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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 Sound of Only One Shoe Dropping

The Mets have now played the Rockies for more than a baseball generation, but games in Denver will always seem bizarre — incredible shifts in temperature, snow-outs in late May, humidors and breaking balls (or the lack thereof), and the strange neither-here-nor-thereness of the team being far from home but not quite on a West Coast trip.

But the constant through it all has been that a five-run lead feels like a two-run lead, being ahead by three feels like a tie, and being up by one or two can even somehow feel like you’re behind. That was true from the jump, when the Mets helped the Rockies open Coors Field back in April 1995: The Mets came back from a 5-1 deficit when Todd Hundley connected for a sixth-inning grand slam, lost an 8-7 lead in extra innings (with nary a free runner in sight), took the lead again, and then got walked off by Dante Bichette. So was the template established: In Denver the other shoe is always about to drop, and when it does, the lack of air makes it land heavy. Succumb to a late-afternoon baseball nap and you can easily wake up to find home plate has been worn out by foot traffic and the score has gone from hectic to insane.

Very occasionally, though, you get a different kind of ballgame, one that resembles baseball on Earth. Back in 2010 the Mets won at Coors by a 5-0 margin behind Mike Pelfrey — the only time they’d shut the Rockies out in their home park. (Turns out I had recap that day and didn’t mention the feat, though for some reason I did include a still from Being John Malkovich. If you’re curious, the Mets have been shut out once at Coors Field, back in 2001.)

Then came Sunday.

Taijuan Walker may be the rare pitcher suited for arena baseball — Rockies hitters spent the better part of seven innings hammering his splitter into the ground, with only four outs recorded in the air. But the Mets didn’t have much luck against Austin Gomber, and the game was 0-0 in the sixth. Yes Virginia, at Coors Field. That was when the Rockies came apart, as Randal Grichuk turned a Brandon Nimmo single into a triple, followed by hits from Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil and an RBI groundout by Pete Alonso.

The Mets had a 2-0 lead, though this was Colorado, so it felt like they were actually behind — the first two Rockies singled, leaving Walker’s victory in danger of evaporating in the thin air. Walker coaxed a double-play grounder from Jose Iglesias, but pesky rookie Brian Serven slammed a ball past third.

Past third but not, it turned out, past Luis Guillorme.

Guillorme has been one of my favorites for years, with soft hands, a calm demeanor and flawless baseball instincts — he’s one of those players you can rely on to be in the right place and throw to the correct base without having to think things through. Severn’s hot shot knocked Guillorme backwards, but the ball stayed in his glove and he scrambled to his feet, completing the circle momentum had already begun, and fired a missile to Alonso at first, retiring Serven by two steps and getting Walker out of the inning. And he’s somehow hitting .338!

Of course, there were still six outs between the Mets and victory, which can be a hard road in Colorado — and the journey looked harder when Adam Ottavino sandwiched a pair of walks around a groundout. Ottavino rides his frisbee slider to great effect except when said frisbee starts sailing a little too far, in which case that slider can wind up riding him. It can be frustrating to watch, but Ottavino doesn’t scare, and he took apart the dangerous C.J. Cron on three pitches, then left in favor of Joely Rodriguez, after which Edwin Diaz secured the win.

Ho-hum — except a 2-0 win in Coors Field is anything but ho-hum. Here’s one to remember in another decade or so, when the Mets once again finish a game in Denver with that rarest of sights on the scoreboard — a zero.

5 comments to The Sound of Only One Shoe Dropping

  • Peter Scarnati

    “Neither here nor thereness.” “Arena baseball.”
    That’s gold Jason!! Gold!!
    I have always had the same feelings when Looie is in a game as well. The sense that all will be well if he is involved in a play. And, this year, his at bats have been beautiful to see.


  • Seth

    Louie Louie makes good things happen. And he can juggle…

  • Gene

    The Mets for the most part are taking 2 out of 3, that is what good and hopefully, Championship teams do. My only concern right now is Lindor. We do not need Lindor to be a Superstar, but IMO, we do need him to be a solid/good player for this team. Lindor really seems like a nice guy, but I doubt over the long run that .230 is going to cut it….maybe others pick him up..but I truly feel..we need him to hit at .270-280 range if we expect to be playing deep into October…

  • BlackCountryMet

    Has been a great trip, very much like the ballpark and enjoyed hanging out with both Rockies and fellow Mets fans. And Taijuan was superb

  • Lenny65

    It’s been a really odd season so far. I suppose the issue is that I’m still not sure if I can trust them or not. May is nearly over and the Mets are winning and doing it methodically and efficiently, which in itself is unusual. It’s hard not to get super excited when the Mets are sitting atop the division with a healthy lead, but they’re the Mets, so it’s sometimes tough to invest too much in it emotionally, at least this early.