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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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Full Hum Ho-Hum

The Mets won a quiet, even slightly dull game against the Reds … with the lack of excitement counting as a good thing.

Carlos Carrasco was terrific until he found his tank on E. Francisco Lindor and Jeff McNeil homered. Darin Ruf collected two hits, one against a pitcher from the side he’s not supposed to see. A trio of bullpenners we don’t entirely trust — Mychal Givens, Trevor May and Seth Lugo — put up zeroes, though I’ll grant May’s wasn’t particularly elegant.

So what’s ho-hum about that? Nothing! It’s amazing to think that Carrasco is now tied for the N.L. lead in wins, given the horrific season he had last year. Just as it’s been remarkable to watch Lindor wash away the crud and dirt of a star-crossed first season and close in on various Met single-season shortstop marks. And how fun has it been watching McNeil get back to being McNeil, serial abuser of baseballs?

But this was one of those games that felt snoozy once it got started and came with warnings of danger in the middle innings. The Mets drove up Mike Minor‘s pitch count and cuffed him around, but Minor refused to break, stoically giving his team innings and keeping them within shouting distance if not quite striking distance. Carrasco tired in the seventh and before you could blink Jake Fraley had smashed a ball off the Citi Pavilion and the Reds had cut a steep four-run deficit into an all too scalable two.

Suddenly Tuesday’s game looked like one of those where the hare ends up blinking and amazed at the sight of the tortoise ambling across the finish line just out of reach — a forgivable letdown, but one to get the grumbling muscles exercised.

Instead, a couple of good things happened in rapid succession.

First, Buck Showalter called on Givens, the new recruit who’s shown bad body language and worse numbers so far. His assignment was to bail out Carrasco with two men on and Nick Senzel at the plate. Givens passed the test, fanning Senzel, and then Showalter wisely turned to another reliever despite Givens having thrown only four pitches — it was more important to send the former Oriole into the clubhouse on a psyche-restorative high note than it was to spread out the workload the way Showalter would probably have preferred.

Second, the Mets immediately pushed the Reds back down the hill they’d just climbed, with Ruf’s two-run single restoring the four-run lead. Good teams running at full hum do that, beating opponents without working up too much of a sweat. It’s a habit that’s comforting when you’re on the right side of the rooting equation and infuriating when you’re not.

Happily, we can take comfort in it, at least for however long this pinch-me stretch of baseball continues — which I say not out of superstition but out of the sad wisdom that even great teams hit ruts where they seem to have somehow forgotten how to play baseball. Should that happen, though, you get the feeling that Showalter will say the right things, one of the clubhouse’s wise old heads will offer helpful counsel, and then a determined starting pitcher — this year you can take your pick — will decide that it’s on him to change the narrative.

Or maybe there will be a lot more ho-hum wins until the calendar dictates that all spotlights are on full. That would be fine too.

3 comments to Full Hum Ho-Hum

  • Eric

    Ruf has been lagging behind Vogelbach and Naquin, so his hits and RBIs were the most promising development from the game.

    Canha has performed well as the lead-off man this season. I wonder if he’ll bat there more often even when Nimmo is in the line-up.

    After the Yankees loss to the Mariners, the Mets now have the 2nd best record in MLB to themselves.

    I look forward to Walker getting back on track today.

  • eric1973

    Walker had a tough one last time out, perhaps because of the injury that hopefully wasn’t. He is too good for that.

  • Kevin from Flushing

    I had been considering putting my priorities elsewhere last night, and then I thought, “there’s only two months left to enjoy the 2022 Mets regular season, why would I do anything else?”