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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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Cheyenne Sunshine

Brandon Nimmo brightened the grim Bronx skies Saturday afternoon. Is there anything that ray of light can’t do?

Nimmo, like Jeff McNeil and Michael Conforto fairly recently, returned from the injured list and reminded us that, oh yeah, we had players in place before we fell in love with players who replaced them, and we liked that first bunch of players pretty well. Also like his predecessors in recovery, Nimmo came out ready to hammer the baseball. The veneer of optimism an 8-3 thrashing of crosstown rivals has provided will obscure the fact that since both McNeil and Conforto looked pretty good early, they’ve appeared less than fully healed from a hitting standpoint.

So let’s forget the slumps of Mike and Jeff and focus on the immediate exploits of leadoff man Brandon, getting on base via the base knock three separate times on Saturday and truly catalyzing the Mets’ victory over the Yankees. It was the 55th time New York (N) has beaten New York (A) in regular-season play since June 16, 1997, tying it for the 55th-best Mets win ever against the Yankees…because every time the Mets beat the Yankees is the absolute greatest event in human history.

True, the Subway Series doesn’t have much of that Dave Mlicki/Matt Franco zing left to it after a quarter-century of luxury-priced gimmickry, but would you have rather the Mets lost to this particular team? I didn’t think so.

Good to have Wyoming’s own ambassador of sunshine warming all five boroughs of New York on a chilly holiday weekend. And speaking of gifts from the western half of the USA, how about ex-Mariner and erstwhile Diamondback Taijuan Walker? Dude’s been dependable as the clocks in Arizona (where they mostly don’t observe daylight saving time) ever since he got here. Set him once, and he just keeps ticking. Against the Yankees, Walker was whirring away, giving up no runs and no hits, thus adding intrigue to a scoreboard that awaited crooked numbers from the visitors. Once Nimmo & Co. engineered a three-spot in the top of the fifth, there was opportunity to breathe on offense and tense up a bit when we were on defense. Was this going to be a serious no-hit bid?

No, not really. Our oughta-be All-Star was throwing a passel of pitches in denying the Yankees hits, so you kind of knew that the first chance Luis Rojas had to come and fetch him from the mound, he would take it. Sure enough, the first home team hit of the day — a lazy fly ball that cleared the right field fence a few feet beyond the basepath between first and second, fungoed with one out in the bottom of the sixth — gave the manager license to get his bullpen up and keep Taijuan’s pitch count in low triple-digits.

The score just before Aaron Judge swung and lofted his elongated can o’ corn was 8-0. We had the 8, so Luis could do what Luis needed to do. At the end of the sixth, the score was 8-3, spurring a touch of discomfort, especially at the sight of Miguel Castro, but former IL resident Jeurys Familia doused Castro’s potential blaze, and Familia and Drew Smith constituted a dual-nozzled fire extinguisher the rest of the way.

Dom Smith had three hits and three ribbies. Francisco Lindor was on base four times. Jose Peraza and Kevin Pillar came through. Even McNeil hinted at a breakout. They were all here when the week began and the Mets barely did anything with their bats. Now they’re joined by Nimmo, and Nimmo does what Fred Wilpon mistakenly believed Art Howe did. He lights up a room.

Even dreary Yankee Stadium.

10 comments to Cheyenne Sunshine

  • mikeL

    yea, it hard not to like brandon’s return.
    he’s a much more menshy straw that stirs the drink.
    glad to see many of mccann’s AB’s elvis-ed
    in those righter shot one has to imagine his ball-tic.
    and can easily not imagine.
    all worlds more tolerable than sanchez’ befuddled defensive miscues.

    dreary indeed
    what’s with that arizona-dry looking turf?
    even the grass as YS is uninspired.

    nice win.
    let us take two more tomorrow !

  • Iowa Pete

    With each passing day, it becomes more and more breathtaking at what MLB’s wizards of smart have completely screwed up.
    For instance, when was the last time anyone TRULY got wound up about a “Subway Series” game? In MLB’s interest at grabbing every available dollar, the games have become so commonplace that the anticipation of the games has waned to the point where it no longer holds any particular expanded interest to me and likely thousands of others.
    As far as Walker’s potential no-hit bid goes, there was zero anticipation here — all one had to do was note the 80 or so pitch count in the fifth inning to know with certainty Walker has NO SHOT at pitching a no-hitter.
    What a shame. Not only has MLB and its analytical wizards taken all of the action from the game, they have also ruined the very things fans used to love to anticipate as well.

    • Seth

      MLB yes, but we also know Mr. Rojas well enough to know back in the 3rd inning that Taijuan wasn’t pitching a no-hitter today. Luis is terrified of high pitch counts (“high” being his own definition).

  • open the gates

    Nimmo is key. Your leadoff hitter is the most important guy in the lineup. He’s the one who sets the tone for everyone else. Getting back Conforto and Familia and McNeil was nice (need to see more from McNeil tho), but Brandon’s the guy we’ve been waiting for.

  • Jacobs27

    “…every time the Mets beat the Yankees is the absolute greatest event in human history.”
    I feel like this is till true, despite the gimmickry.

    And I say that on the date of American Independency!

  • Paul

    Ah, yes, former Mets manager Art Howe, a very decent man, nicknamed “Affable” Art Howe, by the Met sportswriters. Remember when Mr. Howe was almost repeatedly forced to say, “We battled,” after a particularly tough Mets loss?

    I once heard that Art Howe, who was a career baseball man with the Pirates, Astros and A’s before coming to manage the Mets, was asked by Jeff Wilpon to prepare for him (the younger Wilpon) a statement/essay on how to effectively manage and lead a Major League Baseball team. This coming from an upstart, who possessed neither any appreciable background in baseball nor even an undergraduate degree.

    And, speaking of the former Mets COO/privileged dilettante, I wonder how Jeff feels, watching new Mets owner Steve Cohen efficiently and competently running the team while Jeff watches the baseball proceedings from the comfort of a seat at Citi-Field?

    Finally, can you believe the chutzpah of this guy, when he initially told prospective team buyer, Steve Cohen, that he wanted to remain as Mets COO for five years AFTER the sale of the team to Steve Cohen, and WITH a substantial salary raise for himself, and WITH his octogenarian father, Fred Wilpon, remaining for five more years as Mets CEO? I tell you, even the late, unlamented and imperious former Mets Chairman of the Board, M. Donald Grant, probably could not have believed the incredible gall of the younger Wilpon.

    So, as we watch our beloved Mets continue to battle to win the NL East, the NL Championship and, hopefully, a third World Series Championship, let’s all be extremely thankful that we now have a serious adult calling the shots at the top of the Mets organizational chart,

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  • Eric

    Watching the Mets hit and score on the Yankees’ shaky defense reminded that the Mets’ improved defense this season has been critical. Hopefully the restored regulars don’t detract from the defense that has been played by the subs.

    I was pleased that Smith played 1st base and Alonso DH’ed rather than the reverse. An elite first baseman should be manning 1st base, not left field.

    Peraza doesn’t hit much, but his hits come in important spots.

    Walker paying off as a reliable number 2 has been big. The 2nd run charged to Walker was a tough one. Runner on 1st, 2 out. I wanted Walker to be given the chance to finish the inning, though his pitch count made it obvious he wasn’t going past 6. Castro is going through a rough patch. Maybe he was a sticky stuff pitcher who has yet to figure out how to control his 95-100 MPH stuff without it. Hefner seems to have fixed May after his rough patch. Hopefully Castro gets fixed sooner than later. With the starting staff both depleted and carefully managed, the bullpen will be carrying a greater load for the foreseeable future.

    The Nationals losses to the Dodgers mean the Mets will be in 1st place following the Independence Day check point no matter what happens today. I wasn’t altogether confident that would be the case after losing to the Braves. So far the Nationals have picked up the fortuitous trend of the Mets’ NL East rivals stumbling back under after climbing to .500. Over .500 in the Nationals’ case. The Mets themselves are stumbling back to the pack right now, though. I’ll be relieved if they’re in 1st place at the all-star break.

  • open the gates

    I’ll reserve further comment until the official FAFIF report, but Sunday afternoon may have been the greatest absolute greatest event in human history.

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