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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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The Rarely Explored Sea of Tranquility

It’s gonna get away, you tell yourself when an early 2-0 lead becomes a 2-2 tie. When the lead is rebuilt to 5-2, you figure maybe — maybe — the scenario developing won’t be worst-case. Then instead of remaining 5-2, the lead shrinks to 5-4, and you can sense where this is going. Yet when it goes in the other direction a little, to 6-4, you’re willing to believe (a little) that your harshest instincts might be a little too quick to come to the fore. I mean, yeah, they’re probably gonna blow it, but only probably.

Then you get 8-4 and you think, “I’d feel better if it were 9-4. At 9-4, I’ll stop with the doomsaying. There’s nothing magical about a five-run lead as opposed to a four-run lead, but if we’re up five runs going to the ninth inning, given that we haven’t given up a run since the fifth inning, then perhaps this is an evening destined to be defined by good rather than ill fortune.”

And the lead becomes 10-4 and the ninth inning is at hand, and you remember what it’s like to watch the end of a Mets game in something resembling psychic comfort.

Ergo, Zeiles of Approval® all around for the eight Mets who recorded fourteen hits, especially Tyrone Taylor, who registered four of them. Taylor had been so quiet with the bat for so long, I’d kind of forgotten that he can hit. And let’s power-pack a few Zs of A for our three homer-hitters from Wednesday night: Harrison Bader in the two-hole with a two-run blow to get us off on the right foot in the first; Starling Marte, who went very deep in the fifth; and Francisco Lindor, who led off the eighth with his eleventh of the season.

If we’re tipping hats, lids doffed to Carlos Mendoza or whatever analytical algorithm is responsible for jostling the lineup just enough to make a difference versus the preternaturally pesky Marlins. There was Bader batting second, J.D. Martinez third, Pete Alonso cleaning up, beloved-in-Belgium Jeff McNeil in the ol’ Nido nine slot, and Brandon Nimmo sitting and watching for a night against lefty Braxton Garrett. Garrett was pretty hapless for his not quite five frames of rubber-toeing. That wasn’t necessarily a function of not benefiting from Nimmo’s icy hole in the order, but we’ll never know. Lineup shaken, offense stirred.

David Peterson didn’t go much longer than his mound opponent, but he survived a full five, and though he gave up four runs and didn’t qualify for the all-important quality start designation, every out matters, especially within a staff where too many of them are dumped on the bullpen. Mendoza could call on Dependable Dedniel Nuñez to begin the sixth fresh, and Nuñez could begin polishing his acceptance speech for when they hand him the Nobel Prize in Relief Pitching. Dedniel faced seven batters and presented each with a gold watch, retiring one after another on the spot. Alas, it’s more likely Nuñez was thinking of how to say “see you soon” for committing the twin sins of having pitched two-and-a-third and possessing a minor-league option on the eve of Edwin Diaz’s reactivation, but the man deserves his own Approval Zeile.

The path cleared by the only Dedniel we’ve ever known did not grow cluttered by the efforts of either Jake Diekman or Reed Garrett. The Marlin defense didn’t do its pitchers any substantial favors. And did we mention ten Met runs on fourteen Met hits?

Relax, you told yourself when it was over. We won, which doesn’t happen as often as the alternative does. We won with minimal stress other than the kind we inflict upon ourselves, which almost never happens. We drifted off into dreamland not thinking the worst of our team. I’m not sure if that’s happened in months.

7 comments to The Rarely Explored Sea of Tranquility

  • Seth

    For this night at least, they did not resemble the Walking Dead.

  • Henry J Lenz

    The math is brutal. Only 3.5 games behind EIGHT teams for the final WC spot. Who play each other 200 more times. So four of those teams must win – almost daily. A Mets win keeps pace with some and a loss loses ground to some. Like last nite. Our win only gained a game on just the Pirates & Dbacks. We have to outplay All eight. Will 84 wins suffice? Can we even get there? We need a 20-10 run soon. But it’s still fun to watch :)

  • eric1973

    Just play well and we’ll pass half these teams by osmosis, because I still believe we have more talent than we show.

    Only one Dedniel in team history?
    I thought that was Jeff McNeil’s nickname.

    I did not know this until last night, but in the All in the Family episode where Archie gets stuck in the elevator, the Puerto Rican janitor’s name is Carlos Mendoza, played by the great Hector Elizondo.

    • Fantastic Oscar’s Cap-adjacent find!

      • eric1973

        Ah, yeah, that show’s got a couple of them. There was that episode where George Jefferson’s brother Henry acts as if he is George, when invited to dinner at the Bunkers with Louise.

        George Jefferson could not go because “he’s at Shea Stadium watching the Mets!”

  • Curt Emanuel

    Nice to have a stress-free win. Even there our defense didn’t help things. If Lindor makes a better play on a ground ball in the second it’s a different inning and if he doesn’t drop a ball on a tag nobody scores in the 5th.

    Nice of the Marlins to be even worse but still not a well-played game in the field.