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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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83-79 or Bust!

Hope is a self-healing thing.

The Mets have won four in a row. I’d say “somehow,” except they’ve been playing the Phillies and the Reds, two teams that (like the Mets) are quantitatively and officially lousy.

Still, they all count and during this modest but thoroughly welcome winning streak the Mets haven’t looked half-bad. Which is all good.

If you want to find green shoots that could grow into strong trees — and really, what else is a September of a lost season for? — you had plenty more to like Saturday night.

Rafael Montero had what looks at first glance like another glass-half-full start, walking five in five innings and needing 97 pitches to last that long. But a half-full glass would have been a triumph for Montero not too long ago, and this struck me as the kind of game in which you could expect the old Montero to crumble.

Take the top of the third, which came down to Montero facing Scott Schebler with two out and runners on first and second. Montero had Schebler struck out on a 1-2 pitch, but home-plate ump Marvin Hudson missed it. Montero went back to work and got Schebler anyway. Beware the narrative — if Schebler hits a dunker over the second baseman’s head maybe this paragraph is about young pitchers losing focus — but that felt like progress to me. In fact, if you had to pick one pitcher based on upside right now, would you take Montero or Matt Harvey?

Speaking of progress, Kevin Plawecki absolutely tattooed a Homer Bailey fastball, sending it off the second deck for all the runs the Mets would need. Dom Smith escaped the interstate average-wise and made a couple of nifty plays afield, Phillip Evans collected his first big-league hit (very small sample size, but his swing is a thing of beauty), Jamie Callahan showed good life on his pitches finishing up, Brandon Nimmo smiled a lot and Amed Rosario even pinch-ran.

I know fall is in the air because I’m getting possessive about baseball — with the Mets done I wound up watching the Dodgers play the Rockies. (L.A. lost, coming within a run thanks to a leadoff homer in the ninth, which is the kind of baseball tease that just kills you.) Soon it will be time to pick bandwagon teams (preliminary rooting interest: Astros and/or Twins) and strap in for October craziness.

For the first time since 2014, that ride won’t include the Mets. Heck, they probably won’t win out and secure 83 wins. But this recent stretch suggests baseball in Flushing might stay watchable a little longer.

5 comments to 83-79 or Bust!

  • Curt

    Can’t watch since Cincinnati happens to be in my blackout area. But looked at stats this morning. I had a lot of thoughts about the Mets heading into the season. Other than my expectation for number of games David Wright would play, pretty much none have panned out but Rafael Montero having the 2nd-most innings pitched for the Mets this season is one that never crossed my mind – and I doubt there’s any alternate reality where it did so either.

    The disappointment accompanying my inability to watch today’s game is tempered by the knowledge that a) it’s a Sunday and b) the Mets are going for a sweep. Based on this season, we all know what that means. I’d like to watch anyway.

  • Jerryk

    Without Flores I’ve cashed in. I’ll be back next seaon hopefully Collins won’t be.

  • dmg

    a very pleasant night at citi, and easier in and out than i expected, what with the open nearby. september baseball has its charms, even when there’s no post-season to prep for.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    This past week has been going exactly according to plan. Beat up on the weak teams during the stretch run. It’s the previous 21 weeks that have been the problem.

  • Kevin from Flushing

    Ah, the trouble with October for the passionate fan. Want to root for your league, can’t stomach the thought of rooting for any of your league’s teams outside of your own.

    The way this year’s going, I’m bracing for a Nats/Yanks series (in which case rooting for the NL will be a breeze).