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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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Show a Little Faith, There's Magic in the Night

I've got another Jason in my life. He's also a Mets fan and I also met him online and he's also very, very sharp; I have good luck with Jasons that way. The one I'm talking about here sent me the gift of prescience Tuesday:

Today marks 7 years since The Schilling Game. Which marks the day when I knew for sure that the '99 team was going to be a special team. And here we are playing the Phillies again. Let's hope that means good mojo…

I'd say Mr. Mojo is risin', wouldn't you? Mr. Beltran, Mr. Reyes, Mr. Oliver and all the Messrs. Met are plenty aloft these days and nights.

Mostly nights.

Have I mentioned that was one delightfully freaky win? I don't mean this was one delightfully freaky win. Don't misinterpret: At 14 pitchers used, 15 Met hits, 16 innings played, 17 runs total and 18 unconscionable teases that the end was near, it was delighfully freaky to the extreme. But I mean I must have mentioned some variation on “that was one delightfully freaky win” about a dozen times this season. Nationals, Padres, Giants, Pirates, Braves, Skanks…what's another breathtaking, heartstopping, pulsepounding, headscratching baseball game for the ages?

Someday, perhaps when the events of 2006 are known in full, this, like that day in May 1999, will be obscured by an incredible September and an unbelievable October. Maybe this, like the Sunday at Shea against Philly when Curt Schilling entered the bottom of the ninth up 4-0 and left it down, out and Oleruded 4-5, will become a footnote to another Pratt fall, another grand slam singular autumn — recalled by heart only by impassioned defenders of the Faith.

In a season that's 44 games old and already larded with surprise endings and shocking continuations, who would be surprised or shocked if we forgot a chapter here or there? How much more are we expected to remember?

We must remember this:

• Down 0-2, we tied it on homers by Wright and Floyd.

• Down 2-6, we chipped and chipped back to 5-6.

• Down 5-8…well, I wasn't thinking comeback or even tie. I was thinking about a Mets-Phillies game from 15 years ago, kind of the inverse of the Schilling game. It went only ten innings but it schlepped on for nearly five hours. The Mets had innumerable chances to win but chose to lose. It was the gakkiest of gakoff losses and that, I must admit, is where I thought we were headed again. Unlike my auxiliary Jason, I lack imagination.

• Down 5-8, the Mets would lack gak. We got to within 6-8, and then noted power hitter Jose Reyes golfed — eagled, Philadelphia — one to right.

• 8-8. A highly improbable 8-8 at that.

And so it stayed and stayed and stayed. Except for his being a Phillie, I really admired the hell out of Ryan Madson. Wanted to snap him like a twig, but he would have just regained his form and retired Carlos Delgado. He's my Schaefer Player of the Game…would be, except for his being a Phillie.

The guy I was rooting for to end it — understanding that I'm not picky and anybody we traded for in the course of the evening whose last name wasn't Bin Laden or Jeter would have won my unyielding affection with a timely, well-placed single — was Carlos Beltran. I think he's been, in his librarylike fashion, our best player for weeks. Not perfect, not noticed, not lucky (I think he got his hand back on the bag, but my thoughts don't count for spit), but steady. Even in a slump, he's whisper-quietly gotten his share of big hits and nice catches. The only thing missing was something that isn't missing anymore.

Good for the man I referred to as Belly in a fit of nickname auditioning. Certainly had fire within it in the sixteenth. That appellation came somewhere back in the early innings, or what archaeologists will no doubt refer to as the Trachsezoic Epoch, a period of spottily recorded history that few will remember given its utter irrelevance as it pertained to the Evolution of Met, a phenomenon that went something like this on May 23, 2006:

He oozed out of the muck.

He learned to crawl.

He straightened up a bit.

And now he walks, head held high.

Walks off with a win that looked impossible for hours on end, that is.

Suddenly, I'm so very tired.

But not of games like these.

5 comments to Show a Little Faith, There's Magic in the Night

  • Anonymous

    Another entry into the “Small Facts We'll Probably Forget By the End Of the Year” Department…in San Diego, our old friend Mike (the “other” Mike) Cameron gets a ribbie in a W over the Braves. Another nail…

  • Anonymous

    Ah, that Schilling game.
    I was in Los Angeles for work and wanted to catch a game at Dodger Stadium, which lived up to its billing as a beautiful place. (I was shocked how much better designed and maintained than Shea it was despite being older.) The game was Dodgers/Cardinals, complete with a brawl (they played “Bad Boys” instead of stonily pretending nothing was happening, as they do at Shea), and I kept looking at the scoreboard. But I could see Schilling was on the mound and since the out-of-town scoreboard said PHI 4 NYM 0 9, I didn't have a lot of hope. Zero, in fact.
    Nobody in Dodger Stadium could quite understand why one idiot down the right-field land started jumping up and down in astonished delight when the board changed to NYM 5 PHI 4 F. Then I sped back to my hotel room eager to know what miracle had taken place.
    Roger Cedeno may not be a good memory, but remembering Roger Cedeno drumming his heels on the ground in glee will always make me smile.

  • Anonymous

    Three specific tidbits:
    1) Rain delayed the start. Dreary afternoon. Dreary result in the making. Stephanie was at the ballet. Lingered on the couch, giving up. Just get this over so I can take a shower already (won't reveal my state of readiness to hit the shower for our more sensitive readers).
    2) Ventura got things going with a home run that hit the chain link fence that separated the Mets bullpen from that pile of lumber underneath the scoreboard. It bounced right off the top of it and Fran Healy called it a “snow fence,” something I'd never heard before or heard since.
    3) When Cedeno slid in safe on a play that seemed closer than necessary and I was in full pound-and-whoop mode, I saw Schilling marching grimly off the mound and told Bernie and Casey, “I HATE THAT GUY!” I thought of that declaration every time Schilling went out and beat the Yankees in future postseasons. I'll always appreciate his work with the Diamondbacks and Red Sox, but really he'll always be the Phillie who couldn't get three outs. Good old Curt.

  • Anonymous

    It wasn't a beauty, but hey, it's all right.

  • Anonymous

    I was following the game via laptop for most of the night, and slipped off into a funk when the Phils went up to 8. I checked it again later just to see what the final damage was and cheered out loud to see it was tied up — got in a little trouble since everyone else was sleeping.
    These are the kinds of things that happen in a special season. Something is most certainly brewing here!