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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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Life in the Age of Discovery

FLUSHING (FAF) — Scientists anxiously monitoring activities at the Flushing Meadows National Laboratory expressed amazement Friday night at the discovery of yet another way for the New York Mets to lose a baseball game, this time by blowing a sizable eighth-inning lead to the San Francisco Giants and then loading the bases in the bottom of the ninth, only to fall short by a run. Observers say what marked this experiment in defeat as a true advancement in humanity’s march toward thoroughly understanding futility was the way it built on a key discovery earlier in the week, wherein Met researchers learned they could hit three home runs in a game on consecutive days and not stop losing.

A spokesperson for the Nobel Prize committee indicated “this may be the most impressive manifestation of losing we’ve seen in modern times. There were and are so many aspects to how the Mets go about both not winning and altogether not succeeding, that ‘staggering’ doesn’t begin to describe it.

“They even thought to wear black.”

Fueled by splendid starting pitching from Christian Scott, the Mets achieved one of what experts call “the all-important losing first step,” wasting a very good outing when they don’t get nearly enough of those to begin with. Scott, a rookie, pitched six innings, giving up only two runs on two hits, theoretically positioning him for his first major league win. He was succeeded to the mound by in-limbo closer Edwin Diaz, receiving his first assignment since his newfound propensity to blow saves sidelined him from high-leverage situations the previous weekend. Diaz persevered through the seventh without giving up any runs.

“That, too, is key,” said another source in the scientific community. “Diaz emerging unscathed after Scott looked so sharp was reason enough to raise the hopes of Mets fans. A real losing team will make a person rooting for them think things are looking up, setting the stage for a tremendous kick in the [expletives].”

The Mets had built a 6-2 lead on three solo home runs — struck by J.D. Martinez, Mark Vientos and Pete Alonso — along with several other key hits. Their batters also hit some balls that traveled far, only to be caught.

“If you were a believer in harbingers,” the scientific source said, “you could begin to see what was ultimately coming. Yet you can’t be fully convinced until the proof is presented to you.”

Reed Garrett, briefly considered a revelation in relief, emerged to pitch the eighth inning. After a pair of somewhat lucky hits (though scientists debate how much “luck” is involved when an opponent is playing the Mets), Garrett’s night began to disintegrate with two outs, as he gave up an RBI double, a walk and, finally, a grand slam to Patrick Bailey, converting what was left of the Mets’ advantage into a one-run deficit. An inning later, Jorge Lopez allowed a solo homer to Mike Yastrzemski to make the score Giants 8 Mets 6.

With the visitors’ insurance run added to their burden and Camilo Doval on to close for San Francisco, the Mets made feints toward a comeback of their own. “Ah,” one scientist was moved to note. “It’s the comeback that can’t miss but does miss that creates a ‘novel loss’. You think you’ve seen it all, but then the Mets show you something you hadn’t thought possible.” Sure enough, a DJ Stewart fly ball that Yastrzemski couldn’t handle in right became a double. Brett Baty, like Stewart a pinch-hitter in the ninth, placed a ball beyond the infield that appeared destined to become a base hit. It took a fairly spectacular play by Thairo Estrada and first baseman LaMonte Wade to retire him, but retire him they did. Stewart went to third, but there was one out.

“A team on the verge of winning has no worse than a two-on, no out situation there,” the Nobel committee spokesperson explained. “Stewart might have even scored. But these were the Mets doing losing things to break new ground in coming up shy of victory. It was astounding.”

It was also only beginning. Francisco Lindor did drive in Stewart to bring the Mets to within 8-7. Succeeding batter Alonso converted the first pitch he saw from Doval into a certain double play ground ball ticketed to end the game. Except San Francisco shortstop Marco Luciano — who had early pulled a baserunning boner — booted the ball to place Lindor on third and Alonso on first. Alonso was switched out for pinch-runner Tyrone Taylor, and Taylor quickly stole second.

“Can’t you see the beauty?” the scientific source asked. “Taylor taking second without a throw was the sort of thing that usually happens to the Mets. He was the potential winning run. No cogent baseball watcher outside the Mets’ sphere of influence would have thought New York wouldn’t win. But the Mets’ ability to harness nature’s ballet to drop what is handed them is what elevated this experience.

“Perhaps Mets fans knew in their bones what was coming. Everybody else had to have chills.”

An intentional walk to Brandon Nimmo loaded the bases with one out. Cleanup hitter Martinez, possessor of a hot bat, was up. The Mets somehow “proceeded to crack the code” on losing, the scientific source said. Not only did Martinez, a proven professional hitter, strike out, but Vientos flicked a roller to third base that would have been impossible for Matt Chapman to handle, let alone make an effective throw on, but Chapman both handled Vientos’s ball and threw him out to end the game.

“The chef’s kiss on all this,” the scientific source said, “was the Mets challenging the call, as if there was even a shred of possibility it would be overturned. A perfect grace note of after-the-fact desperation.”

The Giants had completed their third consecutive road-game comeback of four runs themselves, but it was the Mets, 9-21 in their last thirty games, consistently finding yet another “new and exciting” way to lose that left scientists worldwide buzzing. “The Mets,” said one researcher in Asia, “stand as an inspiration to anybody who doesn’t believe the worst can’t keep happening.”

11 comments to Life in the Age of Discovery

  • Curt Emanuel

    Great take on this! This stretch has become something you have to laugh at because the alternative is, well, the blackness of despair and it’s just a game, so they tell us.

    With Reed Garrett’s implosion who’s our ASG rep? Vientos?

  • Bruce From Forest Hills


  • Michael in CT

    Brilliant take on this fiasco. I was at the game with my friend Howie, a Giants fan, who conceded the game going into the 8th but I reassured him that with the Mets it aint’ over till it’s over.

    It was nice to see Scott and Diaz pitch well and Alonso continue hitting. Plus it was pleasant weather.

  • Martin

    Well done!

  • Left Coast Jerry

    What we are seeing is Reed Garrett and Jorge Lopez reverting back to their lifetime ERAs over 5, after 6 weeks of aberration.

  • Andy Thomas

    Captures the bizarre amaze perfectly!

    There’s some sad things known to man
    But ain’t too much sadder than
    The tears of us clowns
    When these leads turn around

  • Orange and blue through and through

    Apparently Christian Scott is the new Jacob deGrom. 9-21 over the last 30? That’s nearly Throneberrian! Like 3 Dog Night once said; I’ve seen so many things I ain’t never seen before. But, sadly, I have seen them, and am being forced to relive them. It’s like some bizarre form of reincarnation, but no one is improving.

  • eric1973

    One day, our heroes may actually don the Blue and Orange.

    And now we copy other teams by turning the lights on and off after homers.

    Looks really stupid, but it goes along with the black and purple uniforms.

    Sigh….Guess people love this, too.

    • K. Lastima

      They couldn’t even wait for their annual June Swoon, they are ahead of schedule and will Go Away in May.

      City Connect and the black unis are both putrid, so I guess they suit this club perfectly.

      As a previous poster noted: F. Lindor

  • Lenny65

    There’s an infamous grindcore band I won’t name here, who once released a record called “It Just Gets Worse”. That will no doubt be the title of the Mets 2024 highlight video, which will be around 25 seconds long. There are only so many adjectives you can use to describe the current state of affairs, and they’ve all grown tiresome already. As have the Mets. And it’s only Memorial Day. Today’s loss was even more grisly than yesterday’s, as the heat death of Edwin Diaz continues unabated, while the rest of them are still flopping around like the victims of a koi pond disaster. It’s ugly.