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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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Follow the Formula

We’ve been where the Diamondbacks are now — a team with hope for the future that’s trying to remind itself that future can’t be hurried. The guys who could be a part of it need to get there at their own pace, with all the growing pains implied; the caretaker players are important as teachers and public faces but will be gone by the time that day arrives. If it arrives, baseball being unpredictable in many ways but cruelly reliable in its ability to spill ink on blueprints.

We’ve been there, but mercy isn’t part of the equation. And so the Mets did what we hoped they would, not getting in Arizona’s way as the D-Backs made a whole bunch of mistakes that essentially handed the visitors a 6-2 win. So far the Mets have won five season series and lost none, and while I don’t claim to be a statistical savant, I suspect if they do that all year we’ll all wind up happy.

They won’t, of course — I’ll step on the moment  by reminding us that the 2018 Mets also won their first five series en route to winning a grand total of 77 games. If you go back into the Faith and Fear archives, you’ll find all sorts of giddy posts about 11-1 starts, 17-9 Aprils and Mickey Callaway‘s Midas touch.

(In other words, don’t go back into the archives.)

Still. 12-5 will work nicely, with the record backed up by the eye test. Tylor Megill would have been forgiven if he’d spent the winter resting up after a season that took his arm places it had never been; instead, he reinvented his delivery and his approach to pitching, with great results so far. (Megill still got beat on his second-best pitch for his final act of the day, but hey, Rome and building schedules etc.) Francisco Lindor got two hits and nobody particularly noticed, which is a sign of how different his year has been so far. J.D. Davis whacked a home run into the right-field stands, which is an excellent way for making himself a bigger part of the plan. There was nifty fielding by the tragically Samson’ed Luis Guillorme, an impromptu game of leap frog by Starling Marte, and no Edwin Diaz to make my stomach turn gymnast. Oh, and the Mets pulled off the routine 1-2-3 put-out, thanks to a terrific play by James McCann on a ball that caromed off Seth Lugo‘s foot and somehow shot straight back at his catcher.

With so much going right, seeing Buck Showalter‘s Resting Pissed Face in the dugout only added to the entertainment. Buck will never be able to match Dallas Green for Managerial Facial Expressions You Don’t Want to See — Dallas witnessed a lot of baseball slapstick inflicted by his charges on the paying customers, and his helpless, gape-mouthed incredulity in response was the only good part of a lot of bad nights. Buck has a much better club and a slower resting heartbeat, so you mostly get steely glares over tight lips — but seriously, doesn’t Jeremy Hefner look a bit nervous every time Buck starts melting laser-beam trails in the field with his eyes?

Anyway, on the Mets go to St. Louis, somehow finished for the year with all things related to the Diamondbacks, states that stay on rebel time out of some kind of weird cowboy-hangover surliness, Madison Bumgarner, Sedona red and other annoying colors that don’t belong on uniforms, D. Baxter the Bobcat and his adventures in the uncanny valley, and games in an ill-lit stadium that looks like someone roofed over a second-tier mall. (Seriously, if you ever go to a Diamondbacks game … it’s deeply weird.)

It will be interesting to see what the Diamondbacks have become by 2023, what with Nick Ahmed and Christian Walker and Pavin Smith and Seth Beer and Sergio Alcantara. Maybe they will have taken a step forward or maybe they will have gone sideways, in which case Torey Lovullo will have started exhibiting a few of Dallas Green’s expressions. We’ll find out then; for now, they’re other clubs’ problem. We’re on to St. Louis, successful formula in hand and fingers crossed.

1 comment to Follow the Formula

  • Eric

    A clean-shaven Guillorme looks fatter.

    Melancon seems like a likely mid-season trade candidate to bolster the Mets bullpen.