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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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Gott To Give It Up (Part Infinity)

He may not have had the spelling quite right 46 summers ago, but Marvin Gaye foresaw Tuesday night’s ninth inning in Miami at…I know what it’s called, but I’m not in the mood to acknowledge it Park. After struggling to convert baserunners into runs, and balls hit at them into outs, the Mets dramatically pulled into a tie with the Marlins and made a whole new ballgame of it. And then, because the Mets were engaged in a 3-3 deadlock rather than holding a lead, Buck Showalter entrusted the bottom of the ninth to Trevor Gott to make the same old ballgame of it.

Trevor entered, the Marlins were havin’ a ball.

In 1977, Marvin Gaye hit the top of the pop charts with a hypnotic dance floor groove titled “Got To Give It Up (Part 1)”. One “t” in the song’s first word notwithstanding, Marvin was right on the nose, much as a conga line of Marlins would soon be on the basepaths. Trevor’s first pitch was to the body (if not the nose) of Nick Fortes. He’d be the first Marlin on first.

You knew at that point Fortes won’t be the last. Fortes or somebody running in his stead would prevent a runner from standing on second to begin the tenth because they’re wasn’t gonna be no tenth. I’d known since the top of the third ended and I absorbed the R-H-E line score:

METS 1 5 0

We were ahead, but we were finding ways to not be ahead by the plenty more the Marlins were inviting us to be. As the evening progressed, highlighted but not limited to…

a) Joey Lucchesi fielding a bunt and throwing to third base despite third baseman Ronny Mauricio standing next to him and no Met standing at third as a runner approached from second (with Mauricio likely not providing Lucchesi any direction to throw to first as we’ve been told third basemen are supposed to, because Ronny’s a brand new major leaguer and an even less experienced third baseman);


b) Garrett Hampson robbing Mauricio of the go-ahead run in the top of the ninth following Brandon Nimmo’s clutch double to rescue the Mets from their own offensive frustration (with Mauricio reminding us that it will be worth enduring his growing pains, because he can really swing the bat)

…the sense crept to the fore and remained in our direct line of sight that the Mets would produce a loss no matter how reluctant the Marlins appeared to inflict one on them.

Buck told Trevor to do what Trevor does, and he responded. In retrospect, it was methodical, but in the moment, it wasn’t easy. Nothing about this game was easy. I watched it with a piercing sinus headache that didn’t get any better from the presence of Trevor Gott. My doctor probably wouldn’t have recommended it, yet there I was, watching Xavier Edwards bunt Fortes to second (with, fortunately, nobody throwing a ball to nobody); Jorge Soler receive an intentional walk (thus delaying the inevitable a couple of minutes); Joey Wendle come in to pinch-run for Fortes; Yuli Gurriel make a productive out to the right side, moving the runners from second and first to the third and short; and then, despite a couple of strikes meant to lull us into a false sense of optimism, Jake Burger line the game-winning single into center. Wendle scored, and the Marlins had themselves an important Wild Card race win, along with their 4-3 revenge on us for getting our revenge the night before on some combination — in my mind, at least — of the 1998 Marlins, the 2007 Marlins and the 2008 Marlins.

The night before, I felt like Daniel Stern as Shrevie in Diner marveling that Tim Daly’s character Billy had just punched out Willard Broxton to get even for something that had happened in a high school baseball game. Neither Shrevie nor Billy (nor Willard) had been in high school for quite a while when this punch was delivered. But Billy swore eternal vengeance after Willard and his entire team had done him wrong in the tenth grade, and he’d get all nine of them — Willard Broxton made it eight — one day, no matter how many days it took.

Beating the Marlins on Monday night in a game the Marlins really needed to have in a year when the Mets just need the year to be over didn’t change the result of that Friday night at Shea in September of 1998 (a John Franco special), or those two out of three in Septembers 2007 (double ugh) and 2008 (double ugh redux) in the same ballpark of blessed memory. In each of those playoff-free seasons, the Mets ended one win shy of where they needed to be to ensure the opportunity to play on. The Marlins were at least partially responsible for all three shortfalls. The Mets were more responsible for not winning enough games in general, yet it is the Teal Menace, with zero otherwise to play for in the waning days of campaigns, we remember as special guest culprits.

Now, FINALLY, the Marlins are in a playoff race that the Mets are not involved in — a Manfred-rigged playoff race, but a legitimate enough one in that it’s taking place over 162 rather than 60 games. The last time this happened was in 2003. The Mets were helpless and hopeless throughout that September, and all those Mets could do was literally let those Marlins punch their postseason ticket in their faces at…I’m gonna guess it was called Pro Player Stadium then. This September, as the Mets have occasionally appeared capable of competing with contenders, they’ve taken games no doubt rued as having gotten away by Mariners fans, Diamondbacks fans and Reds fans. I’ve heard the Mets referred to as spoilers. I did not come into this world with the ambition of, when nothing else of a Met nature was at stake, spoiling the hopes and dreams of fans of the Mariners or the Diamondbacks or the Reds. I enjoyed the Mets beating them, given that I maintain a pulse, but I didn’t take bonus satisfaction from the tossing of a monkey wrench into their respective ambitions.

But when we beat the Marlins on Monday night, doing it as we did on a reversed home run call that screwed them and Jeff McNeil going deep to screw them further, it was as if somebody had just socked Willard Broxton/Hanley Ramirez in the face. Yes! That makes it one!

It would have been nice to have kept up that vibe. For all the evil we attribute to the Marlins, they didn’t actually sweep us in September 1998 or September 2007 or September 2008. I realize it makes a more appealing woe-be-unto-us story to say we’ve never beaten them in a big game, but we came back on that weekend in ’98 to beat them twice, and we memorably won Saturday games from them the last two years at Shea, one pitched by John Maine (almost a no-hitter) and the other by Johan Santana (almost a miracle, as it was on one knee and with no assist, thank goodness, from the bullpen). We even managed to pluck three in a row in Miami the penultimate weekend of 2007 at…I’m gonna guess it was called Sam’s Discount Light Bulb Palace of Sparks then.

The Marlins never had to sweep us in those years. They just needed to abscond with one or two well-placed games to stab us in the heart, or apropos of how I’d been feeling since Tuesday afternoon, the left sinus. Maybe our injecting defeat into their jaws of victory Monday night will make all the difference when all is said and done for 2023. Maybe Tuesday night reset their momentum and we’ll be watching them do Fish tricks in October. Either way, to have taken the first two of this series would have been very sweet and set up the possibility of an even sweeter sweep in front of their long-suffering fan, whose name I have to apologize for not immediately recalling. Buck Showalter, however, didn’t listen to Marvin Gaye. “Got(t) to give it up,” the singer warned the manager. Gaye even helpfully added a “(Part One)” to the record’s label to emphasize to Showalter that this wasn’t going to happen just once.

Gott’s given it up multiple times. But we already knew how that number goes.

8 comments to Gott To Give It Up (Part Infinity)

  • Joseph Gulant

    Gott nuthin’
    Gott no chance.
    Gott no consistent arm slot.
    Gott-a go.

  • Left Coast Jerry

    I’m confused. When did Trevor become Travis?

  • Ken S.

    It just wouldn’t be an official Mets season without an annoying walk-off loss to the Marlins.

  • Curt Emanuel

    Looked at his career stats using the link so thoughtfully provided. Looking through them I have to ask, How does Trevor Gott stay employed?

    Negative career WAR. Year after year of mid-4 ERAs. That’s OK for a 5th starter but a relief pitcher should have to show something better sometime.

  • Seth

    I have suddenly become a Gott-fearing man…

  • mikeL

    i hate to keep yesterday’s expletive vibe going (not really)
    but can’t any of these middling middle relievers throw a fucking first pitch for a strike???

    could they do worse by *not* warming up and coming out cold?

    and how many batters were unintentionally plunked by relievers this week? far more than any mets pitchers have thrown in payback for the league leading HBP suffered by pete and jeff and the rest.

    jeez, i’d rather watch some new guy with heat from AAA come up and maybe catch a little lightning in a bottle.

    night after night : ball 1, ball 2, ball 3…
    blown lead, game.

    all we have are these individual contests and we know these guys suck. night after night after night.
    DFA and bring up some fresh arms already.

    what the buck??