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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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Get Into the Groove, Boys

And so it came to pass on the seventh day that the Mets had played six games in a row, one each day, as the Great Scorekeeper intended. It took them weeks to reach such a state of grace, playing baseball every day without interruption, but on the seventh day, a.k.a. Sunday, that became their sixth consecutive day of actual baseball activity, it appeared as if they had gotten the hang of their craft at last.

Now, on Monday, they have an off day. Enough with the days of rest. They’ve just gotten into the groove of showing up and not being sent home. There are signs they’re getting into the groove of playing fluidly. Why must they detoured from their groove just as it’s getting kinda groovy?

Play ball! Play ball like you did on Sunday!

We’ve been waiting for the Mets not to go a proverbial minute without being rained out or snowed out or plagued out. They finally got left alone by external factors that could go wrong and did go wrong. They got to start playing day after day, sometimes at night. The execution didn’t go so right in Chicago, but they were just getting the hang of not getting postponed. From a series-winning standpoint, it went much better at home against Washington.

That team playing baseball on Sunday afternoon was a team playing sharp baseball from every angle.

Their starting pitcher Taijuan Walker toughed out some baserunners but persevered for seven shutout innings en route to the well-deserved 4-0 win.

Their relievers Miguel Castro and Edwin Diaz threw a scoreless frame apiece and deserve a nod because you know we’d be shaking our heads in violent disapproval if they’d done anything dreadful.

Their shortstop Francisco Lindor leapt through the air with the greatest of ease at one point and came down with an out seconds earlier ticketed to become a hit. Francisco has yet to get untracked at the plate. Notice nobody ever talks about a player who’s performing superbly as untracked, as if that’s a destination. Wow, that Brandon Nimmo sure came out of the gate untracked this year. Same for the opposite. I think it’s fair to say Lindor couldn’t be more tracked if he tried. He’s probably trying too hard to untrack himself. If we’re still engaging in fun with language vis-à-vis Lindor in a month or a year, it won’t be so engaging. I doubt that will be the case. Anyway, really nice catch from he who is temporarily tracked.

Their right fielder, Michael Conforto, and their second baseman, Jonathan Villar, teamed for a sweet couple of relays to nab a runner at third. Villar only fills in. Conforto is a staple who appeared on the verge of uncollating on Saturday. From one day to the next you never know who will put it together. That’s why you want to have a game every day.

Their offensive third baseman J.D. Davis solved his defensive woes by hitting so much — three-for-four with a two-run homer — that what defensive woes? True, Davis can only be described as a third baseman if we adjust the definition of third baseman to “man who touches third base after homering,” but some days the bat plays and the glove doesn’t bother anybody. Oh, and Davis did cleanly put down the tag at the end of that Conforto-to-Villar thing of beauty.

J.D. was not alone in doing great things that involved the Citi Field fence. Pete Alonso cleared it with no problem for his fifth home run of a season that’s beginning to look powerfully like 2019 for him. Albert Almora, Jr., took off toward it like Endy Chavez and slammed his body à la Mike Baxter into it, robbing Kyle Schwarber with a flair that was all Almora. Albert with the championship pedigree walked away in one piece unlike Mike from Bayside and will dress for a game again very soon, which unfortunately Endy didn’t following the Endy Catch.

Chavez’s team had reached its end when he made his grab in 2006. Almora’s team is just getting going. Maybe really getting going. Except for a couple of basepath outs that I blame mostly on the misuse of the oven mitt as a sliding impediment, all of the Met cylinders were firing on Sunday. Watching them Sunday made one want to watch them some more on Monday, but they won’t play again until Tuesday.

Can’t anybody make a schedule that doesn’t keep pressing pause? Can’t anybody here play this game today?

4 comments to Get Into the Groove, Boys

  • Michael in CT

    Almora’s catch – running full-speed toward the wall with no concern about hitting the wall and then leaping to make the catch – made me gasp. I love his quote, to the effect that as long as the ball stayed in the ballpark he knew he was going to catch it. Shades of Willie Mays, 1954 World Series. That catch and Lindor’s leaping grab and the Polar Bear’s bomb make one think this team could just be destined for something nice.

  • Daniel Hall

    If the Giants hadn’t brittled late against the Fish, the Mets would have outscored their entire division – which looks surprisingly crummy – with their 4-0 win. The Gnats obviously didn’t score, the Phillies got two while routed out of Colorado, and the Barves played 14 innings of 1-hit, no-run ball against the Snakes. And then the pesky Fish cobbled together three late, thusly giving us this final score: Mets 4, Literally Everybody Else in Five Games 5.

  • Eric

    After the game 2 clunker, the rubber match was a satisfyingly all-around solid game. I look forward to more games like that.

    27 yo Almora is Juan Lagares redux: Elite glove, good base runner though not a burner, disappointing bat. I rooted for Lagares to improve his OBP to .340 or so so he could be the everyday CFer. I’ll hope the same for Almora. I want Nimmo, Smith, and Conforto to play, but I also want an elite glove in CF.