The blog for Mets fans
who like to read


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.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at (Sorry, but we have no interest in ads, sponsored content or guest posts.)

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

Things That Go Thump in the Night

Sunday afternoon found me driving a rental car through deteriorating weather from Boston to New York, listening to the Mets try to salvage a game from the Marlins and their recently-civilian manager. The Mets were trying to escape their Miami enemies and what the weather would do to departures at New York’s airports. Between these two perils, I didn’t have a lot of hope for how they’d acquit themselves when they reappeared the next night on the other side of the continent to play the Padres.

In fact, I was dreading it. The smart money would have predicted … oh, I don’t know, three hits and some sleepy defense?

Which goes to show there’s a reason they play ’em.

It was the Padres who looked like they were sleepwalking, letting down Andrew Cashner with a lazy first-inning misplay that let Daniel Murphy score to put the Mets up 2-0. Cashner looked disgusted on the mound — Jon Niese‘s head would have exploded after such an affront — and he did the smart thing by resolving that he’d just get all the outs himself. He caught Juan Lagares looking for the final out of the inning, racked up three more backwards Ks in the second and kept rolling, amassing 12 strikeouts before his duties were through.

Sounds impressive, but Cashner was also giving up hits: He stranded runners on third in the third and fourth innings before the roof caved in, with Murph homering in the fifth and Darrell Ceciliani and Lagares following with run-scoring singles that pushed the Mets’ lead to 6-0. Before it was all done, Murph would have a 4-for-5 night and Ruben Tejada would have a 3-for-5 next to his name.

(I don’t want to alarm anybody, but it appears someone has kidnapped Tejada and replaced him with a lookalike who can hit. I think we can all agree that this crime should not be solved any time soon.)

And Jacob deGrom? He was pitching like he wanted to remind us what happened three June 1sts ago. Jake struck out the side in the first and looked simply unhittable, retiring the first 15 Padres without particularly breaking a sweat. Clint Barmes ended the dream with a clean single to lead off the sixth, but the Mets kept playing like a no-hitter was in the cards, making the kind of Baxterian plays that would have made you go hmm if not for that vertical line already in the San Diego H column. In the end, it was no contest — the Padres made the most noise barking at umpires, and were drowned out by the large contingent of West Coast Mets fans.

(This is not a new phenomenon for Petco, BTW: Last time I went there the Phillies were in town, and the park and surrounding streets were easily a third Philadelphia rooters. I don’t know if San Diego is a great place to relocate while retaining one’s sports loyalties, or if Padres fans are just laid back to the point of invisibility, but the out-of-town contingent seems larger and louder here than in most other parks.)

As for the Padres, granted it’s only one game, but they look like a mess. DeGrom dismantled them, and tomorrow night they get Noah Syndergaard, whose pitching prowess is so amazing he can lower his ERA by 0.73 without even stepping onto a mound.

Which means they’ll undoubtedly shell Noah, because baseball.

Before the game, Shannon Shark of MetsPolice and I got together for our latest I’d Just as Soon Kiss a Mookiee show, which we can confidently say is the world’s best Star Wars/Mets podcast, and discussed the dread of plunging into a West Coast trip. As we noted, West Coast games can be a blast if your team erupts with a bushel of hits — when that happens, the middle-of-the-night delights feel like a gift, like you’re a kid given free rein to gobble down candy when you should be in bed. Unfortunately, such sleepy-time laughers are rare — and there are few things worse than enduring a West Coast beating in which the East Coasters can’t wait to finish losing and crawl back to the hotel already.

(Other things on the IJASKAM agenda: No-Han revisited, Mike Piazza‘s post-9/11 home run, Tim McCarver, proper accounting for the no-no-hitters streak, and more. Give us a listen!)

The Mets, bless them, delivered that rarest of things — a West Coast laugher. And so they begin June as one of the more confusing Mets squads of recent memory. They’re capable of thumping the tar out of any team on the planet, and then lying down and offering an excellent imitation of a baseball corpse. It feels like we’re in the middle of the pack, biting and clawing with the mediocre teams and yearning of unattainable glory, but the standings say something else, and despite the late hour it isn’t a dream: The standings say that the Mets are in a flat-footed tie for first with the Nationals.

My reaction to that is more or less a bemused shrug. You can react with gleeful cackles, dour premonitions, or alternate madly between the two. Because both extremes have fit this Mets team so far in 2015, and there’s no reason to predict the weirdness will pass any time soon. Certainly not in the middle of the night.

9 comments to Things That Go Thump in the Night

  • BlondiesJake

    Games like last night are fabulous for this West Coaster. Was able to put the boys to bed and see the Mets scoring runs and Jacob deGrominating again. Murphy is on fire at the plate and hasn’t pulled a costly Murphy in the field or on the basepaths for a while now (which of course means a big one is coming).

    Was hoping to go to SD for at least one of the next two but sickness is stopping me. Hopefully Thor and the boys will keep up the good work tonight.

  • Dave

    Nice job by several players last night while I slept. Mets’ all time record in first games of West Coast trips improves to I think about 6-498.

    I know that designations such as “ace of the staff” are fluid, but right now, hands down that title belongs to a guy who was brought up about 12 and a half months ago as a non-prospect minor leaguer because the Mets might have needed a guy to pitch once or twice in some mop-up work out of the pen. You never know.

  • Left Coast Jerry

    I was at the game last night. A few things ran through my head while I was there. After the game, I sent Greg an e-mail that contained the following:

    Just passing along my thoughts while sitting in Petco Park tonight watching deGrom pitch another gem. I will post appropriate comments on FAFIF after I read what you or Jason write about the game.

    When the starting lineups were announced, they put a picture of the player on the big screen with his name an uniform number. When Jacob deGrom’s name was announced, the name and picture on the screen was John Mayberry, but the number on the screen was deGrom’s 48. I know it had nothing to do with the margarita I was sipping at the time. So I knew this night was going to be strange.

    The Padres pre-game ritual has gone from the sublime to the ridiculous.They have some kid run a ball out to the mound and lay it by the rubber, ostensibly to be used by the Padres’ starter as the first pitch. Then, when the pitcher finishes his warm-up tosses, some other kid gets on a microphone and yells “Play Ball.”

    Tejada and Murphy keep on hitting and we get a second run in the first inning when Will Middlebrooks proves he doesn’t throw any better than Wilmer Flores, and then deGrom proceeds to strike out the side in the bottom of the 1st.

    In the 3rd and 4th, same old Mets. Get a runner on third with less than 2 out in each inning, fail to bring him around. I see another disaster coming.

    Top of the 5th. Tejada and Murphy strike again. Cuddyer, being Cuddyer, hits a double with the bases empty. Lo and behold, Ceciliani drives him in. Will wonders never cease?

    Bottom of the 5th. 15 up, 15 down. 6-0 lead. Am I a witness to history?

    Bottom of the 6th. Screw you, Clint Barmes.

    Bottom of the 7th: 5 pitch inning, Jacob has a chance to go 9. He’s only thrown about 85 pitches.

    Bottom of the 8th: Matt Kemp takes a 2-1 pitch for ball 3, and then gets ejected by Dan Iassogna. Bud Black comes out to intercede, and he also gets run. I can’t understand why Kemp got ejected after a favorable call. I see Iassogna as a younger, slimmer, but just as thin-skinned, and quick-tempered version of Joe West. In the meantime, deGrom is standing around. That can’t be good. He finishes the inning with 105 pitches, and I knew he wouldn’t come out for the 9th.

    After an anti-climactic 9th, I had the easiest egress from the parking lot that I’ve ever had, and arrived back at my hotel relatively happy.

    A few other thoughts came through as I look back this morning upon last evening’s festivities:

    Murphy & Tejada’s body double had 7 hits. More than half the team’s total.

    I hadn’t realized during the game that it was taking place on the Johanniversary.

    I attended my first live baseball game in 1953 in Ebbets Field. Last night has to be the finest pitching performance that I’ve ever been in attendance for. It is bittersweet that it replaces the Dick Rusteck game from 1966.

    I was wearing my deGrom t-shirt at the game. While I saw many other fans in Mets regalia, I didn’t see another deGrom in the crowd.

    That margarita I had last night was really good, even at $11.50. I think I’ll have another tonight and see whose picture they put up on the screen when they announce Syndergaard’s name.

  • BlackCountryMet

    Have flown out from England for my annual “baseball buffet” What a great game. The ballpark is superb, really nice and in a great location. There were a large contingent of Mets fans present, Bubs bar was DeGrominated by them. Got major excited round about the 6th inning with the possibility of a no no, which consequently evaporated. I’m not ANTI Collins but why oh why did he not take Jacob out after 7? Decisions like that is why folk get on him. Anyway, Thor tonight, buzzing for that. Oh and as a fan IPA, San Diego is PARADISE!

    • Left Coast Jerry

      Black Country, I’d love to meet a fellow commenter on the best sports blog on the web. I’ll be in section 107, row 32, wearing a Lagares t-shirt, if you want to stop by tonight and say hello.

      • BlackCountryMet

        Left Coast, excellent. I’m also likely to be in Bubs bar on the corner before, from around 17 30. I’ll have a Mets Spring Training jersey, no name on and shorts. Will also swing by your section at some point

  • Pumpsie

    Dark Knight, Thor, Samson DeGrom; superheroes all with the Wheelman back driving next year it may truly be a time Matzamania

  • The deGromster Cy Young campaign is gaining momentum. Follow on social media and head to to check out awesome deGromster t-shirts and learn more about the movement.

    BTW Love Pumpsie’s post about Samson deGrom. Been trying to tie that together somehow for a sweet nickname. Let’s keep it rolling tonight for a west coast trouncing!