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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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All About Momentum

Baseball is always about momentum.

On Thursday night the Mets emerged from a terrifying game with the Phillies as the owners of a hard-fought win. It’s the kind of game that pulls teams together, that gives them a certain sense of purpose when they head for the next battleground, newly confident that they can, in fact, do this. The kind of game that …

Wait a minute, I’ve just been handed a dispatch from the Faith and Fear news desk.

On Friday night the Mets got steamrolled by the Marlins, 8-0.

OK, so baseball is sometimes about momentum.

The Mets were shut out, the defense wasn’t particularly crisp, and the Marlins did the annoying Marlin things that the Marlins do to the Mets at New Soilmaster. They made great catches, had balls carom off people right to them, were in the right place to intercept hard-hit balls, and were generally Marlinesque in their usual teeth-grinding way. If you’ve been laboring in the mines of Met fandom for even a few years, you know that you could pluck a dozen vagrants from one of south Florida’s near-infinity of dodgy byways, dress them in barftastic neon, and watch them beat the Mets at least one game out of three, probably by sneaking a ball through the infield in the bottom of the 11th to make it hurt worse.

The only good thing about Friday night’s game counts as an ever so slightly shiny silver lining, if you squint hard enough. Christian Scott, making his third-ever start (two-thirds of which have now been in his native Florida) reported for duty with his splitter nonexistent and his slider not to be trusted. Predictably, he got whacked around, with the first awooga-awooga of alarm a home run off the not particularly imposing bat of Nick Fortes. Fortes entered the night hitting .127; he went 3 for 3 with a trio of RBIs and is now hitting … .159.

(You’re wondering where the silver lining is, because this all sounds pretty terrible. Patience.)

The hint of something possibly metallic came in the bottom of the fourth. Scott, in trouble all night, found himself on the ropes after a Jeff McNeil error, a single and a walk that loaded the bases with nobody out. Scott was left out there to find his way out of trouble (or not), a necessary rite of passage for every young pitcher, and I looked up from grumpily being bad at Sudoku, mildly curious how he would fare, hoping that he’d keep it to an additional run or two instead of flat-lining and waiting to be rescued. (There’s a variant of this where you get your brains beat in and then throw your teammates under the bus by passive-aggressively musing about plays you could wish had been made; that’s known as the Full Niese.)

Scott didn’t flat-line. He struck out Jazz Chisholm Jr. on a slider that actually did what it was supposed to, got Bryan De La Cruz to pop out to short, and coaxed a ground ball from Josh Bell. After which Carlos Mendoza wisely went to the pen, letting Scott depart on a relatively high note. Maybe it wasn’t much, not on a night when you got beat by more than a touchdown, but it counts as something.

* * *

How about a palate-chaser to send you off a little less down in the mouth?

The Mariners recently saw their 1,000th player go into the record books, and celebrated this milestone in a pretty wonderful way: Kirby Snead got a SNEAD 1000 jersey as part of an on-field celebration featuring appearances by Mariners 505, 644, 677 and 823, all of them Oh Yeah That Guys primarily of interest to people going for a rarity score in Immaculate Grid, and wearing signs with those numbers to indicate their less than routinely celebrated place in team history.

Isn’t that wonderful? How I wish the Mets had done that for their Mr. 1,000! Greg and I could have helped! (If you’ve forgotten, the milestone Met was Michael Conforto, back in 2015. The Mets’ tally now stands at 1,236, with the aforementioned Mr. Scott proudly occupying that particular cell in the Excel sheet.)

There was another Metsian touch to the Seattle celebration: They made not one or two or even three but four cakes for Snead’s party – a 1 and three 0s — and the guest of honor reported that he somehow didn’t get a single slice.

Somewhere, I imagine, Marv Throneberry hoisted a Miller Lite and smiled.

10 comments to All About Momentum

  • Curt Emanuel

    On Thursday night one of the announcers said something like. “The Marlins might be just what the Mets need right now.” Was during a discussion of hardest schedules played so far. My thought was, “We may be just what the Marlins need.” Considering we’re 8-16 recently I don’t see where thinking of anyone as easy is a good idea.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Wasn’t it Earl Weaver who said something like “F*ck momentum, gimme a three run homer”?

    And just like that…

  • LeClerc

    Good idea on post-game or SportsNite last night:

    Drop Lindor down to 5th or 6th in the batting order.

    He’s below the Mendoza Line (not talking about Carlos) and it seems he feels comfortable down there.

    • K. Lastima

      Excellent idea, problem is they’ll never do it. Mrs. Cohen’s favorite will continue to be coddled and accorded superstar treatment to which he is unworthy.

    • Jacobs27

      Spot on, Curt. We are the Marlins’ tonic. Ugh.

  • Seth

    There will never be another team like the 86 Mets and I feel bad for anyone who missed it. I remember in April, when they really started rolling, either the Post or Daily News posted a big headline “Killer Mets!” That was fun. Shall not pass this way again…

  • Lenny65

    And today Edwin Diaz regressed all the way back to 2019, and the Mets pissed away another one. Boy, that contract is going to haunt them.

  • LeClerc

    Diaz could possibly regain some or all of his lost mojo by spending some time in Syracuse.

    Mendoza can’t take on the role of Sugar’s psychotherapist.

  • eric1973

    Where’s Billy Eppler when you need him?

  • open the gates

    Kirby Snead not getting a piece of his own cake – definitely Metsian.

    Reminds me of a game I went to years ago. It was Jason Bay Bobblehead Night, and somehow Jason was the only position player not to appear in the game. Good to know it’s not just a Met thing.

    PS – we got there early enough to get the Bay-blehead. I had it on my desk for years, and would punch it whenever I was in a bad mood. I think it’s hiding in a box somewhere in my basement now.