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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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Fits and Starts

Since we’re Mets fans, we all knew the bullpen had issues. Since we’re adults, we all know progress isn’t always or even usually a smooth arc — it comes with fits and starts.

A day after blowing a big lead because of a nightmarish inning of relief, the Mets endured a bunch of bad luck, came back to tie it, had the game gift-wrapped for them, failed to capitalize on it, and saw another nightmarish inning of relief.


I’m up in Maine, and the first half of the game was glimpsed during and between chores — which meant lots and lots of shots of Luis Severino looking perturbed and trudging around after yet another Houston hit felled in. I was at my station when the Mets launched a furious comeback, with Brandon Nimmo’s swing and a drive the exclamation mark.

And then? Weather delay. A very long weather delay — a whole game’s worth, in fact. The game came back while we were in the car seeking dinner, and proceeded as an animated Gameday rectangle in the pub we like a few towns over.

We shrugged when the Astros cashed in their Manfred man, then exulted when Nimmo immediately switched places with Francisco Lindor. A bunt and a sac fly, a grounder to the right side and a contact play … there were so many ways to emerge with a victory, and yet none of them materialized. J.D. Martinez’s bat has cooled from incandescent, as will happen; he struck out. The Astros walked Pete Alonso. Harrison Bader grounded out, moving up the runners for Mark Vientos. Vientos has had a helluva month, but this is baseball, where even the hottest hitter fails more often than not.

Vientos grounded out and the Mets had missed a layup. They brought in Matt Festa, whom I’d never heard of before today and learned was a Met around 4 pm. The roof caved in on Festa: three singles, a pair of lineouts, a double. Gameday’s version of this was a steady drumbeat of IN PLAY, RUN(S).

The Mets lost. They fell back below .500. A sour note to end one of the best months in franchise history, but in stoppering our ears lets not forget that last part. The conversation’s different. Summer baseball need not be pointless and obligatory. And the arc of the season may yet point skyward.

3 comments to Fits and Starts

  • Ken K. in NJ

    ..the Astros cashed in their Manfred man

    I like that.

    Doo Wah Diddy Diddy to you too. Thanks!

  • Seth

    I get that the Asstros were the hottest team in June, but the Mets failed this test. They could have swept, or at least taken 2 out of 3. We can blame it on the bullpen mess, but there were missed opportunities here.

  • Orange and blue through and through

    I’ll be a Mets fan until I’m dead and gone, but I REALLY wanted 2 out of 3. After such a wonderful June, I wanted to hit the halfway mark above.500. But this bullpen scares the hell out of me.