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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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Jordan Vu All Over Again

On a scale of 1 to 10, Tuesday night’s inarguably epic Mets defeat at Washington, in which for the first time in their history they gave up a ninth-inning lead of six runs to lose ASAP, was a Brian Jordan. The second Brian Jordan Game, to be exact, September 29, 2001, Mets leading the Braves, 5-1, heading to the bottom of the ninth at Turner Field, about to trim Atlanta’s lead to three games in the National League East with the series finale the next day and one more week to go in the exhilarating race to make something out of the big nothing that had been the 2001 season not to mention inject that particular autumn in New York with a shot of joy it could really use.

That’s all that was going on when Armando Benitez took the ball in a non-save situation after Al Leiter threw eight four-hit innings, his only blemish a third-inning solo home run to Julio Franco. Closers in non-save situations could be dicey — and Benitez was Benitez — but c’mon. The Mets were winning by four a game they had to win. The Mets had gotten to this weekend by winning 25 of 31 games. It was 25 of 32 after Steve Trachsel lost Friday night, but that was all right. The Mets were resilient (an irresistible metaphor for a New York team at that moment). Brian Jordan had engineered a briefly dispiriting defeat the previous Sunday at Shea: a homer off Benitez in the ninth as part of a three-run rally that tied what also seemed like a sure Mets win that had been started and steered expertly by Leiter for eight innings; and a homer in the eleventh off Jerrod Riggan that gave John Smoltz a lead to lock down. The season seemed all but over when the former NL Cy Young awardee, rejuvenated as an elite reliever, flied out pinch-hitter Mark Johnson to end a 5-4 momentum-squelching debacle.

Yet those Mets had been all about momentum, beginning on August 18, clear up to September 9, then — after a week when baseball wasn’t played because are you kidding? — somehow picking up all over again on September 17, even if baseball seemed incredibly unimportant. Seemed? Was. But the Mets played and the Mets won before the first Brian Jordan Game, September 23, and after the first Brian Jordan Game. They went to Montreal and swept the Expos, allowing them to arrive in Atlanta three games from first place, a week-and-a-half from conceivably forging a miracle that would take its place alongside 1969 and 1973, maybe above it. The Mets were winning for New York in September 2001. It still wasn’t important, but there they were, doing it. How could it not be important?

On Saturday, September 29, 2001, at Turner Field, which was well-established as “Turner Field” in the Met mindset, Benitez began the ninth by giving up a single to Andruw Jones. Jones took second on defensive indifference. Armando then struck out Ken Caminiti. True, Javy Lopez singled in Jones to make it 5-2, but Armando followed the RBI by striking out pinch-hitter Dave Martinez. Two outs, runner on first, three-run lead.

Keith Lockhart walked.

Marcus Giles doubled, scoring Lopez and Lockhart. It was 5-4.

Julio Franco was intentionally walked to set up a double play; Bobby Cox pinch-ran Jesse Garcia.

Bobby Valentine replaced Benitez with John Franco, the Mets closer from 1990 until an injury and Armando’s subsequent lights-out work nudged him to a setup role in the middle of 1999. Franco, as of September 29, 2001, had accumulated 422 major league saves, albeit only two of them that year.

Pinch-hitter Wes Helms walked on a full count to load the bases.

Jordan was up. Franco got two strikes on him. All it would take was one more strike to preserve the 5-4 win, move the Mets to within three games of first place with seven games to go, maybe send the Braves reeling and the Mets surging. Anything was possible.

Including, as it turned out, the second Brian Jordan Game, so named because Jordan belted Franco’s next and last pitch over the Turner Field wall for a grand slam, accounting for the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh runs of the bottom of the ninth inning. The Braves only needed the first two, but they all crossed the plate. The Mets lost, 8-5.

And, like Diana Morales in A Chorus Line, I felt nothing. Nothing. It was as if a vital organ had been removed from inside of me. All that I had poured into being a Mets fan over the previous five seasons, dating back to the renaissance of 1997; through the replenishing successes that were laced with agonizing near-misses in 1998, 1999 and 2000; and this season when the Mets buried themselves early and often yet somehow emerged a legitimate September contender against the most horrible municipal backdrop imaginable, had all dissipated into a void.

We had won 25 of 33. We were four out with seven to play. We could still pick up a game on the Braves on Sunday. The Pirates and Expos, two very beatable teams, were due at Shea. Anything had been possible. Anything, technically, was still possible.

“But I felt nothing. Except the feeling that this bullshit was absurd.”

The Mets did indeed beat the Braves on Sunday, September 30, 2001, 9-6. It had been 9-3 in the eighth, but Brian Jordan swatted a three-run homer off Grant Roberts to close the gap. Armando Benitez, in his 73rd appearance of an incredibly long season, struck out the Atlanta side — Julio Franco looking, Keith Lockhart swinging, Dave Martinez swinging — to record his 43rd save, the most by any Met reliever until Jeurys Familia surpassed his record fifteen years later. It was the last time Benitez would pitch in 2001, the last time he’d come to the mound in a cap bearing the FDNY logo. Every Met paid homage to the first responders that way every game. Major League Baseball didn’t necessarily approve the gesture. The Mets didn’t care. Or the Mets cared too much for their city and those who gave their lives in an effort to rescue its citizens to bother heeding directives from MLB.

The caps and the thought behind them were hard to miss. You could get riled up at Benitez and John Franco (who was done pitching until 2003, thanks to impending Tommy John surgery) and all the other relievers who gave up home runs to Brian Jordan. You could fume that the Mets, as was regularly the case in the tumultuous Bobby V era, couldn’t beat the Braves when it really, really mattered. But you couldn’t stay mad at them.

When they returned to Shea, the Mets went quietly. They were eliminated by Pittsburgh on Tuesday night, October 2. They completed their appointed rounds against Montreal on Sunday afternoon, October 7. They finished the 2001 season 82-80, six games out with none to play. The same day they stopped playing baseball, America went to war in Afghanistan. On Thursday, September 20, one night before baseball would be played in New York for the first time since September 11, President Bush went before a joint session of Congress and signaled his intentions for taking on the terrorists behind the deadly attacks on four commercial airliners, the Pentagon and the World Trade Center. “Our response involves far more than instant retaliation and isolated strikes,” Bush said. “Americans should not expect one battle, but a lengthy campaign unlike any other we have ever seen.” Eighteen years later, America’s military involvement in Afghanistan is not finished.

Bush’s speech was well-received. On the same Sunday that his words would be put into action — as the Mets were bowing to the Expos to close out their schedule — the New York Times Magazine ran a behind-the-scenes piece examining how the address came together. In “The Making of the Speech,” it was revealed that a quote from Franklin Roosevelt was suggested for inclusion: “We defend and we build a way of life, not for America alone, but for all mankind.” But it was discarded, according to those in the room because, “The president didn’t want to quote anyone else.” I found that choice curious, given the opportunity to draw a parallel between the challenges that faced the United States in World War II after Pearl Harbor created a global conflict the nation could no longer avoid and the current situation. Yet I also kind of saw what I hoped was Bush’s point beyond personal hubris: that not every current situation necessarily arrives equipped with an easily analogous precedent…and that every calamity and the challenges it presents is unique unto itself.

The 2019 Mets could have been construed as done on Thursday, August 29, when Jacob deGrom pitched effectively against the Chicago Cubs for six innings, only to surrender a three-run homer to the previously obscure Victor Caratini in the seventh. Caratini had reached deGrom for a home run earlier, a solo shot. The Mets, as they generally don’t, didn’t score for deGrom all night, save for a J.D. Davis dinger in the first. The three-run job was decisive. The Mets lost, 4-1, and they were swept three straight by the team they were ostensibly chasing for the second Wild Card in the National League. It was their sixth loss in a row overall, dropping them five games behind Chicago with three teams between them besides. “Good night, sweet Metsies”, I tweeted as Caratini’s second home run left the yard, carrying with it, I believed in my bones, our dwindling playoff hopes.

Yet the truth was our hopes hadn’t fully dwindled. Twenty-nine games remained. The Mets traveled to Philadelphia and took two of three from one of the teams directly in their Wild Card path. On Labor Day, they alighted in Washington and trounced the Nats, possessors of the first Wild Card and their likely foe in the Wild Card Game should the Mets make it that far. They had picked up a game on the Cubs since the previous Thursday. It wasn’t much, and they hadn’t passed anybody among the Phillies, Brewers or Diamondbacks, but September was young and twenty-five games remained as of Tuesday, September 3. Just keep winning, and the hopes that once appeared dwindled could just as easily reverse and grow.

DeGrom was starting again. Despite everything we say about the Mets inevitably finding a way not to take advantage of the presence of their defending Cy Young award-winner, you couldn’t have asked for a better chance. You also couldn’t have asked for a more implacable starting pitcher on the other end. The Nationals were going with Max Scherzer, who has a few Cy Youngs himself. Scherzer flashed the Cy Young form more convincingly, keeping the Mets hitless through three. DeGrom was in scuffle mode. Not struggling, but definitely scuffling, looking uncomfortable and allowing extra-base hits accurately described as ringing. A lesser pitcher would have melted. Jacob hung tough and kept the Mets within one run of Scherzer.

In the fourth, the Mets jumped on Max, first-pitch swinging and connecting. Pete Alonso singled. Michael Conforto singled. Wilson Ramos, hitting streak climbing to 26, doubled to tie the game. Brandon Nimmo needed four pitches to deliver a sac fly that put the Mets ahead. Joe Panik needed just one to crush his first Met homer and furnish deGrom with a 4-1 lead.

Jake hung in. Still not at his finest, but good enough. He produced a pair of double-play balls as needed. Kurt Suzuki reached him for an RBI single in the sixth, but that was it (tip of the cap to Matt Adams running the bases in a back-and-forth motion and therefore short-circuiting further damage). The Mets got through seven with a 4-2 lead, then increased it when Jeff McNeil homered off Roenis Elias to lead off the eighth. Ninety-five pitches of scuffling in, Mickey Callaway couldn’t have asked for a better transition to sufficiently rested Seth Lugo.

Instead, deGrom was sent out to start the eighth. I thought of Grady Little extending Pedro Martinez a bit too far in Game Seven of the 2003 ALCS, but precedent is neither exact nor everything. Jacob deGrom, like Pedro Martinez, is never the worst bet in the house.

Jake gave up a little ground ball to Anthony Rendon that Todd Frazier couldn’t wrap a hand around. It became an infield hit. There are worse things that Rendon can do. Juan Soto could do no worse than smash a two-run homer to bring the Nats to within 5-4. That’s exactly what he did on deGrom’s hundredth and final pitch. Out went the ace of our rotation, in came the ace of our bullpen. Seth needed ten pitches to create three popouts.

Machinations over who would pitch for the Mets quickly morphed into a state of superfluousness, because in the top of the ninth, the visitors battered those who pitched for the Nats. Elias was the victim of another leadoff homer, this one to the resuscitated Nimmo. After Panik singled, Davey Martinez — who was the Dave Martinez in the middle of the bottom of the ninth of the second Brian Jordan Game — brought in Daniel Hudson. The Mets proceeded to sail on Hudson. A wild pitch. An error. A walk. An incredibly baffling error of omission by Trea Turner who didn’t turn an easily turnable 6-4-3 double play, instead throwing to first with one out. McNeil responded by singling in two more runs and Alonso followed with his 44th home run of the season, the Polar Bear marking Nationals Park as his territory for the first time since the 2018 Futures Game. Heading to the bottom of the ninth, the Mets held a lead of 10-4.

In a parallel universe, we question the wisdom of Callaway wasting Lugo’s precious pitches with a six-run lead. Mickey won’t use Seth on consecutive days. He has to be careful with his de facto closer’s right shoulder. The six-run lead provided the skipper with an excuse for removing Lugo at once and returning him to his glass case. Still, this was September. These were important games. If the manager were tempted to stretch Lugo, this was the month to do it. A day game awaited Wednesday. It would sure be nice to have Seth available had he thrown just those ten pitches in the eighth inning Tuesday. But nailing down a win that isn’t yet won is also important. Could you really blame Callaway for keeping Lugo in with a six-run lead? So what if it was Mets 10 Nats 4? Three outs are three outs. Better to let Seth get them and worry about tomorrow tomorrow.

That’s a helluva parallel universe. I don’t know how we get there other than in theory. In the only universe we’ve got, Mickey did, in fact, remove Seth Lugo with a six-run lead, entrusting it instead to Paul Sewald. Sewald had pitched well enough upon his latest promotion from Triple-A to earn trust. “Owns a 1.23 ERA (one earned run/7.1 innings) with a walk and 13 strikeouts over his last six appearances,” per the game notes the Mets communications staff e-mailed on Tuesday afternoon.

Sewald’s first batter was Victor Robles, who led off with an infield single. Pinch-hitter Howie Kendrick next sent a ball to deep right, but Conforto caught it for the first out. Turner, making amends for his botched DP in the top of the inning, hit one Conforto couldn’t catch. It went for a double that scored Robles to make it 10-5. No biggie, I figured. All it cost us was an easy CB radio joke.

Asdrubal Cabrera, who had greeted his former teammate deGrom in the first with one of those ringing doubles, came through off Sewald, too, singling Turner to third. Rendon, the heart of any order, beat Paul with a single to left, bringing in Trea. It was 10-6. It was time for Sewald to go.

Luis Avilán was called on for the express purpose of retiring Soto, who isn’t old enough to clearly remember Brian Jordan. Juan will turn 21 two months prior to Christmas Day. On Tuesday night, he stuffed his stocking with a single to right, loading the bases and ending Luis’s evening. The next batter for Washington would be Ryan Zimmerman, a part of their organization since shortly after it migrated from Montreal in 2005. He’d be facing Edwin Diaz, about whom I came to a swift decision: if he got out of this, I’d pretend to forget everything Edwin did wrong prior to getting out of this. Diaz blew saves left, right and center back when we still thought of Seth Lugo as one on his setup guys. But there’d been much talk about the erstwhile Seattle saver having gotten his slider back. Phil Regan worked with him diligently. DeGrom offered a valuable tip. During the Cubs series, in the rainy game when I had a very good look at him from behind home plate, I saw the Mariner monster I’d heard so much about last winter. He really did seem to have his act reconvened. Diaz was gonna be fine. This was gonna be fine. It was still Mets 10 Nats 6.

Except Zimmerman, David Wright’s close childhood chum (I wondered who the Captain was rooting for here if he was watching) doubled quite convincingly. Asdrubal scored. Anthony scored. Juan was on third. We see the Nats enough to be on a first-name basis with them. We were hoping to address them personally in early October in that Wild Card Game. That was a ways off, but at the very least, we had an appointment to try and sweep them Wednesday. That framework was in the bag at 10-4, good buddy. It still seemed reasonably certain at 10-6. But now it was 10-8, Nationals were on second and third and Suzuki was due up.

You know how you see one random player do one random thing in one random game and you never forget it and your impression of that player’s capabilities are forever more colored by that one random thing? I saw Kurt Suzuki homer off R.A. Dickey for the Oakland A’s at Citi Field on June 22, 2011. It was Suzuki’s only hit that night. He was batting .225 when the game was over, a game the Mets won in thirteen. Nevertheless, I became certain from there on out that Kurt Suzuki was put on this earth to kill the Mets. I seem to recall him doing so for the Braves the last couple of years. I seem to recall every Braves catcher since Javy Lopez doing so for the last couple of decades, actually, so I can’t say my impression fully meets reality. Kurt is a lifetime .244 hitter against the Mets.

That’s after last night. That’s after I thought, at the sight of him stepping in against Diaz, “Well, we’re screwed.” Which we were, because it’s also after Suzuki ended his eight-pitch, full-count at-bat by cranking Diaz’s last pitch into the left field grandstand for a three-run home run.

The Mets lost, 11-10. The score rang a bell. They’d lost 11-10 games six previous times, according to Baseball Reference. The first one was the one resonating in memory: Expos 11 Mets 10, April 8, 1969, the first game of the season fifty years ago, the first game the Expos ever played. Exactly five months later, Jerry Koosman would be knocking down Ron Santo and the Mets would be on the verge of taking first place from the Cubs, a feat they would accomplish two nights hence by sweeping the very same Expos in a twi-night doubleheader at Shea. In between April 8 and September 10 there was a black cat and plenty of time to make up for an 11-10 defeat.

This 11-10 defeat at the hands of the Montreal Expos once removed doesn’t have a lot of time on the other side of it. While the Mets were blowing the largest ninth-inning lead they’ve ever blown (after scoring five in the top of the ninth, no less), everybody they are chasing won, leaving the Mets five games back with twenty-four to go. Most post-Diaz games this year, the Mets have evinced an undisturbed attitude. Baseball, they explained in so many words, is one game after another, and you shake off the last game and go play the next game. It’s an attitude that’s served them well.

Some of the Mets said something like that Tuesday night, but not without implying this might be different. Brandon Nimmo, the heretofore happiest man in baseball, confessed, “It kind of seemed like a bad dream,” and for a change he wasn’t smiling.

Me, I felt nothing — except the feeling that this bullshit was absurd.

39 comments to Jordan Vu All Over Again

  • chuck

    Last night brought to mind a postcard my late brother sent to me in September 1985. Amidst the mundane pleasantries on the card was the statement “McDowell should be horsewhipped.”

    Greg, I have to believe you remember that game.

    If The Second Spitter should have been horsewhipped, Diaz should be glue.

  • Greg Mitchell

    Let us count the ways….

    1) I had no problem removing Lugo (unless he truly CAN’T be used on consecutive days, then the move was laughable).

    2) On the other hand Mickey could be fired for not using the only other good RP they have, Wilson, choosing over him Avilan, then the immortal Diaz.

    3) Neil Young wrote “Cortez the Killer” but now must be changed to “Diaz the Killer.”

    4) Brodie has somehow gotten credit in some quarters for helping us get into the “race” by “going for it” by picking up Stroman. Overlooked is that a) Stroman has been largely a bust b) he made NO moves to shore up the pen beyond Brach and his 6.15 ERA. In other words, he did not really “go for it” but simply picked up Stroman for next year. The team accidentally briefly caught fire which has only elevated now the tragic absurdity of not dealing for any decent reliever and being left with Zamora, Sewald, etc. and et al in key spots, and believe me, no help on the farm–where they gave up 8 runs yesterday to similarly blow the big AAA play-in game…

  • ToBeDetermined

    Fortunately, they can just call up some relief pitching help from Syracuse, where the bullpen yesterday… gave up 8 runs in the bottom of the 8th… in a one game playoff… to lose 14-13 and ignominiously end their season… never mind…

    (Pulling Lugo was the right move. Yes, Lugo really should’ve started the 8th, but does anyone really believe that they wouldn’t have found a way to blow the two-runs-larger lead if Soto’s home run hadn’t happened?)

  • Left Coast Jerry

    Greg, I would not have been surprised if your recap of last night’s game was a single word: FUCK! I am impressed, as always, how you were able to channel your frustration and weave 1969, 2001 and 2011 into your narrative.

    On a lighter note, I was watching an “adopt-a-pet” segment yesterday on the local news. They had a dog with one brown eye and one blue eye. Her name was Wawa. I’m sorry. A heterochromatic dog must be named Max or Scherzer.

  • Jacobs27

    “Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow,
    Creeps in this petty pace from day to day”

  • LeClerc

    Callaway sends DeGrom out to start the 8th (why? to conserve Lugo). DeGrom gets shelled – in comes Lugo – 3 tasty outs. Lugo ready to nail it down in the 9th.

    Mets go wild in the top of the 9th. Score now 10-4. Callaway sends Sewald out to start the 9th (why? to conserve Lugo). Nats slice n’ dice Sewald, get a single off Avilan, and then d-e-s-t-r-o-y Diaz.

    I guess Lugo is fresh as a daisy.

    As ignominious defeat as you will ever see.

  • Daniel Hall

    I’m calm.

    Could also be dead inside.

  • Jacobs27

    I want to add that I really appreciate this tightly written treatment of our collective trauma and its precedents. Like a final soliloquy for the season.

  • Left Coast Jerry

    This game was so reminiscent of the game in Los Angeles on May 29. Diaz gave up 4 in the bottom of the 9th to turn an 8-5 lead into a 9-8 Dodgers walkoff. His ERA entering that game was 1.64. It’s currently at 5.65. So the span from May 29 to September 3 places his ERA at 9.33. His body of work over the last 3+ months should let Mickey know that he cannot be trusted unless the team is 10 runs ahead or 10 runs behind.

  • LisaMetsFan

    I too felt numb after the game. I think it’s our body’s defense system, we can only handle so much, ergo at some point we stop feeling.

  • mikeL

    well the organizational tolerance for having guys in the ‘pen who can’t even finish a laugher withour letting the opponent claw back reached it’s natural, devastating conclusion last night.

    if you can’t trust guys to get three outs with a big lead why are they on your team??

    oh yea, because the closer is even worse.

    complete FAIL brodie for not re-shaping the bullpen at the deadline.

  • DAK442

    Ultimate disappointment every year since 1986. Some fun moments, like my annual Opening Day visit. But inevitably, emptiness. Even when we make the World Series – we get thrashed by a team from nowhere, or worse by our mortal enemies.

    This isn’t that much fun.

  • Matt in DE

    The sound we heard off of Suzuki’s bat, was the sound of the proverbial final nail being driven into the 2019 Mets’ proverbial coffin.

    To make things worse, I had to listen to the homer-dope MASN broadcast team sound like a couple of drunk college kids throughout the entire rally.

  • ljcmets

    I have been thinking too of the last dying days of 2001. We had one cathartic moment – Piazza’s epic homer – but we still had to play the Braves another five (I think) times and just about all of those games with the Braves gave me the sensation of teetering on the brink of the inevitable end. The last few weeks have had many games like that (thankfully w/o the real world backdrop) and last night I also thought of that second Brian Jordan game, where we fell off the brink completely. It seems right now that we have done the same.

    I posted in yesterday’s thread after the game ended that my one hope is that our exciting and talented young core – Alonso, McNeil, Rosario, Conforto, Nimmo, JD Davis, etc. -is not completely crushed in spirit by that game. Let me add to that I hope our rotation – which despite the occasional stinker, e.g. Noah’s horrible very bad day last week – is still very talented, does not give in to what would be an understandable cynicism at this point. No one could blame them if they threw up their hands in disgust with this bullpen. I have no high hopes for today’s game, and can’t watch or listen, but what would cheer me is not whether we win or lose, because that seems irrelevant at this point, but fight and effort from that offense and Wheeler, indicating that neither has given up on the team. If Frazier and Cano and some of these grizzled vets are worth keeping, they should show their value by getting this team ready to play by 1 PM. Certainly their manager, through his bullpen decisions and especially his “What, me worry?” comments does not seem up to the job.

    • dak442

      A business associate called and offered me tickets to any of the games that post-9/11 weekend at Shea. To this day I watch the Piazza HR and think about how I missed attending one of the most uplifting moments in sports history in favor of seeing Brian Jordan end our season.

  • Matt

    Why does it seem so much easier to remember all the gut-wrenching Met losses than the miraculous wins? 1999 NLCS Game 6 and the second Brian Jordan game from my dorm room in college (I was studying abroad in 2000 and didn’t see a single inning of the Subway Series, which turned out to be a blessing in disguise), 2006 NLCS Game 7 and the Marlins games of 2007 and 2008 (I was in the Upper Deck at Shea for all 3), Luis Castillo’s dropped A-Rod pop-up in 2009 (I have never sworn louder), Alex Gordon’s save-blowing homer in 2015’s Game 1, and now this. Of all these personal demons, I remembered the second Brian Jordan game the least. So thanks for dredging up that particular gem. :)

  • SeasonedFan

    A truly stunning finale last night. The “electric” Diaz was in classic 2019 form last night…serving up a HR. Snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.

  • Bob

    Great reminder of when I destroyed my bed with baseball bat after that game in Atlanta you describe in 2001.
    Thing of it is–I did manage to get 2 tickets to Game 3 of 2000 Series VS skanks @ Shea.
    Airfare was $1200.00 LAX-Midway-La Guardia…
    Tickets cost $60 each and they were upper deck even with 3rd base bag. We won that game 4-2-Armando got Save, John Franco the W.
    Had they lost, I would have jumped off Whitestone Bridge.
    Those few hours, walking out of Shea chanting skankees suck… were the happiest hours of my life till the next night when that rat bastard skank shortstop hit Bobby Jones 1st pitch of Game 4…………
    This season, my Mets stench-o-meter was on very high on Memorial Day–even though I’m 2850 miles from Flushing, I still have a feeling of just how bad this season may turn out with this bum Diaz and the aging ex-skank making all that $$–BAD KARMA!
    Bad Brodie & horses ass manager–too bad with the core of good young player the Mets now have.
    Oh well….
    Let’s Go Mets!

  • otb

    Last night was the second most disheartening game I can recall. The worst of all was Bobby Thomson’s “shot heard round the world” in 1951. (I was 13 then, and I’m obviously a lot older than most of the followers of this blog). I haven’t attended as many Mets games as I used to attend games at fondly remembered Ebbets Field, but I do remember being at a game at Shea in 1984 (I think) against the Cardinals (I think) where Rusty Staub hit a dramatic pinch hit home run in the 8th to put the Mets ahead. Jesse Orosco blew the save and the game in the 9th. Orosco was, of course, a usually reliable closer, and we all remember his triumphs in 1986 in the NLCS and the World Series. I don’t know if Edwin Diaz can ever become the closer we thought we were getting. It seems the Mets have had problems with closers ever since John Franco (who also had his share of blown saves) retired. But, of course, if the middle relief last night, Sewald and Avilan, had done their jobs, Diaz wouldn’t even have been in the game. The bullpen has been the biggest flaw in this team all season. The vaunted starting pitching has been spotty at times, and the hitters have had slumps, but there’s a foundation here for for a very good team. I had hopes for the Mets this season, and I still have them for the future. But never mind acquiring more fading all stars in the off season. Fix the bullpen. Easier said than done, I know, but that’s your job, Brodie.

  • Matt

    Oh, and one other thing. Remember that bad advice Yoda gave to Anakin? “Train yourself to let go of everything you fear to lose.” (It was not the right advice for Anakin.) I have often tried to follow similar advice with the Mets. Training myself to let go of the hope that I fear losing each season, so that these gut-wrenching defeats won’t hurt me. But FAFIF is helping me to see that Yoda’s advice is also not right for Mets fans. We have to somehow cherish these low points, and remember times like the second Brian Jordan game, to more fully appreciate the next championship. Which is always right around the corner…

  • Matt in DE

    “Watching” the game on Gameday right now (7-1 Mets Top 6th), and cannot help thinking that the Gnats have us right where they want us.

  • open the gates

    Well, the good thing about baseball is there’s always tomorrow (until there isn’t, of course.) Mets currently up by 6. Jeuris coming in to the game. Fasten your seat belts, friends.

  • Blair M. Schirmer

    “complete FAIL brodie for not re-shaping the bullpen at the deadline.”

    Speaking of which, dealing Vargas while sending along the entirety of his 2019 salary to a division and wildcard rival with a dismal rotation, for the sole purpose of getting out from under his 2m buyout for 2020, was obscene.

    Had the Mets kept Vargas, who in 2019 and from 2017-2019 was a hair better than Matz (and who in 2018 was better than Matz if you consider Vargas should not have been pitching until late July–but was only thrown into the mix because of Harvey’s collapse), and who represented the entirety of their rotation depth for the remainder of 2019, they could have had Matz pitch out of the pen, thereby keeping their rotation depth while effectively adding a promising, multi-inning arm in Matz to their bullpen.

    They didn’t, and they didn’t in order to save the Wilpons at most 2m next year, when it was entirely possible Vargas would prove eminently tradeable during the offseason, and when Vargas was likely to be their best 5th starter option for 2020, in an era when the Angels were giving Matt Harvey 11m.


  • Fitz Cave

    It was mentioned during today’s YouTube broadcast, but bears repeating: Trea Turner’s awful mental lapse — not turning the double play but throwing to first because he thought there were two outs — likely won the game for the Nats. If he turns the double play, Lugo stays out for the ninth with a two-run lead and Mickey doesn’t expose the soft underbelly that is the back end (and formerly front-end) of his bullpen.

  • Andrew

    As depressing a loss as that was, and as depressing as Diaz has been, I think this team shows more life than any recent collection of players wearing Mets uniforms. And maybe it’s just wishful thinking, but I believe that Diaz will turn it around next year. He’s too young and too good (when he’s good) to not be able to figure this out. A less hopeful outlook has him getting unloaded to another team in the off season (in the NL east probably) and striking out Mets in the 9th inning for the next few years. Of course he could just stick around and continue to torture us, but I’m not going there today.

  • greensleeves

    Yesterday will forever be Black Tuesday.
    I don’t know what to make of Sewald but Diaz, as Fredo, is dead to me.

  • 9th String Catcher

    Tried to post yesterday, but couldn’t. I was that numb. Yesterday’s win helped, but also reminded me that I predicted the Mets would take 5 out of 6 on this stretch, and they should have done so. Arrgg.

    I vacillate between thinking Mickey is a horrendous manager and thinking he really makes no difference in a GM dominated managerial structure (but at no time think he helps in any measurable way). Fact is, a manager should make your team better by at least a few games. I certainly like to think that if you are up 6 in the bottom of the 9th, as a manager, you win that game (as the other 270 games this year attest to).

    So, my question is this – how many games do you think Mickey lost for us this year. And how many did he win by making good decisions or prepping the team? Would a better, more experienced manager make a difference, and by how much? Not exactly a scientific question, but one I’ve been thinking about, since I think this team is better than its record.

    • Greg Mitchell

      The problem with your question is there is no way to quantify how well a manager “preps” the team or how well he has “kept them together and fighting” (although claims are made on that). Used to be said that Terry Collins was a poor game manager and abused the pen but “the players fought for him.” So at best you’d have to go through every game and look for horrid pen or lineup decisions, and then the good moves that paid off. Even there you have the element of luck and just plain bad performance to factor in. On the other hand you could probably safely say that Mickey refusing to move Cano out of the 3 hole may have cost them, say, 3 games and continual use of Diaz and Familia in key spots cost another, say, 4 games, and then take it from there….

  • open the gates

    You know what? The other day (after the first win vs. the Nats) I was ranting about how many games Mickey lost us with his ineptness. While I’m not totally backing off of that, I will say that with a bullpen this thin, it would be tough for even the best of managers to win regularly. I mean, after Lugo and Wilson, there’s nobody. Nobody. Maybe Avilan or Gsellman (or, dare I say, Sewald) on a good day, but even they haven’t been consistent. Jeuris has been a disaster, Diaz is now in the realm of the truly legendary failed closers of Rojasian (Putzian? Looperian? Rogersian?) proportions, Brach has been a waste of roster space, and the others will never be more than Quad-A at best. As clueless as Mickey has appeared at times, as regards the bullpen he’s trying to make filet mignon out of dog food. He’s got nothing to work with.

  • CharlieH

    Seeing as not everyone’s on Twitter, or if they are, they’re maybe not following my feed, I’ll repeat myself at the risk of being crude. Two separate tweets, in fact:

    (1) That game’s recipe was the Luis-Castillo-dropped-popup game, combined with the Justin-Upton-in-the-rain game, with a pinch of 2001 and a dash of 2007 added, for extra spice.

    (2) Now watch: they’ll go on a 14-game winning streak — new club record, of course — but follow that by going 4-6 in their last 10, leaving them to finish with 88 wins, 1 game short of a playoff spot, because that’s so #Mets, so 2019.

    • mikeL

      ^^ actually that would be so 2007 or 2008 – getting eliminated on the final day of the season. 2019 may find mathematical elimination prior to closing day – or maybe sometime after ;0]

      freed of any reasonable expectation that this team *will* make the postseason we’re all playing with house money.

      but damn, a second evening in a row w/o basball !

      • CharlieH

        Nah, not eliminated on the final day, per se, but just never able to make up a 1-game deficit that they’ll likely cling to for a week.

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