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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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Team Rorschach

OK, try this:

Oh man, what a horrible game. What a horrible DAY. Jacob deGrom‘s pitching elbow is inflamed, he’s going to miss a start, and Terry Collins apparently knew nothing about it. And then the Mets went out and did NOTHING against the Nats.

Ugh, the Nats! They make me want to break things!

I mean, I have to watch Daniel Murphy playing like every game is the playoffs against the Dodgers or Cubs, and meanwhile Neil Walker‘s done not being Daniel Murphy and done for the season. And then there’s Bryce Harper, and Anthony Rendon, and now they have NEW GUYS who kill us too. Like this Trea Turner, and Koda Glover. WHAT THE HELL KIND OF NAME IS KODA GLOVER? That sounds like something you read on the preschool roster and you and your wife roll your eyes at what people name children these days and then you feel bad and one of you says “Koda’s parents might be really nice” but you don’t really mean it.

We’re 10 1/2 behind the Nats now — what a total disappointment. And the wild card, OH MAN. The chance to gain a game was sitting right there in front of us: every team we’re chasing lost and every team that’s chasing us lost, and we BLEW IT. Noah Syndergaard allowed a billion stolen bases and none of the Mets hit and Hansel Robles was crummy in relief again. Stupid Hansel — Sandy ought to make like the Brothers Grimm and abandon Hansel and any siblings he has in a forest somewhere.

I can’t stand it, I just can’t stand it. This team is killing me. What a complete bummer.

Do something else for a couple of minutes — walk around the block or something. OK? Glad you’re back! Now try this:

It’s funny how little playing the Nats means right now. I mean, sure, they’re the team ahead of us in the NL East standings. But that race ended a long time ago, and we all know it. That means the Nats are just another team as far as we’re concerned — and remember they’re the best team left on our 2016 schedule. In fact, they’re the only good team left on that schedule.

Speaking of good, how about Syndergaard tonight? Yeah, he’s got to work on holding runners in spring training, but he’s still a beast and we’re lucky to have him. The deGrom news made you hold your breath, but there was no structural damage. About time we got a bit of good news in the pitching department. So let him rest — Rafael Montero looked pretty good the other day, didn’t he? And hey, how about Asdrubal Cabrera going deep on one leg? That guy’s been amazing in the field and at the plate. What a pickup!

And let’s not forget that we got super-lucky. Yeah, we lost, and that was a bummer. But you know what? The Giants lost! The Cardinals lost! We laid an egg and didn’t lose any ground in the standings! And you know what else? The Pirates lost! And the Marlins lost! Everybody lost!

We’ve only got five games left with the Nats. Those aren’t gonna be fun, but the rest of the schedule is basically angel-food cake. I know that doesn’t guarantee anything — we’re Mets fans, we know better than that — but it’s a big help. We got beat by the Nats and it didn’t do us a lick of harm in the only race that matters. So exhale! Keep hope alive! Back at ’em tomorrow!

23 comments to Team Rorschach

  • Dave

    The Padres and the Diamondbacks were supposed to have been angel food cake too, and they turned out to be ghost peppers. So yeah, that means nothing. Que sera is going to sera however it sees fit, often in a way we never could have expected, because baseball and because Mets.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Wow, is this FAFIF record for the quickest blog post ever?

    I liked the first part of your post better. It’s the way I’m feeling it right now. Thanks.

  • LeClerc

    Cabrera came to play. Good to know he’s signed for next year.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Haha! Nice post, and pretty understandable. The first half is how one might feel while watching the game (I do soooo loathe the Nats), the second half is the sensible way to feel after taking a moment to collect your wits and gain some perspective. That we’re playing meaningful baseball at all in September is a blessing and a testament to this club from top to bottom, and one game isn’t going to make or break things with 30 to go. How many times have the overly reactionary types thrown in the towel already? Too many to count, and they’ve been proven foolish every single time.

  • Boooo

    Man they stink. They play like a bunch of Marys and Collins needs to be canned,
    Let montero, gsellman and lugo finish the season before degrom or matz die

  • NostraDennis

    And this post, folks, is why it’s called Fear and Faith in Flushing. Wait…

  • Craig

    Great post! As frustrating as the season has been, it’s amazing that this team is still hanging in there. I thought Syndergaard pitched very well but got no support. Have to disagree with Gary Cohen who kept insisting that Syndergaard not being able to control the running game cost him the game. Yes, it contributed to the first run. but Harper’s steal of third really made no difference – he would have scored from second easily on the single up the middle with Granderson’s (very) weak arm in CF. The real issue once again was the team’s inability to get hits in the clutch with RISP. It has been too often this season where the pitchers have needed to be almost perfect in order for the team to get a win…

  • Pete In Iowa

    True, we didn’t lose any ground in the standings, however we did lose something almost as valuable – one game of 28 remaining with which to pick up ground. And the Giants, Cards, Pirates and Marlins served it up on a silver platter. No matter how you slice it – a disappointing loss. Not so sure we’ll see ALL four of them lose again on the same day.
    BTW, was Collins saving Familia for the 10th if the Mets tied it up in the ninth?? Puzzling to me. I would have thought he would have started the ninth with him. I can maybe see Blevins with the lefties, but to then go to Robles?? Seems really odd to do that in a 2-1 game with all other contenders having lost. Once again the very best option sits to be used in a spot which never came.
    Fingers to scalp and scratch…..

    • Greg Mitchell

      As I’ve noted in past, Terry persists on using Blevins as top choice against lefties–when he gets righties out far more often. Currently he is at .256 vs. left and .178 vs. right, and it’s been trending in that direction for weeks. Forgetting about Reed and bringing in Blevins to face Murph and Harper–because they are lefties–and THEN throwing in the towel and bringing in Robles at this point is highly questionable.

  • Koda Glover

    Better get used to seeing Koda Glover–as the future Nats’ closer in training he’s already better than Storen ever was and is only 23 years old.

  • eric1973

    Yep, that’s generally TC’s modus operandi. We wait for situations that never arise, and by then the game is out of reach.

  • sturock

    Will Jay Bruce ever contribute?

  • Rob E.

    Mets now 0-66 in games influenced by Terry Collins, 69-0 in all other games. Why even have a manager?!?!?

    Greg Mitchell…name ONE other team whose “LOOGY” is a righty!! It’s just not done. If you found a pitcher that had a significant reverse split over several seasons, this would be a compelling discussion. In the three years before this, Blevins was .194 vs. lefties and .237 vs. righties. You don’t just throw that out the window because of a 135 AB sample.

    Bringing in a decent lefty to face lefties is not a questionable move. For what it’s worth, both Murphy and Harper have worse numbers vs. lefties.

    • Greg Mitchell

      Addison Reed .207 vs lefties this year, lefty specialist Blevins .256.

      Yes, by all means, let’s go mainly on what someone did two years ago, not this year.

      • Rob E.

        If all you care about is 2016, Robles is .177 vs. lefties, why not make him the guy to bring in against lefties? Both of Reed’s splits are better than Familia’s…why not make him the closer and make Familia the eighth inning guy? Also, would you trade Jake deGrom even up for Tanner Roark? Roark has clearly been better in 2016 and they are about the same age.

        It’s not that Blevins did it two years ago, it’s that he’s done it CONTINUOUSLY. And again, they are not pitching to a brick wall, they are pitching to batters that ALSO have splits (splits that go beyond which arm a guy throws with). It’s not as simple as “this guy has a lower batting average against than the other guy.”

        • Greg Mitchell

          “Continuously”–in caps no less–funny way to describe guy who pitched 5 whole innings last year…

          • Rob E.

            That is true. It doesn’t change anything since Blevins’ numbers vs. lefties this year aren’t particularly different from 2008-2014 — a pretty big sample — but you are right, he only pitched the five innings last year.

            If the only numbers that matter to you are 2016’s, you still avoided all the other points I brought up, particularly Robles’ .177.

  • Eric

    With the team reduced by who’s gone for the season, who’s playing hurt, and who’s relegated to playing part-time hurt, there are no easy opponents for this team. It’ll be a grim slog, and that’s if the Mets play up. Fortunately, so far, all their WC rivals are slogging, too.

  • eric1973

    Regarding righty/lefty, I would rather go with my strength, rather than all this righty/lefty mumbo-jumbo.

    That would be Addison Reed in the 8th, and JF in the 9th. Any stats suggesting otherwise need to be thrown in the garbage.

    • Eric

      Collins doesn’t go lefty/righty with Reed and Familia like he does the middle relievers. My impression is that Collins has been trying to pick his spots to squeeze out more rest for Reed and, to a lesser extent, Familia.

    • Rob E.

      I don’t necessarily agree with the way teams blindly use closers and eighth inning guys, but those guys typically have talent that transcends a lot of these splits. If you are going to have a set closer and eighth inning guy, they are going to be your best guys. If you look at the guys the Yankees had earlier this year, it really doesn’t matter who is batting when you have elite talent like that.

      Most relievers (almost ALL of them) don’t have that level of talent. So your “strength” in the middle innings comes from matchups (which is completely open to interpretation). This also is overplayed across baseball, but there are some stats that you really can’t ignore….like Conforto’s .109 average vs. lefties, or Cespedes’ .347/.468/.653 vs. lefties, just to give two examples. When you start figuring ALL pitchers splits vs. ALL batters splits, and then start adding in who hits flyball pitchers better or who can’t handle breaking pitches, it gets less and less black and white the deeper you dig.

  • Met fan since my first game at the Polo Grounds, July 8th 1962. (Yes, a 15-1 loss to the Cardinals …). I have a feeling about this team. I believe something is developing. Love F&FIF … my go-to read after every game. :-)