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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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8 For 8

Every few hours, I like to check and see if our magic number has decreased…

it has.

All day it’s been like this. We keep reducing our number every 3 hours and we have 8 left, therefore, at this rate, we’ll clinch by this time tomorrow.

Not really.

An alert to our affiliates along the Faith and Fear network: We cannot clinch this weekend. Repeat, we cannot clinch this weekend. Even an optimal quartet with the Dodgers, by no means a given, combined with a Phillies’ 4-game drop on top of what they lost tonight wouldn’t do it because, while you were flinging rocks and garbage at the Braves’ team bus, the Marlins were winning and pulling into a tie for second.

Boy were they ever.

8.01: Halfway There. In Miami, Anibal Sanchez threw the 4th no-hitter in Marlins’ history. He joins Al Leiter, Kevin Brown and A.J. Burnett in having turned the trick in the past decade and change. Keep it up and they’ll have 8 no-hitters by early 2017. And of course we’ll never have any.

8.02: Why Couldn’t Have McCovey Just Hit the Ball Two Feet Lower? On October 8, 2000, a line-drive double off the bat of Jeff Kent eluded Robin Ventura’s leap. Bobby Jones had to settle for a 1-hitter to clinch the National League Division Series for the Mets. Not a bad little consolation prize.

8.03: Do You Have a Nephew Named Anthony? On July 8, 1969, Cub centerfielder Don Young misplayed two balls at Shea, turning a 3-1 Chicago lead into a 4-3 Met win on the afternoon many point to as the day the home team became a legitimate contender. If it wasn’t that day, it was the next night when Tom Seaver no-hit Young’s teammates but not his replacement, Jimmy Qualls.

8.04: Eric Byrnes Looked Safe to Me. NBC chose to televise the Mets-Cubs game of September 7, 1984 and Doc Gooden did not disappoint. He no-hit the Cubs, with his biggest scare coming when Ray Knight couldn’t handle a fairly routine ball off the bat of Keith Moreland. What? They ruled that a HIT? YOU CAN’T BE SERIOUS! The next day, September 8, Flushing Meadow hosted a dramatic day and night of U.S. Open action, none of which mattered to me except that I called the Copper Top pub on Fowler Avenue and asked if they were showing the big Mets-Cubs game via satellite. “No,” the woman who answered the phone told me. “We’re watching tennis.” So was Walt Terrell: Rick Sutcliffe beat him 6-love and the Mets dropped 7 back. The next day, the Mets took the rubber game and native Chicagoan Brent Musberger smirkily played “Cubsbusters” during The NFL Today, because all our win got us was 6 back with 3 weeks to go.

8.05: Of Course He Would Debut in Spring. Preternaturally sunny Gary Carter, our greatest No. 8, was born on April 8, 1954. He would grow up to catch no no-hitters for the Mets.

8.06: Daddy, What’s an Expo? Montreal joined the league of Major cities on April 8, 1969, defeating the Mets in New York 11-10. The Montreal Expos would gain their 1st no-hitter a mere 8 games later when Bill Stoneman tossed one at Connie Mack Stadium. Their 2nd no-hitter came against the Mets on October 2, 1972 at Parc Jarry, also Stoneman’s. The Expos, Connie Mack Stadium and Parc Jarry no longer exist. But the defunct franchise has 2 additional no-hitters to tits credit, by Charlie Lea in 1981 (caught by Gary Carter) and Dennis Martinez (a perfecto against L.A. in which 5 past or future Mets — none of them then-Dodger Carter — accounted for 15 outs) in 1991. The Expos and Marlins, connected mainly by hellbound Jeffrey Loria, have combined for 8 no-hitters.

8.07: An Exclusive Club. When Sanchez retired Byrnes, the entire Marlins’ dugout emptied to congratulate him. So did the Dolphin Stadium stands. My bad — the Dolphin Stadium stands were empty. Paid attendance for the 4th no-hitter in Florida Marlin history on a night when the team was fiercely and miraculously competing for a playoff spot: 8. Check the highlights; I’m exaggerating only slightly.

8.08: It’s Complete. Growing up, I saw Yogi Berra wear No. 8 for the Mets. I saw him coach for the Mets. I saw him manage the Mets. I saw him withstand a torrent of criticism as he guided the Mets in the last-place summer of 1973. And I read all his allegedly nonsensical statements about when it’s over and when it’s not after he made them, as a Met in prelude to the magnificent pennant-winning autumn of 1973. Imagine my surprise to learn we were just a detour for him and that the most famous thing he ever did was jump into Don Larsen’s arms on October 8, 1956, wearing somebody else’s No. 8. No Met catcher embraced any Met pitcher for any similar reason during Yogi’s 11-season rest stop with us.

10 comments to 8 For 8

  • Anonymous

    “My bad — the Dolphin Stadium stands were empty. Paid attendance for the 4th no-hitter in Florida Marlin history on a night when the team was fiercely and miraculously competing for a playoff spot: 8.”
    lmao.
    The sad part is, that's 8 people more than have ever been in the stands during a Mets no-hitter. …and perhaps 8 more than ever will.

  • Anonymous

    For all the tennis/US Open badmouthing — and Those Who RIde the 7 Train For Sport should stick together, in my opinion — it is worth noting that after his quarterfinal win this afternoon, James Blake (a son of Yonkers) was wearing a Beltran jersey on Arthur Ashe while serving up autographed tennis balls to the fans.

  • Anonymous

    Fair point vis-a-vis Blake. He was spotted taking BP at Shea last homestand. Any participant in any sport who tacitly admits that his/her sport is subordinate to Mets baseball (as all sports and all activities are) is OK by me. I hope he wins so he can use his influence to have the inane barriers removed at what is, six months out of every year, our stop.

  • Anonymous

    I witnessed in person points 8.02 and 8.04. 2 highlights of my Shea going lifetime to be sure. (The clincher in 1986 had to top it, or wait, was it when the Mets came back from 8-1 vs the braves??)
    October baseball back at Shea. Nice.

  • Anonymous

    Damn, you're a mind reading genius!!! Watching ESPN this morning all I was thinking about was watching that Cubs-Mets game at UMass and screaming at Ray Knight for first not fielding it cleanly, and second for not making a bad throw on purpose to make it a sure error. SOB never even made a throw at all.
    Of course that SOB was forgiven a couple of years later.
    -SJG

  • Anonymous

    8.67: The closest the Mets have ever come to what rookie Annibal Sanchez rather matter-of-factly accomplished last night. Almost 8: the closest Pedro has come to a no-hitter in Met colors. Incidentally, it was against last year's Dodgers. We didn't, of course, win, but that was a bad habit we've had the last few years. This year, we've broken it.

  • Anonymous

    The current situation makes this seem unlikely, but, it is, in fact, our 45th season as a franchise…and we do have a rather capable pitcher wearing No. 45. I'm just saying.

  • Anonymous

    Here's one for No. 7: Joseee, Jose, Jose, Joseeeee…Josee, Josee! What took you so long, El Prof?

  • Anonymous

    The Mets may not be in a pennant race, but the Cyclones sure as hell were. They just clinched the Wild Card in their final game on a walk off throwing error in the 12th! They started 0-7 and finished 41-33! Guess who they're facing in the first round? The Yankees. Their Staten Island incarnation anyway. Dustin Martin was 5-for-6. He's had a fabulous year, we may see him up here some day. Single A is a strang and sometimes beautiful thing. Brilliant defensive plays on both sides helped that game get into the 12th, but it finished on an embarrassing throwing error. Good stuff.

  • Anonymous

    Jakey, we think alike. See next post.