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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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No Place Like Home

Steven Matz pitched well on Sunday afternoon, showing no signs of any woes from an injured finger.

This concludes the good-news portion of the recap.

Everything else was trash, and familiar trash at that: bad defense, zero offense, a certain fatal sleepiness. The Cubs beat the Mets, 2-0, completing a four-game sweep in which they never seemed seriously threatened.

The game turned on two plays at home plate, a locale the Mets never glimpsed during their cameos as baserunners.

The first came in the seventh. Javier Baez singled but looked gimpy at first, to put it mildly. Baez looked like he’d need a limb amputated, and was just remaining in the game out of doggedness. This was eyewash: Baez managed to reach third on a single by Willson Contreras, then took an enormous lead off third as Matz — apparently wearing blinders — tried to keep Contreras close. As Matz turned towards first, Baez jetted home. Adrian Gonzalez took the pickoff and threw home, but it was far too late. 1-0 Cubs.

That lone run was enough to beat Matz, but the Cubs weren’t done. With one out and runners again on the corners, Ben Zobrist spun a little pop fly behind second, drifting towards right. As Luis Guillorme twisted and backpedaled, Jay Bruce passed up a far easier path to the ball, regarding it as if he was a signatory to a nonaggression pact. Guillorme made the play — he makes most plays — but was in no position to throw to anyone except the ballboy, last seen doing more for the 2018 Mets than Jose Reyes. Contreras trotted home and the Cubs had an unnecessary insurance run.

That was it. A Cubs team doing everything right, a Mets team doing enough wrong, a loss, a sweep, a once-promising season grinding deeper into the dust. Something has to change, but there’s precious little indication that it will.

17 comments to No Place Like Home

  • Pete in Iowa

    “A certain fatal sleepiness.” I couldn’t have put it better Jason.
    The worst part is that teams continually show up our boys and their fatal sleepiness over and over again. It’s like opponents know we 1) can’t make a play; or 2) don’t know how to make a play; or 3) are indifferent to making a play. The Cubbies not only beat us on the scoreboard, but they completely embarrassed us by taking repeated advantage and showing pure arrogance for us to stop anything they were doing.
    It’s gotten really, really bad. After each successive poor outing, I keep wondering if that was the low-point.
    Nope. Not yet.

  • LeClerc

    During the four game sweep, every single Cubs position player and pitcher demonstrated the ability to inflict pain on the NY Mets. They shined on the mound, at bat, running the bases, and with effortless defensive gems on both the infield and the outfield.

    Javier Baez took Steven Matz’ lunch. Wilson Contreras looked at Jay Bruce looking at Wilson Contreras ambling homeward with the “insurance” run.

    Mickey Callaway looked dyspeptic.

  • sturock

    >>It’s gotten really, really bad. After each successive poor outing, I keep wondering if that was the low-point.
    Nope. Not yet.<<

    Very well put.

    We're witnessing 2017 all over again, perhaps worse because this season began with so much hope. But it's plain now that the Mets have a manager who's in way over his head, and, more important, a GM who's not doing his job.

    The offense was based around the injury-prone Yoenis Cespedes. When the DL inevitably beckoned, as it did for Todd Frazier, Juan Lagares, and Wilmer Flores, suddenly the club was bereft of anyone who could do any damage at all from the right side. Isn't it Alderson's job to keep the farm system stocked with alternatives or to work the wire and find guys who can hit?

    Great, they have the aged Joey Bats on board. But, night after night, they are running a combination of Nimmo, Conforto, Bruce, Guillorme, and Gonzalez out there to get bamboozled by left-handed pitching.

    Whose idea was it to go with a three-man bench? Who are these non-entities entering from the bullpen?

    This same things are happening game after game, night after night. Who's running this organization? They have nobody who is even at replacement level to come up and stop the damage.

    This team now seems like it's looking for ways to lose games. From body language, it appears they've quit on Mickey Callaway, which I must say they never did on Terry Collins.

    I hope I'm wrong. As a Met fan, "the sky is falling" is my default lament. But this team needs a complete rebuild and, given the Mets' ownership, that's the one thing least likely to happen.

  • Greensleeves

    How can such an articulate fan base have a team who can’t read the writing on the wall?

  • Daniel Hall

    The mere sight of Jay Bruce infuriates me.

  • mikeL

    “…a Mets team doing enough wrong, a loss, a sweep, a once-promising season grinding deeper into the dust”

    little did we know early on the season that we only *thought*
    the mets players were grinding pepper.

    funny how it originally appeared that the phils and yanks had the clueless rookie managers.

    every game like watching a car wreck. shame for degom who deserves so much better.

  • Curt

    Didn’t see that game. Since I missed it in that thread, allow me to comment on how hard Joe Madden tried to give us the Saturday night game, but we wouldn’t take it. Seriously – 1st and 3rd with 1 out and you send a pitcher who’s never had a major league at-bat up?

    At least our pitching is working. I’m starting to think that trading one of the young guns for a haul which can get us competitive again in 2-3 years may be the way to go. Those are Matz, Wheeler, or Syndergaard (can’t stomach the thought of dealing DeGrom though that would be nothing compared with one infamous night in 1977). I suspect only Thor would bring enough to make a real difference.

    Then again, David Wright played catch and took grounders. We’re saved!

    • Daniel Hall

      The team is in such shape that Captain Wright could play the hot corner strapped to a wheelchair and it would be an improvement.

      Also, you can’t expect anything for Wheeler and Matz except more Jacob Rhame types. Both are occasionally very good, but most of the time very flawed. Matz entered the game lasting less than five innings on average for crying out loud. If you want a shiny prospect or even two, ya gotta trade Thor and up. Although knowing Big Sandy, he would still trade Thor for two 24-year-old right-handers, neither of which can find the zone in double-A.

  • Left Coast Jerry

    Exhibit A is Jay Bruceless. There are overwhelming reasons why he should be riding the pines and only trotted out as an occasional left handed pinch hitter in a game that’s already lost. However, there are 39 million reasons, none of them related to ability, which dictate that he remains in the starting lineup.

    Tomorrow night, we will have a match up of Alex Cobb (6+ ERA) vs Jason Vargas (8+ ERA) pitching to 2 totally inept offenses. The final score could be 2-1 or just as easily 10-8.

  • sturock

    Indeed, Left Coast Jerry! And what happens when (if?) Cespedes comes back? Who sits? You can bet it won’t be the 39-million-dollar man.

    • Daniel Hall

      Of course Nimmo sits. There is not even a discussion about it. And we all know it. Nimmo could bat .400/.570/.999 … when (if) Cespedes comes back, Nimmo goes to the bench. Forever. Yay for veteran vibe! Or guts. Or powder. I don’t even know what veterans have these days, except on the Mets they have lots of strikeouts.

      • 9th string catcher

        Hopefully not. In a given week I think you’ll see Bruce at 1st one game and sitting 1 game, Cespedes sitting one day, Conforto one game which puts Nimmo in 4 out of 6 games. You’ll probably see Bautista at 3rd more often and hopefully Reyes will playing SS for the Newark Bears.

  • K. Lastima

    Of all the words of tongue and pen, the saddest are these: The Mets suck again!

  • JoeyC

    Mickey CallawayInOverHisHead. Another Sandy Alderson move that’s failing. Or have they blown the last 7.3 seasons because someone is meddling and Alderson is a good soldier?

  • Jacobs27

    Another disheartening but wholly expected loss. It’s a shame the Cubs ran literal circles around the Mets in the 7th, because Matz and Plawecki executed flawlessly against the safety squeeze earlier. It almost seemed like the team was on point for a moment…