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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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Not Exactly the Plan

OK, there isn’t a plan — baseball routinely makes a mockery of plans — but there is a blueprint a team tries to follow, and I’m pretty sure the Mets’ blueprint wasn’t labeled LOSE WITH BARELY A WHIMPER TO PATRICK CORBIN AND ERICK FEDDE. I flashed back to 1990, when the Mets’ quest for a division title was derailed by a disastrous three-game sweep at the hands of the Expos, capped by a 6-0 whitewashing with Chris Nabholz on the mound.

That was 32 years ago, and I still sometimes catch myself staring at the ceiling and fuming about it.

Chris Nabholz, really?

The Expos have become the Nats, but Nabholz was a rookie then, an unknown quantity, whereas Fedde was thoroughly known yet somehow kryptonite for Met bats on Sunday.

Just a little frustrating.

/recapper bends laptop while apparently ‘just a little frustrated’

I suppose if you squint a little, or a lot, there were good things to be discerned amidst Sunday’s wreckage. Trevor Williams pitched very well in relief, continuing his year of being quietly useful in a range of roles, and the Mets played some adept defense late. But “late” is best understood there as the second half of “too late” — by then the Nats had brought the hammer down on Carlos Carrasco and extended their lead on a homer after Williams was forced to throw strike four (fuck it, we weren’t winning anyway), and you knew the Mets were toast long before you heard the ding from the kitchen.

(They tried, but had an inning short-circuited by a dropped fly ball in left that turned into a double play thanks to some unfortunate umpiring, but if that play sent you to the barricades, I have to ask if you were watching earlier. It’s right there in the earliest baseball laws inscribed by Abner Doubleday: When you’re going horseshit, they fuck you.)

Anyway, the Mets took two out of three from the Dodgers and then dropped two out of three to the Nats, and any rational fan knows such head-scratchings are part of the ebb and flow of a long season, and the view through a three-day magnifying glass is pretty much the worst way to maintain one’s perspective. All of which is true, except the Mets are in a pennant race and the Braves stubbornly refuse to lose games and have now drawn within one skinny, lousy, aggravating, horrifying game of our heroes (I assume — I can’t bear to check the scoreboard), and anyone who delivers a lecture on perspective at this juncture deserves to be doused in beer for his troubles, because read the room already.

/recapper douses self in beer

Anyway. Tomorrow is a new day, lots of baseball left, many paths to the playoffs, but that wasn’t exactly the plan, and the Mets would be strongly advised to ball up the LOSE TO CORBIN AND FEDDE blueprint, throw it in the trash, and find something new posthaste.

14 comments to Not Exactly the Plan

  • Eric

    Setting aside the longer Scherzer injury concern (Even if he does make his next start, how can we not worry that he’s on the verge of injury from here on out?), right now I’m hoping the ugly losses were just a delayed effect of the Mets coming down from a long intense stretch that peaked with the high of the Dodgers. And a weeklong road trip to the quieter current MLB backwaters in Pittsburgh and Miami will help them reset and focus.

    Bats need to wake up most of all, led by Alonso. The Mets can’t be shut down by Corbin and Fedde while the Braves beat up on Alcantara. It happened. A 2016 TJ Rivera-type boost would help: Baty out; Vientos soon? Guillorme is a missing piece, though he’s not a hitting cure.

    The defending champs and perennial NL East standard-bearers are unrelenting.

  • eric1973

    I never knew whether I believed that hitters needed protection in a lineup, but that may be the case with Alonso.

    Alonso’s slump seemed to coincide with the massive slumps of Vogelbach, Ruf, and Naquin. Is there a law that the DH has to hit fifth in this order?

    Get Canha or McNeil up there, and let’s see if the Polar Bear comes out of hibernation.

  • Daniel

    Yes McNeil should bat 5th every game . Why he hasn’t has been the most frustrating and inexplicable aspect of Buck’s managing. I just don’t get it

  • Jonathan Wynne

    Howie Rose said that Corbin and the Nats had been given advice by Davey Johnson, who managed both the Mets and the Nats, to pitch lower in the strike zone, and that that has turned around Corbin. Howie said Davey still follows the Nats. Gee thanks, Davey. What advice did you give to Fedde?

  • CharlieH

    I have come to the conclusion that only a true Mets fan can be simultaneously overconfident and panicky.

  • open the gates

    My first thought was that a nineteenth- century gentleman like Abner Doubleday would not have phrased the sentiment in quite that manner. Then I remembered that ol’ Abner was a military man.

    At the risk of being splashed with various alcoholic beverages, I would remind the audience that every single Mets team has gone through stretches like this, including the ’86ers. The reason it’s so jarring now is that this Met team has done it so rarely. They’ll take it out on the next guys, never fear.

    • Eric

      I agree. The Mets aren’t collapsing. 2 losses against the Nationals after 2 wins over the Dodgers doesn’t even rise to a slump. It’s about the Braves. In the other divisions, the best 2nd place teams are on the Phillies level. Play like crap for a series against MLB’s worst team with the Mets record — no big deal.

      But the Braves are unrelenting, the defending champs playing like they’re dead set on repeating. They wrested 1st place from the Mets last year and they’re chasing again.

      What’s the historical precedent for the 2022 Braves in terms of a strong Mets team that doesn’t collapse (2007 Mets, 2021 Mets) but stays locked in a close race? 1985 or 1987 Cardinals?

  • I was at the Nabolz game and will never forget it. Fast forward to around fifteen years ago or or so and I am coaching his nephew, a pretty nice kid, in Babe Ruth League and I did my best not to take it out on him, I swear.

  • eric1973

    Sounds like a little Batting Practice chin music might just have been in order.

  • Eric

    Nationals went into St. Louis and shut out the Cardinals 6-0, which is even better (or worse for the division leader) than what the Nationals did to the Mets.

    Maybe the embarrassing Mets losses were less about the Mets struggling than the Nationals have gotten hot. Then again, the Cardinals don’t have the Brewers breathing down their necks.

  • Seth

    Collapses are like snowflakes — no two are exactly the same. Sad times.

  • Richard Porricelli

    For the last two weeks or so we heard about the soft schedule we had after LA. We are now dead even with 26 games to go.. Its not a collapse, not yet anyway.. Getting back on the beam can start with this day night doubleheader..
    The Braves are a good ball club, people seem to forget that!!