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.

I Imagined That Going Better

Carlos Carrasco was bad, inexplicable Mets punching bag Pablo Lopez was good, the Marlins were pesky even by their loathsome standards and the Mets lost a game that had a queasy, out-of-sorts feeling to it from the get-go. And yes, down in D.C. the Braves smacked the crap out of the Nats, and so now we have a tie atop the National League East — one that feels like it’s for all the marbles even though it’s really just for the prettiest marbles and the right to a few idle days to play with them in peace and quiet, seeing how both New York (NL) and Atlanta are going to the playoffs.

The Marlins showing up at the tail end of a season and ruining everything? Wow, imagine that.

Which was your least favorite part of this game? Was it the wild pitch that brought in the Marlins’ second run while fans were still finding their seats? The little poke by someone with the ridiculous name JJ Bleday that carried over Tyler Naquin‘s head and tucked itself into Utleyville to give Miami a 4-0 lead? Or the third consecutive fastball called for by James McCann on an 0-2 count with Jacob Stallings at the plate, the one Trevor Williams left middle-middle and Stalling lashed into right-center to turn the Marlins’ one-run lead back into a three-run lead?

Honestly, it was all pretty disgusting. The Mets tried to fight back, but only got within two runs, with their last tally coming when Richard Bleier was called for three balks in the same at-bat, something I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen before and honestly never want to see again, as baseball would be unwatchable instead of just occasionally turtle-paced. (And, really, it’s not like Jeff McNeil was being pinned at first by Bleier’s trickery.)

Even a horrific baseball game has its pleasures, of course. There was Pete Alonso‘s terrific AB against Lopez, the one that culminated in a change-up golfed into the left-field seats that briefly made us all believe. There was Jerry Blevins filling in for Keith Hernandez on SNY and doing a frankly sensational job, offering commentary that was warm, funny, generous and rich on insights — a terrific debut that I hope is a down payment on a larger role for him. There was the prime seat occupied AGAIN by the creepypasta woman doing viral marketing for a horror movie I refuse to name — an unwelcome sight transformed when Mr. Met was suddenly occupying the same seat and of course wearing a fixed, suddenly deadpan expression of his own. And though you didn’t see it on SNY, there was my kid playing charades with Mr. and Mrs. Met after a chance encounter in one of the tunnels, with Mr. Met pantomiming admiration for my kid’s massive nimbus of teenaged hair and my kid pantomiming his thanks. (His mother and I learned of this encounter via our phones, as we were on the couch at home — Emily because she’d had late-afternoon plans, and me because I’ve been banned from Citi Field on suspicion of being a jinx.)

But would I have traded those nice moments for a different distribution of runs? Of course I would have. The Mets and Braves are all tied up with seven to play and a hurricane about to have its say about when and where they’ll meet, as if this showdown needed an additional jolt of tension. Dread is loose in the land, in far too many guises, and let’s all link arms and assure each other that we’ll make it through this dim, anxious valley to whatever precinct of the autumnal promised land is reserved for us.

19 comments to I Imagined That Going Better

  • Eric

    The September yo-yo continues.

    I’m frustrated that the Mets are tied with the Braves because the Mets are 11-9 this month against some of the worst teams in MLB. And the losses have been ugly.

    On the other hand, the Braves series is more intense because the Mets need to win it now. Whether going in tied, a game up, or a game down, it’s no longer enough to beat the Braves once for the tiebreaker.

    The Braves series is now a full test of the team’s character for the playoffs.

    I see the path to the division title as win today, 2-1 vs Braves, 2-1 vs Nationals while Braves sweep the Marlins. Tiebreaker.

  • Curt Emanuel

    All tied, 7 games left, what could be better? Other than us being up by 8 games.

    Figure Carrasco & Walker are auditioning for the 4th starter/long reliever spot for the playoffs. Does the one not making it even get on the playoff roster? Probably not for a 3-game WC series, maybe added later.

    Starting the Braves series wherever/whenever it’s held tied was maybe inevitable. Good for baseball I suppose. And on April 1 I’d have taken it. And our rotation is set up as well for Atlanta as we could have hoped. Have to take care of business tonight.

    • Eric

      In terms of reliever rather than 4th starter, has the current back end of the bullpen shown enough to squeeze out Walker or Carrasco? Peterson and Megill have been shaky.

      Which brings to mind, what’s up with Givens? He was approaching reliable status and Showalter favors him, yet he’s been out for longer than I expect for an illness, including COVID-19, and there’s no news on him.

  • Flynn23

    29,067. What’s up with that? Pretty disappointing. But, yes, Mr. Met for the win last night! Brilliant.

  • SNJ

    The Bleday “home run” has to have been one of the weakest four-baggers of the MLB season. It had a launch angle of 44 degrees and an xBA of 0.90. It was a glorified pop-up. Carrasco did not have good command, but he was mostly done in by bloops and bleeders (and by McCann’s less-than-stellar blocking skills). As to the Stallings incident, there are few things more frustrating than surrendering a run-scoring two-out hit in a close game, to a weak hitter, on an 0-2 count. Bad pitch call, badly executed. Lopez, for his part, pitched very well. Hit his spots. Had a lot of movement on his off-speed pitches. It is unfortunate that he chose last night to be good.

    So here we are. All tied up. Seven games to go. It is arguably close to the ideal circumstance for exciting regular season baseball. A head-to-head showdown that will largley decide the division, but with the worst-case scenario being playoff baseball a week from Friday.

    • Eric

      I agree, ambiguous outing by Carrasco. It definitely wasn’t a good playoff audition. But it’s hard to say how bad it was given the overall soft contact.

      The red flag for me was Carrasco’s post-game comment that he thought his stuff was on point, even going so far to say his bread-and-butter split-change was the best it’d been all season, and the Marlins just weren’t chasing it. An accomplished veteran like Carrasco, if his stuff is working that night (as opposed to having trash stuff like deGrom’s last start), should be able to strategically adjust to what the Marlins did. If a weak team like the Marlins can flummox Carrasco with an adjustment like he’s a one-trick pony, then contenders can too, and probably with harder contact.

  • So the season now is a 7 game set with the Mets barely holding their heads above water and the Braves being in their usual dominant form. Things are not looking well in the domains of Flushing. A full fledged miracle is needed such as the Mets beginning to hit.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    … the wild pitch that brought in the Marlins’ second run

    Wild pitch my ass. As long as they are changing baseball rules that have been around for 100 years, not every pitch in the dirt that gets by the catcher is a wild one.

    Everybody on the field, at bat, in the dugouts, in the booth, and on the mound, with the apparent exception of James (why is he still on this team) McCann knew that pitch was going to be in the dirt.

  • Seth

    Jerry Blevins was an adequate fill-in, as long as you don’t mind hearing lots about Jerry Blevins. Himself was basically all he talked about…

  • Lenny65

    The problem is that they’ve been weirdly listless all month, and every time you think OK, they’ve shaken it off, they come back and mess themselves again. They’re the damned Marlins, just throw the ball over the plate. I don’t remember a season where I was more nervous about the playoffs than this one, because we just don’t know which Mets will show up. Will we see the Mets who stared down the Dodgers or the ones who flop-sweated vs. the Cubs?

    • Eric

      3-1 vs teams above .500 (Dodgers and Brewers). 11-9 vs teams far below .500.

      Luckily the Mets won’t be facing teams below .500 in the playoffs.

  • Greg Mitchell

    Mets may win it all in playoffs. If they flop, the deadline disaster–and some of Buck’s failures–will take center stage. Re: the righty DH black hole, I will note that Alvarez had two more hits and two more walks today in Syracuse’s season finale. He has had a tremendous two weeks and should be here for Atlanta series (but will not). Also Mangum ends up hitting .350. But hey, let’s keep the pinch-running specialist who is never used and can’t hit when team desperately needs…hitting.

    Givens pitched one inning today, 1-2-3. ‘Cuse ends season at, gulp, 64-89.

    • Eric

      Consideration: Neither Alvarez nor Mangum is on the 40-man roster, meaning neither prospect is eligible for the post-season roster.

      If the division title was win-or-go-home stakes like the old days, then it’s an easier decision: The team has to qualify for the post-season before worrying about the post-season roster. But the Mets have already qualified for the post-season as at least the 1st wildcard.

      If September rosters were bigger than 28, it would also be an easier decision to shuffle the 40-man roster for a narrow focus on the division race.

      But adding Alvarez or Mangum at this point means either losing a veteran like Gore who is eligible for the post-season roster or optioning a young player like Vientos who’s eligible for the post-season roster and in need of reps to audition for a meaningful post-season role.

  • Paul from Brooklyn

    That’s the way the Cookie crumbles……we were on the third base side scoring the game as usual and besides all the bad things …..there were multiple balks(Valentine would have loved that) and the always elusive 1-2-3 double play. Well done Mr.McCann,well done!

  • Eric

    The Eduardo Escobar game. (Kudos to Drew Smith and Diaz for being Diaz, too.)