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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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Pete and Dom's Excellent Adventure

After two games worth of balls going plop in the night, a Mets fan could have been forgiven for concluding Saturday afternoon’s game wasn’t exactly a must-watch event. The Mets, after a brief bout of not being completely depressing, had reverted to tragicomic form out west. First they played into the deep hours of the night against San Francisco and saw a heroic victory record-scratch into a gallingly cruel defeat, and then they played another marathon and lost when Dom Smith, Amed Rosario and special guest star Wilson Ramos combined for a recreation of one of 2018’s more depressing losses, and against the same club no less.

So what would happen Saturday? It didn’t seem impossible that they would lose in the 23rd when all nine Mets collided and knocked each other unconscious on a pop-up, yielding baseball’s first infield inside-the-park home run, or perhaps something far worse than that was in store. It was a day to commemorate the moon landing — an event that in Mets history is intertwined with the Miracle of ’69 and the giddy feeling that all things are possible to those who work hard in good faith — but if we’re being honest, for most of their history the Mets have been less Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins than a montage of rockets exploding on launch pads, expiring with a sigh of propellant just above their gantries, or pinwheeling out of control while spectators scream and run.

But one of the most basic laws of baseball is that you can’t outguess it. Walker Lockett came out throwing high sinkers, but somehow survived and then settled down and in the end walked off with his first big-league win. Our dumpster-fire bullpen somehow proved inflammable again, with the exception of poor Stephen Nogosek, but by the time Nogosek arrived both teams, the umpire crew, most of the fans and even Lou Seal in her astronaut suit were already thinking about getting dinner, so we’ll let it go.

Smith was unavoidably at center stage after the previous night’s calamity, but it sure didn’t seem to bother him, which is a necessary quality in any baseball player and even more highly recommended if a Wilpon signs your checks. (Recall that back in spring training Smith asked for reps in left field, and was rebuffed.) Leading off the second, Smith blasted a ball over one of the legs of the triangle in Triples Alley — territory that’s not easy to reach in San Francisco — and then chipped in three more RBIs for good measure. He wasn’t alone in offensive heroics: Jeff McNeil banged a homer off the foul pole, a drive that was baffling to watch on TV, as the ball shot down the right-field line, vanished, and then wound up bouncing on the field, while Todd Frazier smacked a relatively run-of-the-mill homer to left. (Sorry, Todd. It still counted.)

And then there was Pete Alonso, who greeted the news that he was being given a day off the way you’d hope — by complaining volubly, fussing in the dugout and then appearing for a sixth-inning pinch-hitting assignment that ended with him obliterating a baseball, sending it 444 feet to the opposite field. Alonso, numbers burnished and point proven, then got to continue his day of rest.

Yes, all was well for the Mets for one day in San Francisco, without extra-inning calamities or slapstick defense or other trademark horrors. Which was good, because on Sunday Steven Matz will face someone named Conner Menez, and the Mets have an annoying, years-long habit of turning newborn starting pitchers into Walter Johnson, so —

Wait. No. There I go again, trying to outguess baseball. Dom Smith and Walker Lockett and our bullpen just had something to say about that, didn’t they?

1 comment to Pete and Dom’s Excellent Adventure

  • Daniel Hall

    “and the Mets have an annoying, years-long habit of turning newborn starting pitchers into Walter Johnson, so —

    Wait. No. There I go again, trying to outguess baseball.”

    No, no, go ahead. I’m – … it’s … no, no, go ahead. -.-