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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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Must Be the Season of the Pitch

You know you're going well when your replacement second baseman who wins you the game the night before is replaced by another replacement second baseman and the only thing you are left to replace is the latest win on top of the pile of them. From our heinous roster to Argenis Reyes in a matter of weeks…nice.

You know you're going well when your bullpen, previously sponsored by Much Maligned — I had gotten to thinking the Mets' Much Maligned Bullpen was its official name — is a freestanding entity of valor and accomplishment. At the end of the game yesterday, DiamondVision announced the star of the afternoon was the combined corps of Muniz, Heilman, Schoeneweis and Wagner for their five hitless innings. A cheer went up. Ten minutes ago, Carlos Muniz was the most popular member of that crew and that was only because nobody knew who he was.

You know you're going well when a five-man one-hitter is impressive but only three times more impressive than what you'd grown used to over four straight games. The one hit, delivered by Colorado thorn Brad “Hippity” Hawpe, arrived so early that it dissolved all tension before it could develop, reminding me of my very first win at Shea 34 years earlier, a Jon Matlack one-hitter so matter-of-fact it didn't make the why-why-why? non-no-hitter cut.

You know you're going well when Pedro Martinez leaves with tightness in one or two places, you are told it's precautionary, that it's no big deal and you believe it.

You know you're going well when Jose Reyes hits the Smith on the Citi Smith Barney ad at the base of the scoreboard and Smith doesn't sue.

You know you're going well when Carlos Delgado lollygags as he scores on a Brian Schneider double and it's no cause for criticism and only a little for concern.

You know you're going well when Fernando Tatis is your No. 5 hitter and it's no cause for concern, just jubilation.

You know you're going well when David Wright is all glove even if he is, for a day, no bat.

You know you're going well when you can can't finagle a Build-A-Bear, not being or having a kid, and you really don't mind. It's not like it's something awesome like a foam finger.

You know you're going well when the kid in front of you jumps up and down continuously — not continually, but continuously — for nine innings and you really don't mind that either (though they might want to think about laying in a Ritalin Day next homestand).

You know you're going well when you're introduced to your Shea Goodbye seven-pack seats in Upper Deck, Section 3, Row Q and instead of bitching about the hike, you're impressed with the vista you'll have for the final game. Row Q is covered, even.

You know you're going well when you're reintroduced to the U-Haul sign which had been hiding from everyone below Upper Deck, Row Q since Opening Day and it's like

You know you're going well when your friend Andrea who hasn't joined you for a game in four years or for a win in eight years offers to drive and you guide her to a spot in the Marina and it's a summer festival over there. I don't ever remember the World's Fair Marina being so full of tailgates and football tosses. I remember it being mostly deserted, but that was, literally, in the last century.

You know you're going well when your semi-regular Saturday stop & chat with CharlieH produces from his wallet a 1974 Cleon Jones card, which was highly attractive, though right now I'll take a 2008 Fernando Tatis in left.

You know you're going well when you find Kevin from Flushing standing next to you between Sections 1 and 2 of the Upper Deck, right where you both said you'd be even though it took each of you about a minute to look up and figure out you were who you were supposed to be. Then again, it took the Mets three months to do the same.

You know you're going well when a total stranger recognizes you on the way out from your blog, even though he calls you Jason (which I'll take as a compliment). Thanks for saying hi, Matt.

You know you're going well when you've made it through an entire day at Shea and realized you've not heard one sustained boo.

You know you're going well when you've begun the final page of The Log with a win.

You know you're going well when you remember clearly a pre-All-Star hot streak from 1991 (seven straight, all on the road) and 1996 (four straight before the final Sunday) and the granddaddy of all pre-All Star hot streaks (1990's 26-5), and even though you know those seasons' second halves tailed off, you don't worry 'cause you're enjoying your team and their eight-game winning streak and their sudden half-game distance from first place far, far too much.

You know you're going well. Is there any better feeling?

13 comments to Must Be the Season of the Pitch

  • Anonymous

    You know you're going well when Carlos Delgado lollygags as he scores on a Brian Schneider double and it's no cause for criticism and only a little for concern.
    It all depends on your perspective. If you recall, I e-mailed you from a spring training game because Delgado left the game, and he had been running so poorly before he left that I thought he was injured.
    You watched the play and thought he lollygagged. I watched the play (albeit on TV) and was pleased to see that he made it home. The man does not look comfortable on the bases unless he's rounding them after a home run.
    In any event, it was a good game. Who thought that we could be happy about a game where Pedro left after four innings?

  • Anonymous

    Perhaps Carlos was saving whatever pep he has for a closer play, but that looked like jogging in a situation that called for running. We won't get one-hitters every day.
    (Ah, complaining about the Mets not hustling…it's like riding a bicycle.)

  • Anonymous

    I actually thought he ran fine, at least when he rounded third. Maybe I wasn't paying that close attention to him. Does the third base coach have signs for 'you are going to make it' maybe?
    There was one sustained boo, when the pitcher was repeatedly throwing over to first to try to pick off..I think it was Argenis Reyes.
    The Mets finally have the season under their control again. They control their own destiny. Philly has run out of “It's okay, we're still in first” losses. I suspect they might be done with those for the decade.

  • Anonymous

    From our heinous roster to Argenis Reyes in a matter of weeks…nice.
    That's gold, Greg.

  • Anonymous

    If not for Chuck Merriweather's pin-sized strike zone, we might have had the combined no-hitter. He seemed to call the low strike sometimes, but there were no corners. The first pitch to 'Hippity' Hawpe was a curve that I thought for sure was a strike–that wasn't. But, hey, at least the Rockies don't have one yet either.

  • Anonymous

    except they've been around for like 5 minutes.
    Seriously, it's gonna happen one of these days. It'd be awesome to see it on Thursday at Mets at the Movies!

  • Anonymous

    i was two inches from stealing a build a bear yesterday and couldn't get one. i was about to whip out a $20 and start waving it in parents' faces.

  • Anonymous

    There was another pretty strong boo, at least where I was sitting, in the loge on the third base side: At the ump's foul call on A-Reyes's eighth-inning line shot into the leftfield corner, which seemed to all of us to have landed fair by a ball's width, and would have easily plated J-Reyes from second. A-Reyes whiffed at the next pitch, ending the inning.

  • Anonymous

    I'm glad you recalled our conversation. “Was Delgado on third?”
    Again, great to finally meet you.

  • Anonymous

    Mary Jane and I wonder how you managed to get a build-a-bear (when once on a kids only giveaway our plea on behalf of a non-existant sick newphew met with death ears)?
    Were you dressed in knickers and holding a giant lollypop to appear like a very big 12-year old?

  • Anonymous

    Typo! Meant to type “can't,” not can. Must be visions of that kid jumping up and down playing tricks with my proofreading.
    Didn't mean to imply I got a bear. I came away empty in that respect…and that respect only.
    But the knickers and lollypop are an intriguing notion for the Santana bobblehead.

  • Anonymous

    You wouldn't really dress up like Joe Besser and go to Shea looking like “Stinky” just to get a free Santana bobblehead, would you?
    I'm going to check the schedule to be sure it's the first 25,000 that get a Billy Wagner bobblehead on August 10th otherwise I might share those knickers with you.

  • Anonymous

    Pictures! We want pictures!