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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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Same Wolf, Same Door

Last year the Mets looked kind of OK in the early going. On May 26 they lost a horrific 5-3 game to the Pirates, dropping their record to 22-28, but then won six of their next seven, including three of four in Philadelphia, lifting their record to 28-29. So they rolled into Chicago to take on the hapless Cubs, and all in all we were feeling pretty good about things. Win the series and they’d be at .500, and then we’d see.

They lost all three games at Wrigley. In the opener Zack Wheeler flirted with a no-hitter, which he didn’t get (if he had we’d all remember), but the Mets took a 1-0 lead to the eighth. Chris Coghlin hit a home run off Josh Edgin and the lead was gone. In the bottom of the ninth some lousy Mets defense and lousy Scott Rice pitching lost the game. The next day the roof caved in on Daisuke Matsuzaka, Dana Eveland and Jeurys Familia in the fifth and the Cubs won 5-4. In the finale the Mets erased a 4-0 deficit, after which Vic Black immediately gave up a home run to Anthony Rizzo. Two more runs scored off Jenrry Mejia in the ninth and the Mets were toast. They slumped off to San Francisco and lost all three games. From that point on, 2014 became a narrative about what would happen in some other year.

Which brings us to this year’s visit to Wrigley.

Matt Harvey didn’t have a no-hitter to flirt with, but he was pretty amazing anyway, carving up Cubs and leaving with a 1-0 lead. Carlos Torres came on in the eighth and gave up a game-tying single to Dexter Fowler, then got into trouble again in the ninth. The Mets summoned Familia, sent Johnny Monell in to catch for the first time in orange and blue (he did fine), and even tried various five-man infields, but Familia gave up a bases-loaded, one-out walk to Coghlan and we were beaten.

We’ve lost three in a row at Wrigley (and, IIRC, the last 452,315), we’re scoring less than three runs a game in May, and the Nationals are just 1.5 games behind us.

Blame the cruelty Terry Collins has inflicted on Torres’s arm. Blame the spaghetti-at-the-wall nature of relievers. Blame the inert bats. Blame the pretty decent ballclub currently occupying the DL. I don’t want to get into the blame game. I just want to not think about this game, or the Cubs, or Wrigley Field, or how this series feels exactly like the last time we arrived at Wrigley Field with pretensions of being something other than a first draft of something a long way from completion.

If you’ve had your fill of Wrigley like I have, too bad. They’ll be back at it at 2 p.m. tomorrow. So SNY told me while I was still reeling. The promo should have come with a trigger warning.

10 comments to Same Wolf, Same Door

  • Dave

    History will show that Alderson sure did revitalize the Mets. That April 2015 team was real good. Spent that month telling my daughter while she was away at school nowhere near here how good they looked, that it was a different team now and they’re taking the city back. Now she’s home and thinks her poor old dad might be losing touch with reality.

  • kd bart

    The loss of Wright & d’Arnaud for this length of time has basically killed off the offense. You can pitch around the one or two bats left in the lineup that can hurt you and the rest are just inadequate or inexperience. Through the first 16 games and the 11 game winning streak, they scored 73 runs and gave up 47. Loss Wright & d’Arnaud in quick succession and while they were able to function offensively all right for a few games, their loss eventually caught up to them. In the 18 games since the streak ended, the Mets have scored only 52 runs while giving up 59 and have scored 2 or less runs in a game 7 times. The pitching has stayed relatively strong but the offense has fallen off a cliff to the tune of an average of about 1.7 runs a game.

  • sturock

    At what point does useless Michael Cuddyer wake up? As Duda is the only remotely dangerous hitter in the Mets’ lineup, he’s easy to pitch around (or throw at– the Cubs plunked him twice last night) and is therefore slumping. He needs some support. And even with Wright and d’Arnaud, there are no truly elite hitters in the Mets’ lineup. That would actually be workable if the defense were flawless but there are too many mistakes being made, the middle infield is weak defensively, and Daniel Murphy is still good for a run-causing bonehead play almost every night. There is just no cushion for the pitchers.

    But, I repeat: At what point does useless Michael Cuddyer wake up?

    • Daniel Hall

      A: As soon as Granderson and Flores start contributing towards W’s.

      Had a bad vibe with Harvey Day yesterday – notice how the sparkle is gone not only off the Mets as a whole, but Harvey Day as well? A few weeks ago we were vibrating in joy when his turn came up! – but it turned out that Harvey was perfectly fine, not much short of amazin’.

      The rest was agony.

      I feel the need to lash out at Terry for sending any Torres to pitch the bottom 9th. Although – wait! It was actually a *genious* move!! He saved us another six innings of futility by losing the game right there in the ninth, conserving the bullpen and everybody else to win another day! That’s brilliant!!

      (laughs really, really madly)

  • Michael G.

    Seems like a better strategy would have been to let Harvey pitch the eighth and then probably hand a 1-0 lead to Familia in the 9th. Harvey had 100 pitches after 7 — did TC really need to take him out? C. Torres has been underwhelming of late and they really needed this win. Now the pressure to not be swept is pretty high.

  • Rochester John

    Last winter, we were all excited about our team possibly (in bold font) contending for the second wild card spot. We knew we wouldn’t have great hitting, but we should have enough to be able to leverage a great rotation and a pretty good bullpen into 85 – 90 wins. So what happened? The team of Wright, d’Arnaud, Wheeler, Mejia, Black, Blevins, Edgin, Montero, Gee, Carlyle, and now Lagares, may be a better team than what we’re actually able to field. If the Mets organization would ever tell us the truth about the extent of injuries, we might have a better idea of when this ship may be righted.

  • open the gates

    So about a week after the Wright injury, I accidentally found myself on a local sports talk radio station. The caller was going on about how glad he was that Wright was gone because Wright was always a loser, and how much better off the team was now with Eric Campbell at third. You can’t make this stuff up.

  • mikeL

    if not for the cold weather, wouldn’t it be feeling a lot like mid-august already (y’know, a couple of weeks before irrelevancy has set in for the campaign)?

    and yes, harvey day has become something i dread : the team will lose these as well…

    could SNY maybe stop running those cudyer fedora spots already?
    wtf is he smiling for?!?

    oh yea, he’s making a boatload of money to do virtually NOTHING.