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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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Strikeouts While Adonis is Hot

On Saturday night in Phoenix, we learned the Mets’ starting pitching depth only goes so far. Because of injuries, we had seen our No. 1A through No. 7 starters acquit themselves brilliantly this season. We haven’t seen No. 1 — Jacob deGrom — but we can vouch for his brilliance. Everybody else, from Max Scherzer (we’re not calling him No. 2) on through Taijuan Walker for a couple of pre-IL innings, Chris Bassitt, the rejuvenated Carlos Carrasco and the so-called depth pieces Tylor Megill and David Peterson, has delivered in real time.

Alas, we may have to grope around a bit for an eighth starter.

Trevor Williams, at least based on one game’s evidence, may not be the optimal answer for when we have to dig deep to take a stopgap start in a week that involves a doubleheader. Williams has some legitimate credentials as a big league starter, with a fourteen-win season from 2018 the shining star of his portfolio, but he didn’t have a lot of work heading into Saturday at Chase Field. Perhaps it was rust showing or perhaps it was what you get when you have to go to your No. 8 starters. Williams wasn’t necessarily hit hard, but he was hit. In the first two innings of work in what was projected as a bullpen game anyway, Trevor allowed three runs on six hits. To begin the third, he surrendered a resounding double that later came around to score after Sean Reid-Foley replaced him on the mound.

And that was Trevor Williams’ first start of the season, all but assuring the Mets were on their way to a languid 5-2 loss. They were welcome to mount an effective comeback, but they declined. As we’ll remind ourselves, as long as the losses are the aberrations, that’ll happen once in a while.

What hadn’t happened before, meaning at all, is a Mets pitching career encompassing exactly one inning and three strikeouts. But it happened Saturday, via the enticing right arm of Adonis Medina, a pitcher making his sixth major league appearance and first as a Met. Medina was called up with the all-hands nature of the night in mind (Peterson was the numbers game victim to create space) and was assigned the bottom of the eighth to provisionally prove himself.

Can you prove anything in one inning of work, even provisionally? Medina proved one inning can be enough to make an impression. The kid the Mets purchased from Pittsburgh as Spring Training was morphing into Opening Day faced three batters: Geraldo Perdomo, Daulton Varsho and Ketel Marte. The kid also struck out three batters: Geraldo Perdomo, Daulton Varsho and Ketel Marte. No other Met ever has pitched only one inning and did nothing but strike out everybody he faced. Per Baseball-Reference, seventeen Mets have thrown exactly one inning in their tenure in orange and blue (and possibly black). Nine of them were position players. Eight have been pitchers by trade. Only Medina has pitched at a ratio of 27 strikeouts per nine innings, albeit over only one inning. Granted, most relievers who get an inning get another and eventually they’re gonna pop up a batter or produce a ground ball or, sadly, give up a walk or a hit. Nobody stays perfect forever.

For the moment, however, Adonis Medina of the New York Mets is perfect. As much as we learned we can never have enough dependable starters, we already knew we never have enough competent relievers. Until a hitter gets the best of Adonis, we will gaze longingly at his gorgeous stat line and swoon.

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