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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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It's Good to Laugh

I didn’t want to look up the last time the Mets won a laugher, because I knew the answer would be startling at first and then depressing. (It was May 15, when they beat the Blue Jays by 10.) Kind of like this season has been.

Anyway, Monday night’s tilt in Colorado was only a laugher in retrospect: the Rockies crept within 4-2 in the 7th thanks to some dopey Met defense, which had the normally stoic Jacob deGrom glowering out at his teammates, a show of emotion that was both rare and thoroughly understandable. Giving up six runs in five starts and seeing your team go 0-5 gives you the right to side-eye anyone even vaguely related to what’s befallen you.

DeGrom didn’t look terrific, but that was probably the lack of Colorado air nipping some of the wrinkle off his pitches — Charlie Blackmon offered an interesting perspective on hitting a mile above sea level that I hadn’t heard before, opining that fastballs kept more of their velocity but lost some of their movement. But he was certainly good enough. I had to chuckle at how he finished off the seventh by throwing a 97 MPH fastball past Tom Murphy at the top of the zone, as if to say (or at least to mentally mutter) “let’s see one of those other idiots drop this one.” Devin Mesoraco was the only other Met involved with the pitch, and he didn’t drop anything. DeGrom and the Mets were out of trouble, and two in the 8th and six in the 9th made trouble a dot in the rearview mirror.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, there was actual hitting. Brandon Nimmo, still wreathed in Arizona laurels, hit the fourth pitch of the game off the right-field fence, discombobulating Carlos Gonzalez and leaving Nimmo to outrun everything except his smile for an inside-the-park homer. Nimmo would add a conventional round-tripper later and two hits besides, delighting his family and what seemed like a good chunk of the population of Cheyenne. Other Mets chipped in, too: Mesoraco and Wilmer Flores homered, while Michael Conforto and Amed Rosario had three hits apiece. Heck, not even the Joses were completely useless.

It was a relatively normal game, a welcome thing given the near-Biblical rain of horrors that’s pelted this team for two months. Yes, there was that late-inning quaver in the knees that sometimes portends a Coors Field collapse and leaves you remembering how everything seemed in hand until the other guys put up that beastly crooked number. But, well, you should see the other guy. The Mets hit often, ran the bases tolerably, pitched terrific and fielded just well enough to finally give their most talented pitcher the support he deserves. Twelve runs a night is good; that number being more runs than they’d scored in deGrom’s eight previous starts is a travesty.

But hey, our ragamuffin team has somehow won three in a row. Here’s to Nimmo’s smile being the Mets’ summertime equivalent of Rudolph’s red nose, a beacon to guide them anywhere other than where they’ve been.

11 comments to It’s Good to Laugh

  • Since64

    And hearty congrats to our favorite pitcher, Bartolo Colon, who passed Juan Marichal for the most wins by a Dominican. I wish he could have done it in a Mets uniform. Heart, humility and timelessness are his ethic. He can do it all and I hope he does. Next stop Dennis Martinez.

  • Dave

    Called it a night in the 7th with the Mets up 4-1 and had a dream I believe shortly before waking up this morning that I got up to check the final score while feeding the cats (always my first obligation of the day) to find they won 17-14. At least on one side of the score, I wasn’t too far off.

    Next up, Jason Vargas pitching in Colorado. Gulp.

  • LeClerc

    DeGrom providing the best pitching in major league baseball. If the dum-dum crew can rustle up some runs for him, he’ll beat Scherzer for the Cy Young Award.

    Nimmo is now an everyday player. If he isn’t – who is ?

    So when and if Yo-Yo comes back, that pushes Bruce to 1B or the bench. If Jay beats Dom to the Mendoza line, Mr. “I don’t chase results” will be riding the pine.

  • Gil

    Everything went our way, even a wild ‘out of the basepaths’ call. Nimmo is electric. So much fun to watch, and seems to be such a solid citizen. Agree with ‘since64’ on Bartolo. He’s one of the few major leaguers I follow outside of the Mets. What a career and a tremendous milestone for him to achieve. It wouldn’t surprise me if he has more in the tank. Cap tipped to ‘ol Don Bartolo.

  • mikeL

    yup, congrats to bart. also wish he was still
    a met instead of supposed older vet innings eater vargas.
    he would have been a fine santa to nimmo’s rudolf,

    would there even be DOUBT that nimmo is a major leager had the mets not signed bruce??

    nimmo of as many HRs in 10 innings of ball as bruce all season?

    nimmo who’s lately doing a fine approximation of yo’s former impactfulness?

    i loved steve gelb’s interview with the senior nimmo. dad is thoughtfully revealing, intelligent and warm.

    may brandon be THIS season’s wilmer and mark the trajectory out of the deep hole the mets have dug…or at least make the season fun again.

    i slept through the later innings, woke up to watch the laugher’s last out or two…so no venom today for bad defense ;0]


  • JerseyJack

    so, has another Met had an inside-the-park HR & a standard HR in the same game ?? I’m sure someone knows…

    • Pagan in 2009 (the unassisted triple play game), Bogar in 1993 (Bobby Jones’s MLB debut), Straw in ’84 and Richie Ashburn in ’62. Angel and Whitey, like Smiley Man, hit their ITPHRs as leadoff hitters.

  • I don’t have much to say when the Mets play well. Too busy enjoying it!

  • JerseyJack

    A very limited club , indeed ….

  • mikeL

    wow i totally forgot that pagan did all of that in the same game.