The blog for Mets fans
who like to read


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.

Got something to say? Leave a comment, or email us at (Sorry, but we have no interest in ads, sponsored content or guest posts.)

Need our RSS feed? It's here.

Visit our Facebook page, or drop by the personal pages for Greg and Jason.

Or follow us on Twitter: Here's Greg, and here's Jason.

Expectations and Belief

“You gotta believe,” you may have heard once or twice in your life over these past 49 years. And you really do, especially in April. If you’re giving up this soon, it’s a long May through September in front of you. Yet here in the early won-lost portion of the season, when records are instantly recognizable to me in terms of Mets clubs who’ve had them before, I can remember not necessarily wrapping my doubts in a reassuring cloak of belief because, well, as much as you gotta believe, you also gotta believe what you’re trying to believe.

For instance, when the Mets won their first three games of this season, I remembered they won their first three games of the season ten years ago. I didn’t really believe in the 2012 New York Mets three games in. I believed I liked they were 3-0 and I hoped it was indicative of success over the next 159 games, but I didn’t expect much. Some years are like that. Some years, if you’re lucky, your expectations are dashed for the better. For a while, the 2012 Mets were outrunning what was expected of them. I barely budged from my certainty that it was all illusory and temporary. As they approached the All-Star break in still pretty good shape, I allowed to myself that maybe there was something there.

There wasn’t. The 2012 Mets, quick break from the gate notwithstanding, dropped off the face of the playoff race before July turned to August and finished 74-88. I never really got my hopes up, thus I didn’t feel much of a thud when the team crashed to where they were originally expected to land.

Other than the 3-0 and now 5-2 starts, I don’t know what else the 2022 Mets have in common with the 2012 Mets or any other Mets club that came before. We’ve only seen seven games from this edition. One road trip down, everything else to go. But I do know I expect good things.

How good, I’m not certain. Good, certainly.

This 5-2 Mets team is feeding into my expectations and my belief. A bounty of baseball spreads out before us. How can you not want to look forward to more? So what if they can’t go 162-0? They can go 160-2! Should clear horizons turn to abyss, as the preliminarily promising seasons of 20, 30 and 40 years ago did — we had high or at least high-ish expectations entering 1982, 1992 and 2002, all of which were not so much dashed as detonated — then we can revisit the process of raising one’s hopes next April. For now, these Mets who were supposed to be a damn sight better than they were last year are clearly a damn sight better, and perhaps then some.

After their finale in Philadelphia, they’re 5-2. If that itself does not provide compelling proof (it’s only seven games) perhaps those who’ve engineered the club’s winning ways to date can give us reason to believe and expect, expect and believe.

On the seventh day, corresponding with the fifth win, there was Max Scherzer. You’ve heard of him. He’s a New York Met now, with two starts under his belt. The results have been quite Scherzerian in that the team he pitches for, which is now the New York Mets (seems worth repeating at every turn), won. Scherzer went only five, with a lot of pitches in the first, but he gave up only one run. The one run he seemed to take personally, like he swore to himself that he’ll never let it happen again. You’re gonna bet against Max’s interior monologue? Because if you are, I’m sure MLB has an app to enable you.

There was also Pete Alonso, another Met with whom I’ll wager you’re familiar. Alonso matched Scherzer’s innings with runs batted in: five, three of them on a back-breaking home run, at least before a few Mets relievers attempted reconstructive surgery on the Phillies’ spine. Alonso DH’d on Wednesday afternoon. I worry about Pete with all that extra time on his hands during defensive innings. I picture legitimate businessman Tony Soprano planting himself at Barone Sanitation on advice of counsel in order to keep himself out of trouble and not responding well to remaining in what amounts to captivity for eight hours a day. Will Pete create a basketball pool? (MLB would probably enable that, too.) Get a little too friendly with the office staff? Develop a rash? Or will he just keep his head in the game despite not having a glove on his hand? His bat spoke volumes to the affirmative.

There were and are the Black Friday Three: Starling Marte, Eduardo Escobar and Mark Canha, a collective I will someday de-link and treat as individuals, but for now, I lovingly lump them together since they all signed with the Mets amid the same post-Thanksgiving shopping spree and, in their new team’s first seven games, have proven a bargain. Canha’s on-base percentage is .500, Escobar’s a tick below that at .481. If they’re your benchmarks, please update your cliché to, “Remember, in baseball, even the best players fail approximately half the time.” Although he hasn’t reached base nearly as often, Marte seems to be doing everything else. He’s brought speed to the bases and an arm to right field, having legged out a critical run in the fourth after cutting down a potential opposition double in the second. Marte gives off the aura of knowing what he’s doing on the diamond and actually doing it. You don’t always get that combination.

The Mets still have Brandon Nimmo, who is tied with Alonso for the team lead in homers with two; they still have Francisco Lindor, whose hustle on a would-be ground ball double play kept alive the sixth so it could continue on to Pete’s three-run dinger. And they have Edwin Diaz as the firewall of a bullpen that wasn’t keen on not immolating a segment of a seven-run lead. Sugar managed to not blow the remaining four-run advantage when he entered in the ninth…which sounds like damnation with faint praise, but in shallow Citizens Bank Bandbox, every out is deeply appreciated.

The Mets also absorbed three additional bruises from being hit by pitches on Wednesday. Nobody had to be removed out of an abundance of caution and no mounds needed charging. Still, it’s not a positive development when your team has more HBPs (10) than games played. Also, the post-Scherzer, pre-handshakes portion of the pitching staff is still, generously speaking, a work in progress. Diaz did Diaz. Lugo was sharp. Reid-Foley, Rodriguez and Ottavino weren’t. Buck Showalter’s still calculating who is capable of doing what when. It’s not something he could truly know in advance and it wasn’t something that was able to be addressed en masse during this briefest of Spring Trainings. Prefab bullpens are hard to come by, what with all the supply chain issues. Since Clayton Kershaw wasn’t doing anything Wednesday afternoon once he’d thrown seven perfect innings, you’d figure Steve Cohen could’ve sent a plane to Minneapolis to hire him for the rest of the day. That may not jibe with any of the most recent spate of rules changes, however.

Met imperfections aside, we can now count a 9-6 win to end the road trip; a 5-2 record on the road; a Home Opener on deck; and expectations of a team that’s supposed to be good being so far met. You don’t gotta believe, but you might as well.

When the Mets come home on Friday, they’ll be starting their fourteenth season at Citi Field. Where the time has gone and how the suddenly no longer “new” ballpark has held up for thirteen years is the main topic on the latest episode of National League Town, which you can listen to here or wherever you take your podcasts.

4 comments to Expectations and Belief

  • Scott M

    The title of this post brings to mind the difference between Mets and Yankees fans. The spoiled rotten Yankees fan expects success no matter what but jumps ship if success isn’t apparent while we Believe no matter what, win or lose, hell or high water…

  • Seth

    Well, I definitely see 2022 having a lot in common with 2021 so far — remember they started 7-3 and were in 1st place for a couple of months last year? Weak situational hitting (though thanks for last night, Pete), outstanding pitching. When the pitching succumbed (injuries, etc), the hitting didn’t pick up, and the team toileted.

    Let’s hope the similarities end soon…

  • eric1973

    Another thing to LOVE about Buck:
    When TC was the manager, the first thing he did at his PRE-game presser was to announce to the world, which happened to include the opposing team, who was unavailable for that day’s game. This gave the opposition a great advantage, and certainly cost us a few games. TC was not the brightest guy in the world.

    When asked to reveal this same info by the press, Buck has already said on ‘numerous’ ocassions, “Why would I announce this before a game to help the opposing team?”