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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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How Quickly Things Change

A little over a week ago, we were lamenting the fact that the Mets seemed incapable of winning any games; Saturday night found us grousing that they couldn’t, in fact, win them all.

That’s how quickly things change in baseball, and how speedily they’d changed for the Mets: Good starting pitching, timely hitting and actual luck — good luck, to be clear! — produced a six-game winning streak. The combination of the June From Hell and the Braves vanishing into the standings stratosphere meant our ambitions were only modestly recalibrated, but it at least was no longer complete madness to study the wild-card standings, size up all the (other?) flawed teams ahead of the Mets and wonder.

(A sidebar: Some number of seasons ago I was chatting with Greg and lamented that so many of our posts reacted instead of analyzing. Surely, I posited, our years of experience as Mets fans and our feel for the game meant we could stay more above the fray and remain cooler under fire, eyeballing possibilities and looking at the season more holistically instead of being at the mercy of all the reactive ebbs and flows of winning and losing. Greg listened patiently to all this and said something along the lines of, “we’re fans — we react.” I thought about how to refute that and stopped because I realized he was right. It was OK to leave cool analysis to a handful of wise, numerically more dextrous writers and just react.)

Anyhow, the Mets ran into a dominant Blake Snell, who had multiple pitches working with punishing effectiveness, and while David Peterson was pretty good overall, he had one blowup inning that left the Mets looking out at a crooked number in the Padres’ column. That wasn’t the entirety of the game: Snell’s tank suddenly dropped to E in the sixth and the Mets failed to cash in on numerous opportunities late, with only Francisco Alvarez denting the Padres as the winning streak ended. There were some dissonant notes beyond that: Francisco Lindor inexplicably forgot how to field and Starling Marte looked off-kilter in all aspects of the game. The former was probably a one-game WTF; the latter is unfortunately nothing new, as Marte’s 2023 has been one long nightmare.

(Second sidebar: It was pretty funny Friday night when Jeff McNeil, 2023’s other offensive black hole, drove in Marte for the go-ahead run. Marte was out there as the ghost runner because of his own conspicuous failure at the plate; if nothing else, I’ll give Rob Manfred and his fellow vandals credit for uncovering rich veins of baseball irony.)

Anyway, while Saturday’s loss did bear some hallmarks of the Mets’ spring funk, it mostly just felt like a loss instead of, say, prosecutorial evidence that you were a fool for giving this baseball team more precious hours from life’s all too limited stock. The Mets play their final pre-ASG game late this afternoon, and while a week ago I couldn’t wait for them to go away and preferably stay away, this morning I found myself thinking I’ll miss them. Things change quickly indeed.

4 comments to How Quickly Things Change

  • Seth

    All this is true, but when you’ve been through a June like we just had, you hate to see a regression. Last night was all too familiar. Didn’t read any of the post-game stuff, so I’m curious what Lindor’s excuse was, after having a career game the night before.

  • ToBeDetermined

    Unreasonable as it may be, there’s going to be the fear (panic) that a tremendously successful west coast road trip might end with two straight losses and send the team into a major tailspin. Because, of course, that would be totally unprecedented…

  • Guy K

    Starling Marte looks like a guy who’s just not very interested in playing baseball, and he’s looked that way all year (and if this is STILL the fallout from that “double-core” surgery he had in the winter, then get him the hell off the active list, please).

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