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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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From Worse to Slightly Less Worse

I thought the Nationals would score at least nine runs on Saturday, probably more. They started with a single run in each of the first four innings, 44.44% of the way to what is known as a picket fence. The Mets couldn’t put up 97%-invisible netting fast enough to veil it.

Somehow, the Mets halted the Nationals’ forward progress on the fifth-yard line, for a while anyway. Eventually, Stephen Strasburg revealed himself as not quite as untouchable as his predecessors in the Washington rotation. Yoenis Cespedes (4-for-5 and a homer) swung the bat real well and ran unencumbered. Jay Bruce did some fine hitting, Jose Reyes showed some offensive life, Travis d’Arnaud delivered a pinch-single that kind of mattered. Up and down the order, the Mets worked some impressive at-bats, regardless of results.

Oh, don’t get me wrong. The Mets lost and did loads wrong to lose. But falling 7-4 instead of the approximately 12-2 I was anticipating, while not providing any cause for optimism in a standings sense, made the game a darn sight more watchable than I figured it would be. Seth Lugo hung in after burying his team. Jerry Blevins got one critical out. A couple of balls that I was sure were going to fly out of Citi Field as Nationals homers went foul. There was a scintilla of a chance of a comeback in the ninth.

It didn’t happen. And it augurs little to nothing for Sunday. But I didn’t feel like a total chump staying tuned to the end. So there’s that.

As for those special Father’s Day weekend uniforms, they achieved their goal of raising awareness, if, in fact, they are intended to raise awareness for bad taste.

14 comments to From Worse to Slightly Less Worse

  • Matt in Woodside

    Disappointing game, for sure.

    This was the first good look that I’ve had of Dusty Baker managing his bullpen, though. That “all hands on deck” mentality? How long can you deal with that as a pitching staff with everyone up, throwing every day? Don’t get me wrong. The Nats have been kicking our asses. But wow, he is pressing the starters to the limit in June, and the bullpen looks like Mets 2007 without Billy Wagner.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Sadly, but not altogether surprisingly, the everyday presence of Flores has started to really hurt this team. When he’s going well, he gets hits in bunches which makes up for all his deficiencies. When he’s not, he doesn’t bring anything else to the table, doesn’t draw walks, mediocre to bad defense, zero speed etc. I’ve always thought he was best suited to a utility role with some occasional starts vs lefties. Watching him the last 2 days tap into rally killing double play after double play and botch the most routine of plays allowing extra runs to score seems to be confirming my fears. So as not to solely pile on poor Wilmer, I’ll also say that Conforto is starting to really worry me as well. At a minimum it might be time to get him out of the leadoff spot and it might soon be time to start sitting him versus lefties if he doesn’t snap out of it.

  • eric1973

    Regarding the ridiculous uniforms, so this is what it is like to root for the Marlins.

  • At least the dismantling is lending clarity to what our stance needs to be at the trading deadline. To guess incorrectly, or not to commit to any course of action whatsoever would be a critical folly for a team on the verge of such great roster turnover as ours will be this offseason.

    We’re veering sharply towards being sellers. And it will be a seller’s market. Cold comfort, perhaps. But cold comfort is better than none at all.

    • Eric

      Among the vets, Jay Bruce should net a good prospect or two. Granderson might bring back a decent return. Duda might, too. Lagares with his gold glove, speed, and occasional hot streaks with the bat should be attractive, but his broken thumb means no immediate help.

      Reed and Blevins are better trade chips than the position players. I want to hold onto them, though.

  • BlackCountryMet

    Spot on as always Greg. I’m happy if we’re competing in the game(i.e. Not blown out) and get an injury that’s now the limit of my requirements. Even though day games are the most convenient to watch in England, it’s a struggle to convince myself to do so

    IMO the season is over, trade at the deadline and restock

    Am I wrong or is this eerily similar to Generation K?

  • Matt in Richmond

    If Jake, Noah, Matt, Zack and Steven never threw another pitch they’d already have accomplished far more than Generation K. Multiple All Star appearances, multiple trips to the playoffs, a WS appearance, and spectacular success in all those venues. Happily, there’s every reason to believe that there is plenty more success to come, for most if not all of them.

    • BlackCountryMet

      Cheers Matt

      I was querying it as the same sort of high hopes as that generation(k) and the same lack of fulfilment. Good points made regard what they’ve achieved, although to me, all star appearances are personal achievements, don’t impact on the team. Appreciate the viewpoint though

  • LeClerc

    Wilmer is embarrassing himself.

    Conforto is regressing – if not to the “mean” – then to a disturbing mediocrity.

    The book on Rene: fastball, letter-high = K

    Advice to Jake: Don’t throw a gopher ball to the first batter up (that’ll do for a start).

    • Eric

      That dropped pop-up was ugly (Blevins was charged an earned run for that?!) – Flores is not a smooth athletic glove man. And speed up his arm with a runner like Turner, his long throwing motion breaks down. He did make some hard contact with his bat, though.

      Conforto’s struggle is much the most troubling part. He looks a lot like the same player, confused frustrated body language included, who was dropped to AAA last season after an all-star start to his season. It’s too early to decide that this is who Conforto is as a big-league hitter, but if his bat doesn’t recover, the repeated slump means we’re approaching that point of discussion.

      Collins just gave Conforto a chunk of time off and is batting Conforto lead off with Cespedes protecting him in the line-up. The rest is up to Conforto.

      On the other hand, if Conforto continues to struggle again, Nimmo is on the Mets bench now, next man up, and waiting to reclaim his status as the Mets’ top outfield prospect.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    “Just wait until Cespedes comes back”.

    Well, he’s back, hitting for average and power, and they’ve lost 4 of 5. So now what?

    • Eric

      Plugging a hole can only do so much when there are 9 other holes breaking the dike plus multiple leaky flaws on the dike itself.

  • Curt

    Pretty clear the Nats are better than us, at least right now. Their lineup has the best 3 hitters (and I think ranking Rendon and Cespedes would at least rate a conversation) and they have the three best starting pitchers. Our only edge is the bullpen and that isn’t much of one as the comparison is extreme suckiness to sucks slightly less.

    As Gregg says, at least we can start looking at making deals with veterans near the trade deadline. If those go well we can really reload without doing too much damage to our chances in 2018.

    As for Dusty’s use of his starters, if the Nats have a 20-game lead August 1, I suspect he’ll start easing up on the pitch counts.

    Internet was out at home this morning. Not sure if I want it on when I get back or not. Lot I could do with the 3 hours this afternoon instead of watching MLBtv.

    • Eric

      It’s not quite the old Happy Harvey Day, but a deGrom start testing him against a top hitting team is still worth the watch.