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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 Ain’t Open ’Til It’s Open

The pencil manufacturers of America have been enjoying boom times these past two baseball seasons, what with the folly of penning in ink anything that hasn’t happened yet becoming ever more evident. Or have you seen the Mets open the past two baseball seasons as originally scheduled?

Last year is last year, but this year’s still got a little too much 2020 juice to it, what with an entire series of baseball games — merely the ones the Mets were going to use to open 2021 — postponed by positive COVID-19 tests among unidentified Washington Nationals. You hope everybody concerned is healthy. You wish there was a viable alternative to shutting everything down. A year ago was worse. A year ago we waited four months rather than four days. A year from now figures to be better. A year from now vaccinations figure to have taken hold. For the moment, contact tracing’s gotta do its thing, even if it dares to dampen our weekend.

So instead of marking down the dandy Opening Night pitching matchup of deGrom vs. Scherzer in your scorebook Thursday night and then proceeding with best laid Metsian plans Saturday and Sunday, our season won’t come until Monday night in Philadelphia, Jake still listed as probable pitcher (“probable” proving a very viable word) for us, Matt Moore doing the honors for the Phillies, though it’s unlikely the Phillies will feel particularly honored. They’ve already opened their season. For them, the Mets’ first game will be just another Monday night at the office. Hopefully the Mets will be festive enough for both clubs. Also, Matt Moore isn’t Max Scherzer, which is not a putdown of Matt Moore nor a troll of the baseball gods. Two different pitchers is all.

• Max Scherzer, a righty, is one of the best to ever oppose the Mets on Opening Day or any day, as his vintage 17-strikeout no-hitter attests.

• Lefty Matt Moore’s career ERA is over four-and-a-half and the Mets have spanked him each of the three times they’ve faced him.

• Scherzer’s been a Nat in our side since 2015.

• Moore pitched in Japan in 2020.

• Scherzer’s very likely going to the Hall of Fame.

• Moore can buy a ticket.

But one steamy night in 2013 they were teammates in different uniforms. Scherzer of the Tigers started, Moore of the Rays relieved. Neither gave up a run. That was the All-Star Game at Citi Field. Matt Harvey started for the National League. He’s of the Orioles now. Time drags when you don’t have the series of games you think you have but otherwise flies, eh?

After deGrom vs. Moore, Marcus Stroman and David Peterson are slated to go at Citizens Bank on Tuesday and Wednesday before ol’ No. 99 Taijuan Walker starts the National League season in New York on Thursday. But these days that’s getting way ahead of ourselves. Let’s get to Monday. Let’s get to Philadelphia. Let’s get the ball into the business hand of Jacob deGrom.

And let’s keep an eraser handy, just in case.

9 comments to It Ain’t Open ’Til It’s Open

  • Dave

    Oh, there’s a viable alternative to shutting everything down alright. Teams, Gnats included, should be told that when the clock strikes gametime, you have 9 baseball players suited up and ready to throw the ball, hit the ball and catch the ball, and if you don’t, your opponent, presuming they do, gets one in the W column. COVID protocols are annoying, and I look forward to living without them, but they’re not new. Follow them.

    • Seth

      That’s a great idea, and I’m PO’ed and frustrated with the Gnats, too. But what you suggest would take a start away from deGrom, so I’m just hoping they make up these games at some point. Maybe we’ll have Gnatty 7-inning doubleheaders to look forward to.

    • If the tests were on the other foot, I wouldn’t expect the Mets to have to forfeit, unless Angel Hernandez was involved, so while eff the Gnats, I don’t believe a forfeit or three would be viable or, for that matter, particularly satisfying.

  • chuck

    Is there any stated criteria to determine if a makeup game is scheduled on an off day or as part of a doubleheader?

  • eric1973

    Glad things turned out the way they did!

    We got our SNY guys on Monday nite, and a 1 hour Pre-Game.

    Pass the Popcorn, Ready to Go!
    (Just hope this Pitching Staff can contend with the rest of ’em.)


  • eric1973

    BTW, a sad farewell to Ken Reitz, one of the slowest runners to ever play the game.

    I always wondered how he could be so slow, since was so skinny.

  • Daniel Hall

    • Scherzer’s very likely going to the Hall of Fame.

    • Moore can buy a ticket.

    Greg, if the Phillies squeeze out a 1-0 win (complete-game loss for deGrom, run unearned), I’ll blame you and nobody else. :-P

  • Seth

    Is it possible the Nats were just scared of us, and didn’t want to face Jacob deGrom? ;-)