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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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Christmas in June

In the sixty-eighth game of the season, our Metsies gave to us…

Sixty-Five Minutes of Waiting: The forecast in Queens promised downpours Friday night, and the downpours were indeed delivered. The only ones that delayed play came before the first pitch, which follows a 2024 pattern. Five times this year the Mets have played ball after a tarp covered the field at their scheduled start time, yet to this point, they haven’t endured a single in-game rain delay. Clear skies are considered a lock for the rest of this weekend, followed by three games in a stadium with a retractable roof. Feeling pretty good that I haven’t jinxed anything.

Nine Averages Bracketed: Nobody in the Met lineup finished Friday night hitting as high as .300, but neither did any of our on-and-off offense-providers leave Citi Field batting less than .200. If a third consecutive win is what an average offensive team can produce, then by all means LGM (let’s get middling).

Eight Places Spacing: After topping the San Diego Padres, 3-2, Mets are a mere three games from a Wild Card slot, and have to pass only St. Louis, Cincinnati, San Francisco, Arizona, Pittsburgh, Washington and Chicago to claim it. Traffic can be a real hassle in these parts.

Seven Spirits Spooking: I count seven Friars from Friday night’s box score who were members of San Diego’s 2022 squad, five of whom participated in that October’s dreadful National League Wild Card Series, all of which transpired in Flushing, little of it to positive effect. Sooner or later, associations with postseason debacles fade, and you can look at a once-grudgeworthy opponent as just another guest in your ballpark. I’m not quite there yet where the sight of the Padres at Citi is concerned. Mostly it was the brown and yellow trim on the uniforms more than any given foe that inflicted me with chills twenty months later, though. to be fair, those threads mainly made me think of how best to adorn a Cuban sandwich.

Six Ballgames Under: The 31-37 Mets are as close to .500 as they’ve been since they sat as the 21-27 Mets 24 days ago. It’s something to be proud of only when it’s recalled that less than two weeks ago they wallowed at eleven games under. Progress is relative.

Five Golden Innings: Sean Manaea’s recent backsliding — eleven earned runs total in two decidedly non-quality starts — reversed itself. Sean pushed himself into the sixth, allowing only a solo home run to rookie phenom Jackson Merrill (he’s certainly been phenomenal this week). Manaea’s final hitter was Luis Arraez. Arraez nicked him for a base hit. Arraez nicks everybody for a base hit. Back-to-back-to-back evenings of starters not necessitating overly quick hooks is a recipe for not losing. Sometimes it even leads to wins for both the team and its starting pitcher.

Four Hits Sufficing: The Mets pulled out their victory Thursday night by making the most of three hits, the last of which was the quintessence of unpiddling. On Friday, the attack grew frisky with four whole safeties. Two occurred in the same inning; one of those was a double that brought home two runs, thanks to a walk setting that particular table. Four hits or fewer have been enough to manufacture a win on 173 occasions in their 63-year franchise history. We’ve just seen two of them in a little over 24 hours.

Three Halting Runner: Did your eyes deceive you when, as Adam Ottavino pitched, Arraez took off from first and was cut down on a throw from Francisco Alvarez to Jeff McNeil? They did not. We’ve seen the National League and its counterpart run wild on Ottavino; we’ve seen Alvarez throw out nobody; and we’ve seen McNeil drop the baseball in the process of tagging, yet this trio teamed up to actually erase a Padre from the basepaths. OK, so it took Luis oversliding second to assure this outcome, but that’s his problem.

Two Initials Raking: J.D. the DH was the HR hero the night before, and it was his 2B that provided the pair of Rs the Mets posted on the scoreboard Friday en route to their 2-1 W. A cynic might observe Martinez is the only Met driving anybody in these days. A cynic should go outside and check to see if it’s raining.

One Closer Closing: After Ottavino, Jake Diekman and Sean Reid-Foley caused no discernible tsuris in relief of Manaea, who was gonna protect our one-run lead going to the ninth? Who else but Edwin Diaz? So what if he pitched the night before? He’s back, baby! He’s back in the save column for the first time since May 6, at any rate, and he’s back on speed dial as the first option for Carlos Mendoza as long as Sugar’s not been overused. Edwin’s plenty rested. Give the man some leads. We’re brimming with confidence when he appears. Well, not overcome by dread. For Mets fans amid a one-run lead heading to the ninth, to not be overcome by dread is to brim with confidence.

4 comments to Christmas in June

  • Curt Emanuel

    That was a well played game. Nice that Diaz got a save and is hitting 100 with the FB. Maybe shoulder impingement wasn’t code for, “He’s struggling right now. Let’s give him a little time off.”

    I was as encouraged by Ottavino as anything. Him being reliable again would be big.

    Suddenly we’re winning one-run games. Sweet.

  • eric1973

    Does Gary Cohen ever espouse anything except total nonsense?

    He is like a nonstop babbling machine.

    He must be the most annoying human being on the planet.

    One day, I will tell you what I really think.

  • eric1973

    This being June 15th, I am reading this book, “From First to Worst: NY Mets 1973-1977” and lo and behold, the chapter I happened to be up to today was “The Midnight Massacre,” an amazing coincidence, I assure you.

    Seaver had an agreement, in principle, to extend his contract through 1979. And then the Dick Young article, and then he said to “get me out of here.”

    This book pales in comparison, of course, to our very own Greg Prince tome, which I read last year, “The Happiest Recap: 50+ Years of the New York Mets As Told in 500+ Amazin’ Wins.”