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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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Dumb Fun

That might have been the dumbest baseball game I’ve ever seen.

It wasn’t exactly what any of us expected from Jacob deGrom vs. Carlos Martinez, as neither ace’s location was what it needed to be. The result was basically an Adam West-Burt Ward Batman caper, with the principals milling around for a bit until it was time for more WHAM! and BIFF! and SOCK!

You could hear the Neal Hefti music as the Mets loaded the bases against Martinez with none out in the first, but nothing’s less dangerous than the Mets with the bases loaded. Jay Bruce struck out, T.J. Rivera drove in a run by getting hit by a pitch, and Lucas Duda lined out to Randal Grichuk, who threw Asdrubal Cabrera out at home by a time zone. Uninspiring, but hold your sighs, as it was a night for anybody and everybody to get a second chance.

(Well, except poor Cabrera. He repeatedly hit balls that could have doubled as SWAT team door-knockers, only to wind up 0 for 4. As always, it’s an unfair game.)

Back to second chances, with the momentarily revitalized Jose Reyes clubbing a homer to lead off the top of the second, giving the Mets a 2-0 lead. (Trade him! Trade him now!) But then the Cardinals went back to back to start the bottom of the inning, tying the game on homers from Grichuk and Paul DeJong. DeGrom stalked around the mound looking understandably perturbed, which was nothing compared to how he looked when the Cardinals did it again to start off the very next inning, with Dexter Fowler and Jedd Gyorko the new doers of dirty work. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before; I’ll scoot out on this here limb and guess deGrom hopes to never see it again.

At that point in the game deGrom had given up four hits, each of them a solo homer, and surrendered home runs to four of the last seven batters faced. Yes really. Yet somehow the game was tied, as the Mets had kept battering Martinez. Yes really redux.

Oh, and then Bruce — the same Bruce who’d fanned with the bases loaded in the first — smacked a home run in the top of the fifth to give the Mets the lead once again. The good guys would add another run in the seventh on a T.J. Rivera double that drove in Yoenis Cespedes, who’d hit a little grounder right through Matt Carpenter‘s legs. (The run came off Elon University alum John Brebbia, which isn’t important except Elon was also the alma mater of Bill Graham, a momentary Met whose story is worth reading again.)

Anyway, Rivera’s RBI would prove important, as the Cardinals went to work against a forebodingly velocity-free Jerry Blevins and Paul Sewald, then faced Addison Reed in the ninth. Handed a one-run lead, Reed recorded the first two outs on two pitches, but both were rockets to dead center that threatened to leave Curtis Granderson undressed with stars orbiting his head, a la Charlie Brown. That didn’t bode well, so of course Reed then struck DeJong out in a nine-pitch battle, and the Mets had won.

DeGrom won despite giving up four homers, a feat previously recorded (or perhaps the word I’m looking for is “endured”) by Rob Gardner in 1966 and Johan Santana in 2009. And the Mets won despite being trapped in a farcical affair that couldn’t have been more ridiculous if it had featured actual superballs instead of the nope-definitely-not-different modern MLB version. A win’s a win, so I suppose it was fun, but it was dumb fun — the equivalent of deciding fuck it, dinner will be this leftover slice of pizza, a bag of Doritos and a dozen hits from a can of Reddi-Whip that I forgot was behind the milk. We won, but if every baseball game was like this one I’d just play videogames instead.

12 comments to Dumb Fun

  • eric1973

    Mets traded INF Milton Ramos to the Baltimore Orioles in exchange for International Signing Bonus Pool space.

    International Signing Bonus Pool space was just put on the 10-day DL.

  • Matt in Richmond

    Nice LOL line about dinner. Shamefully, that hit a little too close to home.

    Fortunately it didn’t matter last night, but I’d be curious to know how many runners we’ve had thrown out at the plate this season. Maybe I’ve got a skewed perception, but it just seems like an extremely abnormal amount.

    • UpstateNYMetfan

      No, you’re perception is about right, Matt in Richmond, or I’m skewed too. It’s gotten to the point now where I’m cringing when there’s a Met on 3rd and there’s an “undeep” fly ball with less than two outs. It’s virtually guaranteed to be a slow guy (big surprise!) on, and he almost always goes. Why?!? Speaking of possibly skewed perceptions, does it seem that replays almost ALWAYS go against the Mets? The Jay Bruce slide at 2nd; I already KNEW it was going to be challenged and reversed BEFORE it was challenged and reversed. I was frankly surprised the Cards didn’t challenge the Rivera play (wide throw by 3B Gyorko, swipe tag attempt by 1B Voit) at first in the fifth inning. I think if they did, that would have been reversed as well.

  • LeClerc

    Best Play of the Game:

    All-Time, All-Star Met Killer Yadier Molina comes to the plate in the bottom of the eighth inning – two outs, a Card on first, Mets 6 Cards 5…,

    With history as a guide, this should be the point where Molina hits a ferocious double, ties the game, and has Sewald slink off the mound. Then Terry runs out and brings in Fernando Salas…,

    But no – past was not prelude! Molina does hit a ferocious double doppelganger line-shot to left field and…, Cespedes was there in an unorthodox spot, catches the ball, three outs, Molina raises his hands in disbelief as he veers off the base-line and heads to the dugout!

    And deGrom beat Martinez. The Mets need a little dumb fun and dumb luck.

  • Eric

    Odd game for deGrom where he pitched well besides the HRs. It’s his last start before the all-star break and his pitch count was low enough. I would have run him out for the 8th inning.

    A bonus to the win is if deGrom had pitched like that vs the Nationals, then the Mets likely would have lost the game, which would have been more depressing.

  • Left Coast Jerry

    An error on a routine ground ball leads to a run. Failure to turn a double play prolongs an inning and leads to another run. Wait a minute! That wasn’t the Mets infield committing these acts! First time all year the Mets win a game thanks to porous defense. You gotta love it!

    Since you mentioned Elon University, I have to add that the worst umpire in the game today is an Elon alumnus. That would be none other than Cowboy Joe West.

  • metsfaninparadise

    Neil Hefti-great. Now I’ll be hearing the Batman theme in my head all day

  • eric1973

    And the Odd Couple theme as well.

    Terrible slides by Bruce and Cabrera. In addition to Nimmo last week to cost a run. Mets have a tendency to miss the base with their front foot on slides, which lead to outs. Pretty ridiculous that you have to teach major leaguers how to slide, and that they just do not know how.

  • eric1973

    What’s with Reyes putting his hand on his head as he reaches each base on home runs. Some new attention getting shtick.

    Pretty bush. And people complained about Puig.

  • Greg Mitchell

    So naturally just when Nimmo is showing something he ends up on DL today with classic only-the-Mets injury: a collapsed lung! Oh, the symbolism!

  • The King

    Why hasn’t Salas been DFA’d? When is enough enough?