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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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Column A or Column B?

To review, these days the Mets play two kinds of games, which for simplicity’s sake we’ll tally up in separate columns.

In Column A, we record games like these, to quote some dumbass blogger: “ones in which they lose seemingly winnable affairs in horribly frustrating ways”.

Column B is the home for games like these: “ones in which they beat the absolute tar out of their opponents without breaking too much of a sweat.”

So let’s assess Monday night’s game against the normally downtrodden Chicago Cubs.

  • The Mets faced Javier Assad, a rookie pitcher without much of a prospect pedigree, and did next to nothing against him. (Though, to be fair at the expense of a good narrative, from my tactically superior position on my couch this didn’t look like one of the Mets’ infamous Full Nabholzes against an unknown quantity — Assad had good stuff, built around a sharp cutter.
  • Chris Bassitt had a rare stinker of a performance, reporting for duty with basically no command of anything. His expressions on the mound charted the Cubs’ lead as it grew from annoying to concerning to thoroughly dispiriting: a look skyward, a grim glower of self-loathing, an irritable snap of the glove, rinse lather repeat.
  • The Mets failed to come through in big spots. Mark Canha struck out twice with the bases loaded, the second time making the first out of a bases-loaded-no-out fizzle that yielded zippo. But Canha had plenty of company, as Brandon Nimmo and Tyler Naquin and Eduardo Escobar and poor star-crossed Darin Ruf all failed to come through in big moments.
  • Rearrange the game a little here and there and you can see a better one trying to emerge: Nimmo and Naquin and Ruf chip away at the Cubs’ lead and maybe Francisco Lindor‘s lipstick-on-a-pig homer in the ninth is a far grander moment. But that game belongs to some other reality, not this one.
  • The last couple of innings were played in the rain, and I have to assume at least a couple of dogs went from Bark in the Park to the 7 train, after which they shook themselves (as dogs do) and spritzed Mets fans whose spirits were already a little damp.

So, quick review: Does this delightful game go in Column A or Column B?

Seems like it’s unanimous: Column A.

5 comments to Column A or Column B?

  • Dave

    What the bloody ‘ell is it with first games of series against far inferior teams lately?

    • Eric

      Better the “Column A” game 1 loss followed by 2 “Column B” wins than the alternative of the National series with its “Column B” game 1 win followed by 2 “Column A” losses.

      I don’t ask for more than series wins even with the Braves demanding Mets sweeps. But the ugly game 1 losses are making the prospect stressful. The continuing swings from looking hapless to looking like a contender and back again are stressful.

  • Eric

    Relieved the Braves lost. Frustrated the Mets wasted an opportunity to increase the lead to 2 in the loss column. Hoping the Braves’ 3 losses in a row snowball. Also keeping an eye on the Cardinals creeping up.

    I want Canha up in big spots, and he was this game, but he failed this time.

    Fun move to have Givens pinch-run for Vogelbach, which I assume was an application of the Ohtani amendment to the DH rule. Showalter regularly praises Givens’ athleticism. The Orioles drafted Givens as a shortstop which he played for his 1st 3 years in the minor leagues before he switched to pitching. I wouldn’t be surprised to see Givens pinch-run in the playoffs.

  • Seth

    I’ll take two from column B and one from column A.

  • eric1973

    Seth, that is damn funny, man!