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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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They Shouldn't Have

After the Nationals were thoroughly dismantled by Jacob deGrom Friday night, even the defeated team’s social-media gang had to acknowledge his insane dominance:

A classy gesture! And on Twitter, no less!

The next day, deGrom’s Met teammates made a gesture of their own: They kept a respectful distance from winning baseball all afternoon, perhaps in recognition that nothing could compare to watching the best pitcher in baseball at work.

Marcus Stroman, who’d begun the year outclassed only by his ace teammate, spent his time on the mound either sighing at home-plate umpire Edwin Moscoso or watching various Nationals whack balls over his infielders’ heads. And Moscoso’s strike zone was indeed somewhat random. But pinning the blame on him is a lotta much — Moscoso’s failing wasn’t so much the dimensions, which were pretty consistent, as it was that he kept missing clear strikes that caught quite a bit of the zone, not only for Stroman but also for Washington’s Joe Ross.

The difference was that Ross’s location was sharp and Stroman’s was terrible — he couldn’t reliably find the bottom of the strike zone with his sinker, but he found the middle of the zone far too often, with the results one would expect. He also got no help from his defense, with Michael Conforto having a horrible day in the field that one homer banked off the foul pole couldn’t make up for. And Conforto’s homer was the only run the Mets scratched out, a day after their highly uncharacteristic eruption of runs for deGrom.

Stephen Tarpley entered Saturday as a Met ghost, having been on the roster twice as the 27th man in doubleheaders (and even warming up at Coors Field) without appearing. Joey Lucchesi‘s departure to the alternate site (a move I’m always tempted to call a rendition, which would make the whole transaction sound even creepier) gave Tarpley a more solid roster spot, and after Stroman was excused further duties the former Yankee and Marlin finally got to shed his ectoplasmic asterisk.

Perhaps Tarpley should have remained on another plane of existence — he threw 14 pitches and got nobody out, and now sits in the Met record books with an ERA of infinity. Spooky! Yes, Patrick Mazeika and Jose Peraza, there is a worse fate than being a ghost.

Robert Gsellman turned in three hitless innings as the long man, which I suppose can be viewed as the faintest of silver linings. But by then it was lipstick-on-a-pig time, with little to offer except Gary Cohen relentlessly though amiably razzing Keith Hernandez, whose attention had decayed to “fitful” even by his standards. But who could blame him? Hell, by then I was tweeting peevish complaints about the heavy-rotation commercials that I’m already tired of. (“Don’t use Taltz if you’re allergic to Taltz.” REALLY? WHO ACTUALLY NEEDS THIS SPELLED OUT FOR THEM?) These are the kind of games you watch in April because we’ve barely escaped the yawning void of baseball not being around, and you’re glad for the game’s company even on a day like this, when you know there’s no shortage of somethings you’d be better off doing instead.

Anyway, the Mets’ respectful gesture was an interesting call. But really, they shouldn’t have.

2 comments to They Shouldn’t Have

  • open the gates

    Re the Taltz thing – yeah. I heard a comedian go off on this once: “The product is called Planters Peanuts. You can see the actual peanuts in the bag. The mascot is a large peanut with a top hat and a monocle. It’s name is Mr. Peanut, which is actually written out and trademarked in case you didn’t get the hint. And there, on the back of the package, it says, ‘Warning: Contains Peanuts. ‘ NO! REALLY??!!”

    There. That was a lot more fun than writing about the game.

  • Daniel Hall

    Stroman and Moscoso were about equally terrible. They deserved each other and if not for corona-related restrictions, if I was mean, I’d have suggested they should share a cab on the way home and talk it out.

    This game was putrid top to bottom. Earlier in the day I saw the crisp KC-DET tilt (2-1 win for a KC kid whose name I have already forgotten and who looks like he’s almost twelve-and-a-half) that finished in 2:10. I wish the Mets, if they had to lose at all, would lose a bit quicker than the 3:20 this one took, or the 3:52 this one felt like.

    I rarely get ads watching via from Germany – there is nobody wishing to advertise to me – but between innings they endlessly recycle previous highlights, and if you’re unlucky you get the regurgled and barfed-up 3-run homer that Dude You Hate hit off your team three years ago to end their season, 15 times in the same 9-inning game. Or the end of Randy Johnson’s perfect game, with a call by a play-by-play guy lacking any sort of emotion at all. “A perfect game. He faced 27 men. He got them all out.” No really??