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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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Apply Spot Remover in Advance

The Phillies put up a six-spot in the sixth inning, which would have been a problem had the Mets not treated the fabric of Friday night’s game with a solution that prevented such spots from staining their outcome: a 7-0 lead.

We’ve seen this season, usually from the encouraging side of things, the way tides can turn in a game. The Mets are occasionally down; the Mets are never out. Who invited the Phillies to try their hand at a momentous comeback? The six-spot in the sixth inning was a little unnerving — a pitcher rolling on his thumb, a ball thrown away, scads of soft contact, finally the wrong reliever giving up a long bomb — but it wasn’t fatal. The Phillies threw all they had at the Mets and still trailed.

Then the Mets threw a little back. They built their 7-0 lead on grinding at-bats, daring baserunners and Pete Alonso power, and protected it on Carlos Carrasco’s professionalism. It was only when Carrasco couldn’t corral one of the infield tricklers and flung it away (bothering his thumb in the process, supposedly only a little) that the Phillies sensed and exploited an opening. The Mets managed to close that crack some in the bottom of the sixth, thanks to another trademark Mets rally. Tomás Nido walks on three-and-two, Brandon Nimmo doubles, Starling Marte directs a ground ball where it needs to go. Breathing gets a little easier. Drew Smith, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo and Edwin Diaz — the same quartet that sealed a no-hitter against these same Phillies four weeks earlier — nursed the two-run advantage to its happy ending. Seven-nothing was nothing but fun. Seven-six was nothing to sneeze at. Eight-six was two pumps of nasal spray to clear your sinuses and let you sleep easily.

Back to Pete for a moment. In the first, he brought home a run the Mets were determined to score. It was only a fly ball to medium right field, but it was enough for Nimmo to take advantage of Nick Castellanos’s uncertain (to put it kindly) arm. The action would be repeated one batter later, with Eduardo Escobar producing the not so deep fly and Starling Marte flying in from third. Those first two runs were joined by another DIY production, Francisco Lindor having walked, stolen and tagged up to get to third and crossed the plate after Mark Canha worked, worked, worked Bailey Falter for ten pitches until he singled to center.

Alonso was an element of the first inning. He was the star of the third, launching a cannon shot to left with Lindor on base to make the game 5-0, and the exclamation point of the fourth, when he sent a ball to the wall in right. It was good for a double to drive home Francisco again. Factor in five (five!) assists at first base to go with five putouts, and the night was too Polar to be overcome by a mere six-spot.

The home run in the third elevated Pete into a twelfth-place tie on the all-time Mets home run chart, which would be Bear-ly worth noting except for whom he tied. Alonso’s 118th career homer paired him, until 119 leaves the park, with Ed Kranepool. Those 118 Eddie whacked were the franchise record from Krane’s involuntary retirement in 1979 until Dave Kingman blew by them in 1982. Ed needed 18 seasons and season fragments to mount 118 trophies on his wall. As Mets fans, we understood it wasn’t a daunting franchise leadership total, but it was ours, thus it looked impressive. It still looks impressive when viewed through Krane-colored glasses, specs we of a certain age inevitably don when we examine Mets history. Eddie remained the only Met around from 1962 forward throughout the 1970s. Eddie established the home run record when hit his 94th in 1976 and kept building it, however slowly. Eddie was the Met standard for accumulated power.

And now Pete Alonso, who’s in his fourth season, has tied Ed Kranepool’s former franchise-best home run mark. It won’t be too many plate appearances before Pete unties Eddie and, health willing, tramples over Edgardo Alfonzo (120) and Kevin McReynolds (122) to enter the Top Ten. Todd Hundley (124) and Lucas Duda (125) will be just up the road from there, and if slumps stay to a minimum, MLB MIA Michael Conforto’s Met sum (132) looms within conceivable reach in the second half. A pretty good Pete Alonso slugging season — nothing fancy, noting standard-shattering — will place him seventh among all Mets in home runs hit as a Met, all before his fifth season begins.

That, too, is pretty good.

3 comments to Apply Spot Remover in Advance

  • Michael in CT

    It would appear that, if he remains healthy, Pete will break the single-season Mets RBI record, 124, shared by Piazza and Wright. He almost broke it in 2019 with 120, when he set the franchise and MLB rookie record for HRs with 53. Strawberry’s Mets club career HR record, 252, would appear to be three seasons away (all things being equal, of course) and Wright’s club RBI record (970) a little further down the road. (Needless to say, Pete will always be a Met!) He already has the all-time club record for slugging (.542).

    I hope Pete break’s Eddie K.’s club record for games (1,853) because that will put the Polar Bear in 500 HRs territory.

  • Eric

    The Mets failed to hold a hard-earned lead vs the Giants, who are not a division rival, but were able to barely hold onto the lead vs the Phillies, who are a division rival. So that balances out.

    Looks like the fly balls that look like home runs are becoming home runs again. Fortunately, the spirit that possessed Schwarber then moved to Joc Pederson was late returning to Schwarber.

    Shreve needs to find his 2020 form. (His 2020 stats aren’t good but I remember him being more reliable than he’s been this season.) Or else Szapucki is a hard-throwing lefty. After Szapucki’s disaster of a first MLB start, maybe he’ll be reassigned as a lefty reliever.

    Good comeback save of a tight game against good hitters by Diaz after blowing the aforementioned tough loss vs the Giants, especially after giving up the Bohm single and then the tough at bat by Castellanos.

  • […] have him on a pace suggesting he would break any of Barry Bonds’ home run records, though he did pass Ed Kranepool on the Mets’ all-time home run list. Additionally, the ghost of Hack Wilson was not at Citi Field […]