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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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A Basic Baseball Equation

The Mets have been both bad and unwatchable for the better part of two weeks, so Tuesday night counted as progress: They were watchable.

Watchable, as they fought back after being put in a deep hole by David Peterson, Stephen Nogosek, and (one could argue) the umpiring crew, which missed a ball headed for Francisco Lindor‘s glove hitting Wil Myers in the hand as he slid into second. Intentional? Probably not. Against the rules? Certainly. Enough to make Buck Showalter mad? Oh yeah. Buck was ejected for the first time as a Mets skipper and at least got his money’s worth, indicating via a one-two-three-four pantomime visible across the river in Kentucky that four umpires had been on the field and not one of them had managed to fulfill the basics of the job.

Showalter departed dissatisfied, Nogosek gave up a two-run triple and a sac fly, and somehow it was 7-1 Reds, as the Mets continued their ill-advised run of making the dregs of the major leagues look like world-beaters. Seriously, since the wheels came off in San Francisco the Mets have lost series to the Nationals, Tigers and Rockies, and they’re now off on the wrong foot against the Reds, the sole remaining entity on Earth that hasn’t received the memo that drop shadows are out.

Down by six, the Mets did at least fight back: Posterity will record that they scored five unanswered runs. Unfortunately, mathematics will record that they needed to score one more than that. Francisco Alvarez started the futile comeback with his second homer of the night, with additional runs courtesy of homers from Pete Alonso and Lindor and a run-scoring GIDP by Mark Canha. That GIDP wound up typifying too much of what’s been happening, though: It came with the bases loaded and nobody out in the seventh, short-circuiting the inning, and Canha fell on his face after stumbling across first base.

In other words, it was the last two weeks of Mets baseball distilled into about eight thoroughly shitty seconds.

Elsewhere, well, where do you want to start? Peterson, called upon after Max Scherzer was scratched with neck spasms, looked like he’d been replaced with a heretofore unknown identical twin who had no idea how to pitch. He couldn’t throw strikes and when he somehow did you wished he hadn’t. Peterson’s short career has been marked by false starts and reversals, to be sure, but he looks absolutely lost right now, a young pitcher whose stuff, location and confidence have all deserted him. It was cruel summoning him from Syracuse when that’s pretty clearly where he needs to be, but the Mets had no choice — and, in case you weren’t already depressed, he was filling in for a guy who’s destined for the Hall of Fame but hasn’t exactly looked like himself all year either, which is starting to look like a much bigger problem than Peterson’s growing pains.

As for the Myers play, a basic equation of baseball and life is that when you’re going horseshit they fuck you. The Mets have demonstrated proof of the numerator for two weeks now, so getting smacked in the face by the denominator isn’t injustice but simple cause and effect.

10 comments to A Basic Baseball Equation

  • Seth

    Peterson had no business being out there. This was supposed to be Max’s bounce back start, showing us he still has it and stopping the skid. Neck spasms? Probably from watching all the home runs he gave up last week…

  • Lenny65

    So far, 2023 has been almost like a bizarro world version of early 2022. The 2023 Mets are losing at a remarkable pace, their offense is anemic, they routinely have terrible at bats, the bullpen is unreliable and shaky, no starting pitchers are stepping up, it’s almost the polar opposite of how 2022 began. At least Scherzer is settling into deGrom’s old “injured, unavailable” role seamlessly and smoothly, so we have something familiar to cling to.

    I hate to assign all kinds of importance to a game in Cincinnati on May 10th, but Verlander needs to come out tomorrow and perform like an ace. And if and when he does, the Mets have to support him, and get the win. If they come out tomorrow all listless and sluggish and Verlander labors through a two run first, they’re going to get swept.

  • eric1973

    With the 3 Wildcard situation that everyone claims makes baseball so exciting, we really need to wait until September before this really matters, and all the crummy teams have a shot. Until then, there is no urgency yet… yet.

    We are all faking it, at this point, as ho-hum is the reality, until our horrifically boring Non-Conference schedule in September.

    Thanks, MLB.

    On the field, we have no pitching, and Scherzer and the rest of ’em might as well come back on SEP01, when it will really begin to matter.

    • Lenny65

      Of course there’s truth to this, as last year the Mets totally dominated and embarrassed the Phillies, who got to go to the WS anyhow. It’s definitely cheapened the regular season.

  • Uck. I think the Mets’ Old Timers team would do better than this collection of over the hillers. When the median age of the starting staff is like 71 and the OBP of the team is .007, not a lot to watch. I do like watching the kids, and I think they need to bring them all up to see what they have. And if Lindor ever has a real hot streak, trade him as quickly as possible. That was a terrible deal McDuck made. Send him to Seattle – they owe us one.

    Giving Alverez, Baty, Vientos, Mauricio, Butto and Reyes real playing time is a good move. You need to see what they can do, and not in fits and starts.

  • Kevin from Flushing

    too many Art Howe specials this season

  • Bob

    Perhaps this says it all…?

    Let’s Go Mets!

  • Cobra Joe

    While I think WFAN’s Joe Beningo may have been a bit premature to have speculated on his show last Saturday that “Max Scherzer may be shot,” perhaps the 38-year-old Mets starter might benefit by having a personal chiropractor on 24/7 call to adjust Scherzer’s apparently troublesome vertebrae in his neck?

    What the he heck, the late, great Roberto Clemente swore by chiropractors!

  • Curt Emanuel

    Like any fan I try to hang my hopes on something, even if completely meaningless.

    My completely useless fedora-hook is that after 34 games in 2022 the Atlanta Braves record was 16-18.