution: Six months ago if Josh Edgin had been pink-slipped there would have been not one tear shed here. Germen’s had a crummy, injury-plagued year, but let’s not write him off quite yet.

          Re Abreu, I don’t mind him getting some more pension time and a last big-league go-round. I just don’t understand what Andrew Brown — who’s already on the 40-man roster — did wrong.