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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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Steamy Forecast

“It’s gonna be a good summer.”
—Jimmy Burke to Henry Hill as they divvied up the loot from the Air France heist

The Mets do not score in every inning. It only feels as if they do. Or maybe it’s just that it feels as if they score every inning when it would be most helpful.

In the bottom of the fourth Saturday night, directly after Taijuan Walker’s gutting out of the Phillies paused for a two-run blip, the Mets’ offense answered. They’re very good at offering rebuttals lately. Francisco Lindor reached base by a walk. Often he hits his way on, but as he was leading off, this was fine. Pete Alonso singled. Often he leaves the park, but advancing Lindor from first to third in the process of taking first himself was dandy. Runners at the corners, and it was about to rain a little.

Two cloudbursts at once formed over Citi Field: a passing shower that didn’t require a tarp and Jeff McNeil blasting a ball off Zach Eflin until it landed above the right field corner and on Carbonation Ridge. The Mets had trailed, 2-1. The Mets now led, 4-2. You couldn’t count on the score flipping so soon; you kind of felt it was bound to happen eventually.

A lifetime of Mets-watching girds you against expecting the best, but this past week or two of watching the Mets tells you to relax, they got this. On Saturday night, they got this every way they needed to. Walker gave them five innings without his best stuff, giving up nothing more than those two runs in the fourth. Lindor did more than walk. With two hits (one of them a triple), he drove in three runs. McNeil we know about. McNeil we knew about before he batted. Among him, Pete and Francisco, you could sense Eflin’s one-run lead wasn’t going to stand up for long. Throw in the probability of lightning striking at any moment off the bats of Starling Marte and Luis Guillorme (your new leadoff hitter, at least for Saturday, as Brandon Nimmo rested his wrist), the grinding platework of Mark Canha and the signs that Eduardo Escobar may be about to follow the weather into heated-up territory, and virtually no inning passes without suggesting the strong possibility of a run or more.

On Saturday night, the Mets scored in four innings, totaling eight runs. After Walker left, the bullpen — Colin Holderman for two, Adam Ottavino and Seth Lugo for one apiece — kept the Phillies off the board altogether. Travis Jankowski may be on the IL, but Nick Plummer materialized to take on his pinch-running duties. The defense generally doesn’t miss a beat and the Mets rarely take a beating. The Mets absorbed one on Wednesday in San Francisco. They’ve recovered to administer in kind. They were taking one on Tuesday night. They overcame it like crazy (if not quite enough). They’ve been hitting the hell out of the ball since right about the minute Max Scherzer left the mound for the next “six to eight weeks”. In the last ten games, they’ve opened 72 cans of runs on opponents. Without either ace up their sleeve, they’re 7-3 in that period, elevating their National League East lead to 8½ games after winning, 8-2, on Saturday night. Also, Jacob deGrom reports, “I feel completely normal,” which means I feel completely giddy, even though I know it will pass. But maybe not for a while.

I’d close amidst this Memorial Day weekend by adding, “Have a good summer,” but it appears the Mets will take care of that for us.

6 comments to Steamy Forecast

  • open the gates

    Maybe someone should play a recording of that fan shouting “McNeil’s got no power!” every time the Squirrel comes to bat. Jeff’s an early candidate for Comeback Player of the Year.

    One of the many joys of this season is watching Luis Guillorme blossom. One of the Mets announcers (I think Howie) compared Guillorme’s development to that of Jose Oquendo. High praise indeed.

  • Michael in CT

    Buck needs to find a way to keep Luis Guillorme in the lineup. He’s just too good offensively and defensively not to play. Even DH if necessary.

    Lindor is finally looking like the player he was supposed to be. May it continue.

    Pete is an RBI waiting to happen. Let’s Go Mets!

  • Bob

    I must say that that watching McNeil with his # 1 (Mookie’s number), I’m so glad our Squirrel is hitting & fielding like Mookie!
    Love watching McNeil batting and hit the ball where the fielders ain’t!
    Also am very impressed watching McNeil in the field work his magic–a little Len Dkystra (1985-86) and a little Mookie!

    Watching the Filthies in the field try to figure out how to catch the ball and seeing that lummox Schwarber almost crush their center fielder last night was amusing.
    Hopefully we can beat our ex-pitcher tonight and sweep!
    Let’s Go Mets!

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