The blog for Mets fans
who like to read


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.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at (Sorry, but we have no interest in ads, sponsored content or guest posts.)

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

Frustration Train (On the Other Track)

I had a lousy Tuesday.

No need for condolences — nothing of any real consequence went wrong, just a dog’s breakfast of bureaucracy and mischance and annoyances waiting at every turn. But it was enough to leave me in a foul mood, one that I tried to shake walking home over the Brooklyn Bridge, hopeful that watching the Mets would help me snap out of it if nothing else could.

For the first half of Tuesday’s game, that didn’t seem like a particularly good bet. The Mets kept hitting in lousy luck, with J.D. Davis particularly snakebit, allowing Patrick Corbin to spit the hook again and again. Meanwhile, Carlos Carrasco was pitching well but gave up a run on a Maikel Franco double, though Brandon Nimmo, Jeff McNeil and James McCann cut down a second run on a relay so picture-perfect it should have been immediately ported into an instructional video. Still, it was 1-0, and then it was 2-0 when Riley Adams demolished a slider that in no way resembled its description. (No pitcher has ever called something in their arsenal a tee-sitter, for related reasons.)

It’s amusing how quickly fan arrogance returns once your baseball team plays well for a little while. My mother texted me from Virginia and I assured her it was a frustrating game so far “but they’ll get em,” and since she’s the one who made me a baseball fan and a Mets fan, there was no need to define who was who in that equation. But would it be so? Baseball will reliably make a fool of those who traffic in certainties, the worst team is perfectly capable of pasting the best team on a given night, and even those best teams are going to endure 20-odd frustrating losses a year in which things go repeatedly and perversely wrong for nine innings.

But finally the Mets broke through, or the Nats broke, or maybe it was a little of both. With the bases loaded and one out in the sixth, McNeil spanked a hard grounder to Josh Bell at first. Bell is a Pyrite Glover and I suspect was also screened slightly by Eduardo Escobar on the play; some combination of that or simple bad luck turned what looked like a 3-6-3 double play into a tie game as the ball went up and over Bell’s glove and down the line. The next batter was McCann (who had a very good game on both sides of the ball), who got one in the air, deep enough to give the Mets the lead.

Things somehow felt safe, though I knew they weren’t (there’s that arrogance again), and when my attention stopped wandering it was because Juan Soto was up with the tying run on first and more dangerously the go-ahead run contained within himself. In came Joely Rodriguez, and I steeled myself for a long, grinding confrontation.

The famously patient Soto swung at the first pitch — a changeup high and inside, out of the strike zone — and popped it up to Escobar in foul territory. Then he stood there for a moment, staring over at where the out had been recorded with a look at once faintly puzzled and mildly disgusted — the expression of a man who just stepped out of his apartment in his bathrobe to get the paper and inexplicably let the door shut behind him. Why did I do that? What do I do now?

The answer to the first part, most likely, is that the Nats are horrible, whittled down to Juan Soto and a flag that will fly forever but is no help right now, which has left Soto trying to do the work of three or four hitters, something not even he can do. Someone buy Soto a drink and lend him a sympathetic ear, because he looks like he needs both.

The Mets added another run, which was enough for Edwin Diaz to go to work. Diaz didn’t look quite as sharp as he has of late, giving up a one-out single to Nelson Cruz and having to work a deep count against a determined Yadiel Hernandez. Frustration was still entirely possible — this was the park where Kurt Suzuki once did something unspeakable against Diaz, after all.

Ah, but frustration for whom? Hernandez slapped Diaz’s ninth pitch at McNeil, and two seconds later the Mets had won. And you know what? I even felt a little more cheerful.

6 comments to Frustration Train (On the Other Track)

  • Eric

    I was extra happy when the night became a division sweep when Sewald saved the Mariners win over the Phillies. Strange that Schwarber hits the Mets like he’s an ex-Met and can’t hit anyone else.

    The Mets win was more impressive because so many hitters who were hot early are now slumping. 12 men left on base. Marte looked lost.

    The luck has been on the Mets side. In the past, the McNeil double is a double play. Nonetheless, I like that the Mets are scoring with few home runs. I prefer baseball that’s played on the field.

    I notice Nimmo is playing well enough in centerfield that there’s no murmur of complaint that Marte should be in center like there is about Alonso versus Smith at 1st.

    Rodriguez getting Soto out made me think of Aaron Loup without feeling bad that he’s pitching almost as well for the Angels as he pitched for the Mets last year.

  • UpstateNYMfan

    “The Nats…, whittled down to Juan Soto and a flag that will fly forever…” And people pay bajillions for intangible art (or tangible Andy Warhols)-why?! You can enjoy poetic prose for free here! Nice one, Jason. ;)

  • Eric

    After watching Adams homer off a Carrasco hanging slider, I watched Judge’s walk-off HR off a Romano hanging slider and the Phillies pull within 1 with a Segura HR off a Sewald hanging slider.

    As good as Diaz has been this season, his 1 hiccup was a HR off a hanging slider. Diaz’s slider is his out pitch and it’s always a risk. If his slider breaks right, it’s a swing and miss. If it flattens, it’s hit hard and often far. So I’m always nervous when Diaz is pitching with the game on the line.

  • Lenny65

    IMO the impressive thing is that they’re winning despite some of the lineup struggling a bit. No one has really gone off on what you’d call a “tear” yet, not really. It’s just solid pitching, competent defense and timely hitting…just plain good baseball. When these guys genuinely heat up, I believe they’re capable of going on a run that’ll bury the rest of the division.

  • open the gates

    Your comment about Juan Soto looking like the guy in his bathrobe made me laugh. Always fun when that happens to the other guy. Parenthetically, I haven’t heard too many people complaining about the Joely Rodriguez trade recently.

    This morning, Josh Lewin pointed out on his podcast that the top four teams in the majors thus far this year, by far, have been the two in New York and the two in L.A. So much for Manfred’s small-market parity. Not that I’m complaining.

  • mikeL

    yes, the mets are playing solid team baseball. and the little things are a hallmark of the culture buck and company have brought into the picture: foiling the tag challenge against ollie perez (and learning later that *they practiced that one*)…and last night nimmo hitting the dirt to let escobar know to slide. *that* used to be routine on-deck play. and SO good to see situational hitting, running hard and smart baseball become the norm here.

    complete opposite of that fateful night when pelfry and (was it?) barajas *watched* as wright and ike davis were on their fateful collision course to the front of the pitcher’s mound.(the armchair GM in me dfa’ed that battery immediately.)
    that crash effectively ended ike’s career and likely played a significant role in ending wright’s.

    i *know* this team is good because nearly 1/5 into this season i’m yet to curse at my TV. i did that on avg several times a game during the callaway and rojas regimes.

    thank you buck!