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.

An Inconvenient Truth

When the Mets returned to what we’ll loosely call action Tuesday night, they were the inverse of what Annie Savoy saw in her Durham Bulls one extraordinary June and July where they’d played with joy and verve and poetry. That will happen after a cross-country flight that follows a West Coast road trip, we were informed, as if everybody had been handed talking points in advance of the Nationals series. The Mets ceased being gangbusters late in their swing through California, losing their last two in San Francisco to take the edge off what had been a 7-1 tear at the expense of opponents both downscale and upmarket. Shea la vie, we might have told ourselves. Seven wins versus three losses is still a pretty good ratio, and one can convince oneself to shake off a sub-so-so performance if jet lag becomes Met lag.

Wednesday night at Citi Field didn’t put me in mind of Bull Durham. It put me in mind of Moneyball, specifically the scene in which Billy Beane is trading Carlos Peña and Jeremy Giambi to keep Art Howe from playing them and, as a kicker, “Menechino, Hiljus, Tam are all being sent down.” That was just me projecting, though, wishing we could disappear a fifth of the roster and, a montage or two later, win twenty in a row.

Terrifying? Maybe frustrating. Either way, Gore from Washington opened our eyes to something deeply disturbing.

The inconvenient truth of the Mets at the moment is they’ve lost four in a row, their last two against the Eastern Seaboard version of the Oakland Athletics, the Washington Nationals, who, since landing in New York themselves, have forgotten they were supposed to lay down and die for the benefit of the mighty, mighty Mets. Led by MacKenzie Gore, neither a chad nor a doubt was left hanging. Gore won. The Nats won. For a second night in a row amid the chill winds off Flushing Bay, the Mets appeared to barely compete. It was a 4-1 blowout.

Kodai Senga, once our secret weapon, seems to have suffered from exposure. It took five starts for the ghost fork to become familiar to opposing hitters. Senga’s still got the stuff, but he needs the command. It’s a little evocative of Sid Fernandez c. 1985 wherein El Sid (a real person, not a movie character) could baffle hitters but also be waited out by them. Senga struck out seven over five innings, an impressive number. He also walked four, an alarming amount.

The Mets’ hitters, meanwhile, accomplished next to nothing at the hands of Gore, the leading prospect the Padres had to surrender to acquire Juan Soto. In context, it wasn’t a bad exchange for Washington. The context that concerned us was the six-inning stint Gore threw Wednesday, with one run allowed on four hits and two walks amid ten Met strikeouts. The Mets air promotional spots roughly every half-inning insisting, “Baseball hits different here.” Maybe it would if it could make meaningful contact.

Even the one Met run was a bit of a gift, facilitated by an Eduardo Escobar triple that eluded Lane Thomas in right when it was still a catchable line drive. You’ll take what you can get. In Oakland, at the beginning of the California trip, the A’s gifted the Mets a year’s supply of walks (giddily accepted) and then proceeded to be not quite good enough to overcome one-run deficits in the following two games. I was left thinking after our sweep at Possum Central Coliseum that a slightly more seaworthy foe would have taken one or both of those games, but you play who you play.

The Mets played a slightly more seaworthy foe the last two nights and lost both times. Long season and all that — there’s a reason baseball movies don’t rush the dramatic surge in fortunes — but this doesn’t look like the team that went to Los Angeles and overcame everything but vintage Clayton Kershaw. Nor did it resemble the walking, homering offensive machine that allowed us to not dwell on Senga’s less than wholly effective outings in Northern California, where 26 runs were plated on Kodai’s behalf. It certainly doesn’t look like the team we considered, based on the 2023 roster’s similarity to 2022’s cast, capable of slowly grinding opponents to a fine dust. Perhaps that’s harder to do when you have only 20 seconds between pitches to inflict your core competencies on a game’s direction. Not sure right now what this team looks like beyond naggingly frustrating.

Maybe Joey Lucchesi will save us again. He always has in 2023.

Well-earned fan angst is the throughline in the new episode of National League Town, available wherever else you need your baseball anxiety semi-reasonably articulated.

3 comments to An Inconvenient Truth

  • Seth

    How do you go from being a World Series contender to being unable to even make contact or put the ball in play? What is going on here?

    We need Scherzer’s sticky stuff back, it was the only thing holding the pitching staff together.

  • open the gates

    … never as good as they look when they win, never as bad as they look when they lose, etc etc etc, rinse and repeat.

    By the way, your last two sentences consist of words that I never thought I would see in sequence. Just saying.

  • mikeL

    it’s the beginning of a long season of mets baseball when i’ve become this annoyed/disinterested/resigned this early in the season s after so many months w/o a daily diet of baseball.

    lucky for me i was able to catch the recent episode of Succession for a third time last night rather than watching any more of a thoroughly unwatchable game.

    Sadly that season – and the whole game – will be over in 5 weeks.
    and the mets may be unwatchable still.

    nearly a half billion just doesn’t buy the kind of team it once did.

    i’m gonna take a beat.