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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 Mets vs. the Ex-Mets

The Mets, wearing blue, beat the Reds, wearing red and white, by a score of 7-4 on July 4th, and what could be better than that?

OK, both teams were wearing god-awful hats from which independence should have been declared, and the Reds continue to ruin their perfectly good uniforms with a black drop shadow that fell out of MLB vogue about a decade ago. But the basic premise holds. Note also that — as Greg pointed out on Twitter — the Mets celebrated 1990’s Independence Day with a 7-4 win. (That one came against the Astros, whom we have had considerable difficulty beating in 2022.)

Midway through Monday night’s game, my kid asked me a question: Since I’d fumed about how boring the Mets’ home-run-heavy loss to the Rangers was, was I also bored tonight? After all, at that point the Mets led 4-3 and once again the only runs had scored via dingers: Brandons Nimmo and Drury had hit equal and opposite three-run shots and Francisco Lindor had put the Mets back in front with a solo homer.

It was a fair question, and I thought about it for a little bit. My answer was no, for two reasons: For one, Taijuan Walker was pitching marvelously for the Mets, continuing a recent run of solid starts that have the feel of a guy taking the next step in his development as both a pitcher and a pitching strategist. For another, Cincy’s Hunter Greene was interesting to watch — a big raw talent who doesn’t look like he’s ready but should be a lot of fun once he calluses up and figures some things out.

There was also the sight of ex-Mets everywhere: Brandon Drury is having a terrific year for the Reds after being a valuable member of 2021’s bench mob. Matt Reynolds — whom I’d completely forgotten was a 2022 Met for approximately 20 minutes back in April — looked solid with the bat and in the field. There was Albert Almora Jr., who did us a solid on Sunday by beating the Braves. I even caught sight of Hunter Strickland in the bullpen, and you could say that Alexis Diaz counts at least a little. And of course there’s the possibility that the Mets are contenders for the services of Luis Castillo or Tyler Mahle before the the month is over, potentially sending more players to the team with the other baseball-headed mascot.

And then the Mets courteously differentiated their attack after my kid and I had our conversation, with Dom Smith and Eduardo Escobar doubling in crucial extra runs (though Escobar nearly short-circuited his own rally in doing so). Drew Smith somehow survived an inning in which he was strafed by everybody except the bat boy, but Colin Holderman and Seth Lugo acquitted themselves blamelessly and the Mets had won.

They won, and on Tuesday Max Scherzer returns for the last game of the first half of the season, with Jacob deGrom down in Florida throwing actual pitches in anger against actual opponents. That’s worthy of a celebration, wouldn’t you say?

7 comments to The Mets vs. the Ex-Mets

  • Greg Mitchell

    Francisco Alvarez called up to Syracuse, went 1-3 with an RBI, a walk and threw a runner out stealing. Can’t get here too soon….

  • BlackCountryMet

    Totally agree re those caps, uugh

  • Eric

    All those ex-Mets make this series feel like thin ice. Lot of hard hit balls, save one, fortunately found gloves last night.

    Smith hits make me happy because I want his glove on the field, which depends on him hitting.

    Same reason, Guillorme needs to hit ’em where they ain’t again. That said, I hope Escobar stays hot.

    The Braves have a catcher who hits. Alvarez is getting close to a call-up for his bat, but if his defense still needs work, that’s still the priority for a catcher. McCann and Nido barely hit better than pitchers, but they can catch.

    I look forward to Scherzer back tonight, but feel nervous, too. DeGrom.throwing 100 out the gate also makes me nervous.

  • open the gates

    Amen on holding on to catchers who can catch, and more important, can work with the pitchers. Over the years, we’ve been spoiled by the likes of Carter, Hundley, Piazza and (for a little while) d’Arnaud, (mostly) good catchers who were also power hitters. For now we have McCann and Nido, who are both fine pitcher-whisperers, and Mazeika, who is good enough in a pinch. Let Alvarez get his minor league seasoning. If we’re desperate for a power hitting catcher who can’t catch, I’m sure we can bring back Wilson Ramos.

  • open the gates

    Incidentally, I was betting on Brandon Drury being the bench-mob reject most likely to be the next Justin Turner-esque “wish we held on to that guy” guy. We’ll see, I guess. And Alexis Diaz is a nice kid, but if he counts a little as an ex-Met, then so does Greg Maddux.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    My first reaction last night, re: those caps, was that it was some sort of Paintball Tie-in.

  • Seth

    It looked like someone put a small flag wrapped around a firecracker under their caps, lit fuse, ran away.