The blog for Mets fans
who like to read


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.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at (Sorry, but we have no interest in ads, sponsored content or guest posts.)

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

Plot Twist

The Monday night plan was simple enough: watch the Mets in full; watch the Mets win, if all went as desired; watch the finale of Better Call Saul, recorded while the Mets were winning.

What’s that phrase, “Man Plans, God Laughs”? This year, it’s usually, “Buck Plans, God Notices and says, ‘hmmm…I hadn’t thought of that — very impressive!’” Alas, you can plan for only so much Met success or even Met process on a given Monday night. I hoped they’d play without interruption. Mother Nature had other ideas. I hoped they’d be done by 10:38 PM, so I could get to the DVR the moment my show was done airing live. Rain washed out that hope. I hoped that another Met win would not only boost the Mets’ lead further in the National League East another game, but tie the 2022 Mets with the 1986 Mets after 116 games, a race that’s existed in my Metsian mind and its diligently tended computer files for months. That race will have to wait another day.

Plans. Hopes. Poof! Monday night in Atlanta in August is gonna get you some rain. (Have you ever seen a Southern sky?) The Braves anywhere can be a handful anytime. The Mets, despite having just completed another gleaming homestand in what has thus far been A Year to Remember, are susceptible to pratfalls, just like any group of humans. And anatomy can be a bitch sometimes.

The Mets lost Monday night. They lost by a lot, they may have lost a starting pitcher and they lost a game off their division lead. The last part doesn’t bead much sweat here. In a four-game series versus your closest pursuers, a sweep was gonna be a chore, even if every night sets your sights on going One and Oh. Losses by twelve runs don’t count any more than losses by two runs. Que Sera Sera. The pitcher is another matter. Carlos Carrasco felt something in his side after coming back from the 55-minute soak delay in the second inning. He stayed loose in the pen. Then there was tightness after his final pitch to a batter. You don’t like to hear about sides not feeling right. Max Scherzer felt something in his side. James McCann felt something in his side. They went out for a while. Eduardo Escobar felt something in his side the other day. He’s still playing, albeit compromised in his switch-hitting.

You’d think the Mets would have a side coach.

While we crossed the sides of our fingers that Carrasco will be fairly OK fairly soon and doesn’t join Luis Guillorme as a long-term absentee or Tomás Nido amid officially mysterious circumstances (he’s on the portion of the IL that doesn’t speak COVID’s name), there was still a game to get played and, by the time Carlos exited, lost. The Mets were down, 3-0, already. Two of the runs scored on Brave homers. One scored because the clouds and winds over Truist Park conspired to obscure a fly ball from Mark Canha’s view. Canha came in to make an increasingly difficult catch until he realized the ball was behind him. He turned around to chase it in the other direction. It was already that kind of night before Cookie pronounced himself crumbled.

Then it got much, much more that kind of night. Joely Rodriguez ferried the Mets through the third and two outs into the fourth. So far, so decent, despite no scoring off of self-appointed Met luck monitor Spencer Strider. Then Adonis Medina grabbed the wheel and steered the night into a ditch. Quadruple-A’s towing services can be a little unreliable. By the time it was 8-1 in the sixth, Medina was relieved by Mychal Givens. Once Givens had it up to 9-1, Better Call Saul was recorded in full.

“Here’s what you’re gonna do. You’re gonna turn on the Mets tonight like last night didn’t happen. They didn’t lose by twelve runs. They didn’t lose a starting pitcher. Say you understand.”

Send a message to Mychal: I’m watching my show. I didn’t know how the series I’d been watching since 2015 would turn out. I already basically knew what was going to happen in this Mets game, even as I stuck to my feeling for the Mets season at large. This exchange from Saul strikingly captured my mood vis-à-vis the 2022 campaign.

“So I gotta ask, where do you see this ending?”
“Where do I see it ending…with me on top. Like always.”

Should have I included a “SPOILER ALERT” there?

Endings aren’t just about endings, however. Grace notes are what put the prestige in prestige television, and sometimes losing by a torrent of runs can make for fascinating viewing. A glimpse at the in-progress box score while fast-forwarding past commercials revealed a plot twist I hadn’t seen coming in Atlanta. Not the tally itself, now 13-1, but the participants. There was a catcher making his Met debut, Michael Perez. There was a shortstop making his Met debut, Deven Marrero. And, not altogether unpredictably yet still good for a WHA???, there was a pitcher making his Met debut, Darin Ruf.

I missed the three up and three down Ruf recorded in the bottom of the seventh, which means I also missed the first instance of Perez (catching ball one) and Marrero (picking up a grounder en route to the second out) etching themselves into the annals as Mets No. 1,171 and 1,172, respectively. Ruf was already inscribed as Met No. 1,170 from his standard-issue hitting duties, but now he was the fifteenth position player in Mets history to pitch, marking the eighteenth instance in all of a Met position player toeing the rubber.

Better Call Saul got paused. I hung in there for the Mets’ futile attempts to close the gap on the scoreboard — nothing happened on that count despite Jeff McNeil notching four hits amid enemy carnage — and was rewarded by a second inning of shutout ball from Ruf. It would have been a second perfect inning had first baseman James McCann not thrown away what was hometown-scored an infield hit. McCann was saving Pete Alonso a couple of innings in the field, same as Perez was saving McCann a couple of innings of crouching, same as Marrero was saving wear and tear on Francisco Lindor (Deven is here instead of, say, third base überprospect Bret Baty, because he can field several positions à la Guillorme), same as Ruf was said to be saving the bullpen. It baffles me that in the age of eight-man bullpens and Syracuse shuttles that position players still have to now and then display fairly uncommon versatility, but it happens. Showalter knew Ruf could handle it. Buck plans for eventualities like this. God reportedly continues to be impressed by Buck’s attention to detail.

Darin’s ERA of 0.00 is far more impressive from a Met perspective than was the final of 13-1, another event to be buried under the heading It Happens. Also impressive: despite the cringe-inducement of Monday night, the Mets are 75-41, one historical game behind the 1986 Mets, 76-40 at the same juncture in their dream season. In Game 116 three-dozen years ago, the Mets played their starting catcher at first base to give him a breather. Gary Carter hurt his thumb and would be out a few weeks. The Mets lost that game and their next game — unwittingly placing their intermediary record of 76-41 within reach of some future Queens superteam — but were way ahead of everybody in real time and didn’t really have to worry. Carter came back. The Mets went on. Carrasco will come back. I don’t know when. I’m not a side coach.

Generally speaking, despite the spate of dings to key Met contributors, I am not shaken from my notion that for the club 4½ games out in front and 34 above .500, s’all good, man.

5 comments to Plot Twist

  • Seth

    Fortunately (or unfortunately) out on the west coast, the game was already mercifully over by the time the BCS finale aired live.

    Injuries are one thing that could derail this fun train ride, so keeping my unbroken fingers crossed.

  • dmg

    i almost appreciated the blowout, as it allowed me to decamp for the start of the 10:38 bcs rebroadcast.

    up til then i was fretting the rain delay would cause all manner of channel-flipping dilemmas. (on principle, i don’t split screen.)

  • Greg Mitchell

    Carrasco out for a month, they say, which presumably means Peterson back in rotation–not too shabby, but takes him out of “lefty in bullpen” dream. So, we do, what, now about that? Well, Jerry Blevins is close at hand. Al Leiter returning for Old Timers day….

  • eric1973

    As Bob Redford said, at the end of “The Candidate”:

    What do we do now?

  • Eric

    Guillorme, Escobar, Nido, Carrasco, Walker — that was fast.