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Jason Fry and Greg Prince
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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So now it's three times that the Mets have won the first two games of a series at Turner Field. Seeing as how we've switched off our vacuum cleaners, I do not believe it is too much to ask for a broom.

We're done sucking. We must start sweeping.

It isn't all for naught if we don't take three of three, but what's stopping us? We owe Kyle Davies for last week and we owe Steve Trachsel a little more than he's received from us in the past, if just to make up for the jerking around he's taken in the rotation. Not that I haven't supported it on occasion or abandoned him now and then, but when researching yesterday's post about the Mets' jarring lack of follow-through at Turner Field, I couldn't help but notice how many times S. Trachsel got S. Crewed, pitching just well enough to lose to a team that didn't know how not to win, certainly when it came to winning against us.

Let's put that behind us, much the way we've put behind us the notion that we can't escape tight ninth innings in that tired pile of bricks, just like we're putting behind us a road trip that would have rendered us inoperative in the past, almost any past. We've played nine games on this journey, three in San Francisco where little usually goes right and two in Atlanta where everything always goes wrong. In the face of travel and history and time zone tomfoolery, we're 6-3 with one to go. The key phrase is one to go. Need that be explained?

The Mets are seven games up on everybody. The Mets haven't ever been seven games up and given them all back. In 1972 — the achy-breaky year when a Carlos Beltran wouldn't have returned as he did Saturday night — our high-water mark was 6-1/2 ahead before injuries and the Pirates drowned us. In none of the other seasons when we played footsie with first without eventually winning did we build any kind of tremendously substantial lead. Say this for the Mets: They haven't captured many divisional flags, but they haven't blown many either.

Can't control what the Phillies, Nats and Fish do today (yes, I'm still tracking the Marlins; you never know until you know), but we've got the very next game the Braves play in our hands. It wouldn't kill us to return home with a six-game margin over them. It wouldn't kill us to make it eight, either.

We're nine over .500 for the first time since the end of 2000. We got to eight over in the 128th game of 2005 and then slipped our way to four under three weeks later before recovering to four over. There is no particular magic in being nine over after 23 dates as we are now. There is no irreparable harm in being eight over after 24. It wouldn't kill us to make it ten over, either.

What I'm saying is I really want a win today. It's strange territory, being in Atlanta wanting a win instead of needing a win. Good teams don't know the difference.

We've got a good team.


  • Anonymous

    I was at a first-communion party this afternoon at a restaurant
    in hostile territory (the north shore of Staten Island, near where
    the Yankees farm team plays), so I didn't see much of the game,
    just a stolen few minutes here and there when I could get away to
    the restaurant's deserted bar and glimpse one of the TV's (the
    other was of course tuned to YES).
    But I did see Reyes work out a hard-earned two-out walk in the
    eighth to drive in a run, close the deficit to 8-5, and bring up Kaz
    Matsui with the bases loaded.
    Now, anywhere in the baseball world, from high school ball
    up to the world series, when a pitcher walks in a run like that,
    what's he gonna try to do on the very next pitch?
    Everybody in the bar (me and the bartender), everybody in
    Turner Field, everybody in creation knew what was coming
    next. No way was that pitcher going to try to paint a corner
    and risk getting behind again. He was going to throw a pitch
    that no umpire in the world could possibly call a ball.
    Sweet and straight and right down the middle.
    Everybody knew it, that is, except Kaz Matsui. The bat
    never left his shoulder, and I let out a groan. “That was
    your pitch, Kaz! That was the one!”
    What had been a plausible hope of a comeback and a
    sweep died with the fat popping sound of that pitch hitting
    the catcher's glove. Matsui fouled off strike two and then
    flew out to left to finish his first oh-fer of the year. The rally
    died, the bartender changed the channel and I moped back
    into the party just in time for the “cha cha slide.”
    Man, I hate that song.