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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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I'll Hold My Applause

Not for Tom Glavine, who thoroughly earned No. 298 by baffling every Red who wasn't named Brandon Phillips. Glavine gets claps until my hands are sore. Same for the Mets' defense — the back-to-back sparklers from Gotay and Reyes will get the highlights, but David Wright had another quietly impressive game in the field. (Though given all that he's been through, Lastings Milledge should really, really make sure he knows how many outs there are.) Oh, and Ralph Kiner gets applause on his night, of course. I'll leave the word picture of the night at Shea to Greg, who was there.

But the offense gets nothing but a frosty stare. You want applause, fellas? Sorry. You made Matt Belisle look like Tom Seaver, somehow converted 11 hits into two runs, and a bloop double and a bounder single were all that kept Glavine's superhuman performance from going down as a monumentally frustrating 1-0 loss against the second-worst team in the major leagues.

Perhaps Lesson #1 from Howard Johnson can be about working a count, particularly with runners on. (Let Rickey pitch in — that man worked a count better than any hitter in the history of the game.) The Mets started out fairly well in this regard — in the first, Beltran, Wright and Delgado saw 20 pitches between them in that situation. But things went downhill from there, until the Mets were playing like they had a one-run lead three outs from an official game and the rain was tumbling from the sky. Green hit a weak pop-up to the shortstop in the fourth with Lo Duca on first; Delgado flied out to left in the sixth with Wright on first; Reyes flied out to center in the seventh with Glavine on first. Three lead-off runners left exactly where they were a pitch before. Yes, I know Milledge won the game on a first-pitch single, but a lot of times that's a comebacker to the pitcher and more boos. You can fall out of a window into a giant pile of unclaimed money, but that doesn't make swan dives from apartments a good idea. As for the booing, I don't think the fans were booing specific players (the Carloses sure heard it, but so did Wright) as much as they were booing the lack of an apparent game plan from the hitters. And I don't blame them — I was sure booing from the comfort of my couch.

Maybe this is an ungrateful reaction and I should be jumping up and down over what could be called a taut 2-1 win. But this team's not playing well enough to earn that — we've all seen too many such wins followed by torpid performances or blowouts. (As my blog brother chronicled so ably and chillingly one post back.) So, sorry — I'll hold my applause pending further evidence of actual decent baseball.

2 comments to I'll Hold My Applause

  • Anonymous

    To some extent, a rookie starter is a pretty reliable weapon against any Met team, but the Mets can't even really use that excuse for their lack of patience/clutchness. Belisle supposedly has the worst BAA with RISP in baseball (.386 coming into the night) but the Mets seemed to think it was the other way around.
    In Milledge's defense, it's always better to underestimate the number of outs than to overestimate it. Like, say, tossing the second out into the stands…

  • Anonymous

    I agree about the booing the situation..about 80%. There were some grumbles in my section solely directly at Delgado, who at least managed to hit three balls the opposite way, and collected hits friday. Beltran has three of the six Mets walks in the last two days. It's the situational working the count that's alluding them, they remember pounding opposing pitchers last year and get hasty and jump the gun. Relax guys.