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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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Not Exactly a Showcase

This time, somehow, they didn’t blow it.

Oh, how they tried. True to my prediction of reliever Mad Libs, this time Drew Smith was fine and Adam Ottavino was really not — oh boy was Ottavino not fine, which would have been infuriating except he was so much more disgusted with himself than you could be — and so the Mets turned back to Jake Diekman, asking him to get two outs with the bases loaded, the tying run on second and the winning run on first.

Somehow, Diekman did. It sure didn’t look like he would — he started off throwing three straight balls to pinch-hitter Joey Meneses, raising the prospect that the Mets would walk in their second run of the night. But Diekman got two strikes and coaxed a fly ball from Meneses to make it 8-7 but secure that critical second out, setting up a confrontation with Drew Millas for the entire sad handful of chipped and cloudy marbles.

This time Diekman got two strikes, but in my mind’s eye I could see a ball buried in the dirt skipping past Luis Torrens for an agonizing tie, and so on the couch I was giving Diekman useless advice — throw it out of the strike zone but not too far out of the strike zone, that sort of thing.

Instead, Diekman threw his best pitch of the night, a fastball at the bottom of the zone that froze Millas for strike three and an improbable Mets win.

A win’s a win, but this wasn’t exactly a showcase for baseball: The Mets hit a lot but so did the Nats, as Tylor Megill was lousy, and both teams kept wailing away at each other like drunks in a fistfight whose proximate cause no one can recall. In the late innings Gary Cohen brought up the fact that the Mets and Expos/Nats were tied in the record books when playing each other and also tied in all-time runs scored. I think Gary meant that as a chance to marvel at baseball symmetry, but I just thought it was very Mets-Nats to go to 55 years worth of trouble and somehow not have settled anything.

The Nats scored two more runs but the Mets won, so we have now won one more game, while they’re ahead in the runs tally by two. So there, says one combatant. So there, says the other, and now the fists are cocked and our combatants have staggered to their feet again, and if there’s a higher purpose to any of this it seems to have eluded us all.

11 comments to Not Exactly a Showcase

  • eric1973

    Some things to think about:

    1—Is Gary Cohen ever NOT annoying?
    Now he sings every 5 minutes.

    2—Can Ottavino be assigned a negative number on the back of his uniform?
    ‘Cause he is worth less than nothing.

  • Curt Emanuel

    I liked how our two players supposedly brought in for their gloves had errors in the early innings, Bader’s leading to a run.

    And here I am complaining about a win. Maybe if they string a 10 of 12 streak or something I’ll stop. For the time being I’m doing these mental, “Well, if McNeil gets traded we might see Acuna, trading Severino means more Christian Scott . . .” calculations.

    • Orange and blue through and through

      Curt, it’s just that we’ve been led on for far too long. Calculate away.

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Close and wild. Symmetry indeed. As you know, it all started pretty much that same way.

  • Matt in DE

    I had the extreme joy of being blacked out on since I apparently live close enough to DC to be forced to watch the game on MASN. Even their announcers were waiting for the Mets to “Mets this game up”, their words not mine, but certainly my thoughts. But as you said, a win’s a win. It is years like the last two that make me wish I never got caught in the Venus Fly Trap that is Mets fandom back in ’86.

  • Seth

    A win is a win, but there’s a win and then there’s… a win? You know what I mean.

  • eric1973

    Hey Orange,

    That guy from Chicago is a trip.
    He’s a Homer’s Homer!

    The next one who should have something retired is the great Lindsey Nelson. It really pains me that Murphy and Kiner are mentioned as being in the rafters, and not Lindsey, who was certainly head and shoulders over Kiner, for comparison, though I love all three.

  • open the gates

    If the Mets and Expo/Nats are roughly equal in wins and runs, the tiebreaker is the Mets nabbing Gary Carter from them. Without Gary, maybe ‘86 doesn’t happen.