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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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The Nightly Mad Lib

It’s good to be the Giants.

The 2021 Giants are what happens when everything breaks right — when veterans thought to be on the back end of the career curve have career years, role players step up, and the whole becomes more than the sum of its parts. And you know what? Good for them and for their fans. Charmed seasons are good for the game and a lot of fun.

The Mets … well, they’re the opposite story these days, and not much fun at all. Injuries, subpar performances, buzzards’ luck. You’re probably thinking you read this same rant on Sunday … or was it the day before that, or the day before that? Does it matter? The Mets have become the same old story, day after numbing day, with the only difference a handful of minor details by way of bric-a-brac.

On Monday night, the Mets showed some admirable fight after getting screwed by ESPN and MLB, playing a Sunday night game in New York and then flying all night to face the best team in baseball at home in San Francisco. They even briefly led in the fifth, courtesy of a two-run triple by Pete Alonso, of all people.

But it wasn’t enough. It rarely is these days. Rich Hill pitched well into the fourth before imploding in a flurry of enemy hits; Miguel Castro made the Mets’ lead the stuff of mayfly lives by giving up a homer to Kris Bryant (the guy the Mets should have acquired at the deadline, but whatever); Mets hitters short-circuited a two-on, nobody-out situation in the sixth; Trevor May got mauled in the seventh to leave the game out of reach.

The last two paragraphs are the mad lib stuff, the set dressing to be stapled up after the carpenters have finished following the blueprints. The Mets have started their 13-game journey through the ringer of California teams 0-4, and if you have optimism about the remaining nine — or the remaining 44, for that matter — well, bless your heart.

The Mets are now officially a .500 team, which may still strike you as a disappointment but is a far kinder verdict than what they’ve been for the last two months, and what they’ll likely be by year’s end. Games like Monday’s demonstrated why — and if you missed that one, well, tune in Tuesday. Or Wednesday. Or most any day. They’re all increasingly the same in the dregs of 2021.

10 comments to The Nightly Mad Lib

  • Iowa Pete

    I still just can’t believe this operation opted for Baez over Bryant. The latter would have provided some multi-position help — especially a quality right handed bat in the outfield — let alone providing a huge upgrade at his natural position of 3B. In addition, he would have been a nice alternative to Conforto long-term if they wanted to go that way. Of course, not to mention Bryant is sailing along at .321/.377/.571 for his new club. Those figs could have been a real difference maker for our woebegone offense.
    But no. Some wizards of smart thought the universally despised Baez was a better choice. As if acquiring the 117th SS in our system was worthwhile to begin with.
    When will the suffering end?

  • Greg Mitchell

    Yes, fitting that Bryant would destroy us, just surprised it was not Wilmer.

    As I’ve said before–like Baez, Saintly Alderson is vastly overrated as a talent evaluator.

    BTW, I see Giants also rank #5 with best farm system, as we waste or give away first-round picks.

    Loup has now faced total of TWO batters in past 4 key games. So he is now one batter beyond Pillar, at least. While Familia and May hurl full innings and implode. Loup being treated like Jerry Blevins at peak of situational lefty days.

    What a shock, Rich Hill, age 41 and 5.00 era since June, can’t even go 4 innings. Great pickup for team which does not have a single pitcher who can throw more than 85 pitches in any game.

  • Kevin Walsh

    From what I gather the Cubs’ price for Bryant was too high for the Mets, but the Giants had the wherewithal for him.

  • Seth

    It appears this team ran out of gas in early-mid July.

    • Guy Kipp

      Early-mid July?

      Jacob deGrom’s last start (of what will turn out to be the entire season) was July 7.

      Their season effectively ended with the horrible home loss to the Pirates the Sunday before the All-Star Break.

  • Eric

    The prognosticators — in other words, we typical Mets fans — said the Mets needed to go 6-7 over this Dodgers, Giants stretch to stay in fighting distance of whichever of the Braves or Phillies pulled out in front of the NL East. That means 6-3 the rest of the stretch. That’s not happening, and the Mets are falling out of it unless the 2 apparently stabilizing contenders unexpectedly dive.

    It’s disappointing that this season too is fading away as a contender’s chance. Still, bad Mets baseball is always better than no baseball, which becomes more poignant as the season winds down. We’re almost there.

  • David in Arizona

    So, the Cubs wanted too much for Bryant, the Twins wanted too much for Berrios, and Scherzer said oh hell, no, I’m not accepting a trade to the Mets. Instead, the Mets gave up their top prospect for a strikeout machine now on the IL and a mediocre pitcher who actually looked decent in his one game of work. They gave up their future for Lindor and Carrasco and both have spent major time on the IL and have looked pretty lousy when they were healthy. Same old, same old for the team that traded away Nolan Ryan, Amos Otis, Ken Singleton and let go more recent guys like Justin Turner, Wilmer Flores, and Daniel Murphy. The more things change, the more they stay the same. Despite that, the roster they do have is not totally inept, they should be able to drive runners in from scoring position every now and then instead of, almost never. They should be able to pitch into the 6th and 7th inning instead of the 4th or 5th if they are lucky. Frustrating.

  • mikeL

    i remember way back when the mets would lose a game they should have won…and thought *this* game will bite us in the arse when we’re tied for first or worse with two games left to play.

    with losing being a routine thing since that pirates series before the break… these single losses of warning have become so irrelevant,

    sadly all that’s left is regaining some degree of respectability.
    this team – and the hitting coach, mgr, acting GM, and so much of this organization is clueless and will ultimately need to go – along with most of the roster – before things get any better.

    i’m glad, at least, wilmer landed in a good place. i hope he gets a ring this season. i hope we see a fully healthy degrom and syndergaard out there come opening day 2022. absent both this is a team without a center.

    yes, shame the front office didn’t make a play for bryant. he would have indeed been a breath of fresh air around this team.
    does anyone really *care* whether baez comes off the DL? we already have plenty of guys who swing wildly and miss.

    working the count? so yesterday’s game.


  • Richard Porricelli

    Iowa Pete your right on the money..But the money was talking in another direction.. He was a better fit..Nothing seemed right , just didnt feel right, whole season the shoe waiting to fall..