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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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Mute the Trumpets

Timmy Trumpet, deprived by impending circumstances of a stage to serenade Edwin Diaz with “Narco” in the ninth, made the most out of the seventh-inning stretch. Brandon Nimmo and Starling Marte teamed up on first-inning hijinks that scored a run on what was about to be a foul ball. Marte homered and played some solid defense. Mark Canha homered. Mychal Givens threw probably his best two innings as a Met. The worst of the rain held off until the hustle to the 7, and even then it wasn’t all that wet.

Honestly, though, when you lead with “Take Me Out to the Ballgame,” no matter how scintillating the interpretation, you’re cherry-picking highlights.

I was at Tuesday night’s 4-3 loss to the Dodgers. I regret to inform you I had a pretty nice time since my nice time doesn’t do anything for our frustrating team. So be it. Stephanie and I joined father and son Rob and Ryder Chasin for a thirteenth consecutive Tuesday night in August outing (twelve, really; one was over Zoom). The four of us have built a cherished tradition out of seeing the Mets on a Tuesday night in August every August, and it’s tough to extract misery from an annual good time with people close to our hearts.

But for your sake, I’ll try.

Damn, that was a frustrating game. Those first two baserunners, Nimmo on first, Marte bunting, indicated something spectacular might be in the works. Andrew Heaney picking up Marte’s bunt and throwing it away when all he had to do was let it roll harmlessly into foul territory was not what one expected from the all-world Dodgers. But there it was, with Nimmo sliding across the plate and Marte making it all the way to third. Hallelujah, it was 1-0, with 2-0 a mere ninety feet away and nobody out.

Then nothing. Nothing more in the way of runs in the bottom of the first and little more in the way of momentum and no sense that Mr. Trumpet, on hand to throw out a first ball (not the way Heaney had) and then, if appropriate, herald Edwin Diaz’s entry into the game for a save situation, would be favoring us with his signature sound. Except for “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.” That was well done.

The Mets, however, were fried. Taijuan Walker’s slick first two innings got lost in a messy third. Hitting Joey Gallo with the bases loaded was a real foot-shooter. Joey Gallo is the essence of Three True Outcomes. There was no need to invent a fourth. The two-run Gavin Lux single that followed felt inevitable. Walker eventually righted himself to maintain the illusion of a game that was up for grabs — he went five-and-a-third, unhooked by the solo homers from his corner outfielders Marte (who looked particularly smooth in right) and Canha, but if you were going by vibe, it was all sour notes.

The faces of frustration.

At least I learned why Taijuan Walker shouldn’t pitch against the Dodgers. It’s because, according to a helpful gentleman one row in front of us, Tai went to high school in Southern California and therefore likes the Dodgers too much. As theories go, that’s certainly one of them.

Walker the de facto Dodger-lover left with a runner on a second and one out in the sixth. Seth Lugo extricated the Mets from the inherited jam. A chance to break a 3-3 tie directly presented itself in the form of Heath Hembree, a 2021 Met who is now a 2022 Dodger. The Old Friend syndrome was in play. Hembree the journeyman made little impression here a year ago. The least we could do is make him pay for his vague familiarity. No dice. (The guy in the row ahead of us failed to mention where Hembree is from.)

The conclusion of Tuesday night’s affairs came into view in the visitors’ seventh, with Freddie Freeman lacing a leadoff double down the unprotected left field line. Maybe it wasn’t laced as much as it found an enormous hole between Eduardo Escobar’s positioning and the third base bag and then veered unhelpfully long enough to let freaking Freeman take second. Sadly, Andrew Heaney wasn’t around to grab it and throw it somewhere that would have benefited the Mets. Joely Rodriguez, lefthanded specialist on to negate lefthanded batters, left us a run behind. A Max Muncy grounder to the right side pushed Freeman to third. An intentional walk to Will Smith (who pinch-hit for Gallo, who could have stayed in and simply be hit again) set up a potential double play. Potential was never reached. Instead, Lux singled to center to score freaking Freeman. It was 4-3 and it was never going to stop being 4-3.

Tommy Hunter picked up for his fallen comrade Rodriguez and got us out of the top of the seventh and into Timmy Trumpet’s hot zone. Givens pitched the eighth and ninth and kept it close, but the Met offense did not nudge it from being anything more than close. Nothing of substance emerged out of the top, middle or bottom of the Met order after Canha’s fourth-inning dinger. Closing matters out for Los Angeles was another Old Friend, Jake Reed. The Dodgers certainly know how to put extraneous ex-Mets to optimal use.

Fortunately, the Braves lost. The Citi Field revolving out-of-town scoreboard, which carousels every game in the majors so you better be paying attention for the four minutes the score you care about is being displayed because it will disappear for three minutes (I timed it on Saturday), delivered promising news while the events in front of us delivered only dismay. Some dude on the 7 Super Express was kind enough to share his phone screen with interested onlookers for the satisfying final frame in Atlanta. We were watching the Braves go down to the Rockies live and in living color as we sped to Woodside. It was a far cry from caressing the AM dial for updates in years of yore. Back then, I was probably trying to find out if the Braves lost so we could catch them. This year, it was trying to keep the Braves from catching us. And that we’ve done so far.

Timmy’s gonna stick around one more night, hoping for the opportunity to accompany an Edwin jog to the mound live. If he does, that would likely mean the Mets are ahead of the Dodgers after eight innings Wednesday. That would sound awesome. The way the Mets played Tuesday, it sounds a little outside the realm of possibility. But only a little.

Jacob deGrom is from Central Florida. So I guess it’s OK if he takes on a team from Southern California.

Besides maintaining FAFIF legend status thirteen years since turning thirteen, Ryder Chasin is a gifted writer and performer, proof of which was presented last winter on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon. Watch his NBC star turn and you’ll never think of testing for “the Cove” the same way again.

18 comments to Mute the Trumpets

  • Curt Emanuel

    When Escobar got on in the 9th I was wondering if McCann might bunt him over, man on second, one out, top of the order coming up. Not gonna second guess Buck though but this was my thought.

    But we lost because with 2 out and someone in scoring position they did and we didn’t. Escobar probably would have died at 2nd anyway.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    So cool about Ryder being on Fallon, thanks for the link, I feel like I know him after appearing annually here. But no Mets hat??

    The whole game began to turn when Walker got squeezed on at least 3 non-strike calls in the 3rd. Which Gary and Keith seemed to have forgotten about when questioning why Buck was seen grumbling about a close-but-definately-a-strikeout call against Nimmo in the 7th. Buck never forgets anything.

  • Joey G

    It appeared that they had Heaney on the ropes in the first. To walk away with only one run at that point felt like empty calories. For Alonso’s entire at bat, Lindor could not pick up Heaney’s motion and was inching back to first with every pitch. Then he tries to steal and is thrown out by a country mile. If they were going to do that, why not send Marte from third in the delayed double steal ploy used to great effect last week when Barnes threw through? The whole sequence did not make much sense coming from a Buck Showalter managed team. Let’s hope Jake comes up aces this evening. BTW, for those of you scoring from home, Timmy Trumpet was so pumped to be in the building that he jumped (Grote style) into Tyler Naquin’s arms after throwing the first pitch. Hopefully Naquin did not hurt his back in addition to being taken aback.

  • Left Coast Jerry

    For the record, Yucaipa High School, Taijuan’s Alma mater, is 58 miles from Angels Stadium and 79 miles from Dodger Stadium. He could just as easily grown up rooting for the Angels. For the record, how did USC (6.5 miles from Dodger Stadium) alum, Tom Seaver, do against the Dodgers?

    • Based on our section neighbor’s analysis, Ryder and I decided any Seaver loss to the Giants could now be attributed to Tom’s Fresno upbringing.

      • Left Coast Jerry

        Of course, Tom Terrific was 13 years old by the time the Giants set foot in San Francisco, and Fresno is 186 miles from San Francisco.

  • Seth

    I feared the game was lost in the 9th inning when Gary went on about the decision to use Jake Reed. I had a feeling they’d go down 1-2-3, and with the double play, they did.

  • Greg Mitchell

    Same old same old. Lugo not allowed–or can’t–pitch more than 2/3s of an inning and then Joely and his 5.20 ERA put in crucial spot and naturally fails. (Note to Buck: He has never in career been tough on lefties.) And now that Vogelbach, Ruf, and Naquin all slumping–something like 9 for 70 combined–that trade deadline failure looks even more pronounced. Brandon Drury still raking. JD Davis was also, but have not checked lately.

    • Eric

      Agreed. Eppler’s off-season was a winner. His trade deadline was not. With roster expansion coming up, hopefully a few prospects beyond Baty will get the chance to audition for the playoffs. Vientos, at least.

      Edit: Baty done, thumb surgery.

  • Seth

    Is the trumpet thing really an appropriate theme for Edwin? “Save” and “blow” really shouldn’t be combined in these situations.

  • Greg Mitchell

    Teams cutting pitchers now before Sept. 1 so time to check the waiver wire. I don’t know that he is best available lefty but Jesse Chavez is now out there. A risk, as he is 39 but good enough to go to Braves this year for Sean Newcomb and pitched to 2.12 era for Braves with a lot of appearances–then good enough to go to Angels in Iglesias deal, though pitched poorly there in just 8 innings. But with rosters expanding Mets need to pick up him–or someone better. Guys out there.

  • Bob

    Great photo!
    Looks like you salvaged some good karma from last night.

    Watching our Mets in at bats after the gift run in 1st inning, perform like Curley in 3 Stooges when he tries to squirt Moe with seltzer made me feel queasy.

    Let’s Go Mets!

  • open the gates

    As a professional musician, I always enjoy when an athlete or sports club forges a relationship with a particular piece of music and makes it their own. It’s what the Chicago Bulls did with Alan Parsons’ Sirius, and (much as it pains me to admit) what Mariano Rivera did with Metallica’s Enter Sandman. This is the first time I can think of that a Met, or the Mets, have done this sort of thing (and no, The Curly Shuffle doesn’t count). I think it’s even cooler that the Mets forged a bond with the actual musician behind Sugar’s walk in music. It’s another example of the seismic shift in Met culture to an ownership that gets it, that does all the little things right instead of constantly, obtusely wrong. (And for what it’s worth, it’s an awesome trumpet solo.)

  • Eric

    Braves have surprisingly lost 3 in a row, so maybe they’re entering a slump to balance out their glut of wins. On the outskirts, Phillies haven’t taken advantage; they’ve unexpectedly lost a few, too.

    If the Braves are in slump, it would be a good time for the Mets to get hot and pull ahead so maybe the Braves series won’t matter.

    On one hand, the Mets lost to the Dodgers. On the other hand, the Dodgers used the dregs of their bullpen, and the Mets offense still looked futile. Walker, who’s having a down 2nd half again, did keep his team in the game.

    Vogelbach’s vaunted plate discipline abandoning him and swinging at ball 4 to ground into a double play against Jake Reed(!) in the 9th epitomized the bad offense of the day.

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