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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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Olliepalooza

The Carloses are a beautiful thing, aren’t they? ¡Nosotros Carlamos! We are them and they are us and we are all together…goo goo g’joob.

Yet they’re not Ollie and Ollie, saviors in arms.

Yeah, that’s who it figured to hinge on. All the series previews in print and on air had it exactly as it’s happened: Darren Oliver eating up innings in Game Three and Oliver Perez giving up solo homers in Game Four. Those were the keys to the pennant all along.

Nobody saw it coming, but that — without discounting any of the dozen delightful Met runs still crossing the plate — now defines why glee is outpointing glum in Metsopotamia. Oliver surrendered no earned runs in a loss. Perez absorbed five in a win. And somehow it’s all good.

Welcome to your narrative-free National League Championship Series. Forget that claptrap about momentum and the next day’s starting pitcher. The last night’s starting pitcher threw as pedestrian a 5 and two-thirds as you’re going to see and, in context, it was magnificent. The appeal of Perez was that he could go out and potentially blow hitters away. He didn’t. He didn’t have to. He pitched with the poise of a veteran who had been in the Majors for more than a dozen years.

Check that. He pitched better than Steve Trachsel.

I’ll admit my faith in Oliver Perez was well veiled — “folly” is what I believe I said it would be to count on him — but getting proven wrong is often the best part about being a nervous-nelly baseball fan. This isn’t about being right. This is about being happy. And we’re happy this morning. Twenty-four hours ago, we were blogging virtual suicide notes. Today we’re either seeding clouds over St. Louis (rest Glavine!) or spreading a tarp across Missouri (the bats…the bats…the bats are on fire!).

Whatever. There’s no legitimate pegging of this series. We have seen four contests, none of which has resembled the other three.

Game One? A taut pitching duel determined on a single swing.

Game Two? A seesaw slugfest.

Game Three? A suffocating shutout.

Game Four? A slambang beatdown by those that done been whitewashed the night before.

Game Five? I’unno.

So let ‘em play tonight or let ‘em wait. The Mets and the Cardinals have left few clues as to what comes next.

22 comments to Olliepalooza

  • Anonymous

    Ollie Perez is my new batting hero. I can't remember seeing a hitter look that bad at the plate in a long time, including Interleague Play. I was disappointed they took him out after 5, because I was looking forward to more of his brilliant comedy routine at the plate. Falling to his knees dodging a strike? Amazing stuff.

  • Anonymous

    Let's give a little love to our spark plugs who put the game into “rout” mode.
    The big Mets inning began with those words I love to see in the recap:
    “José Reyes single, hit-and-run single by Lo Duca, Reyes to third”
    I never get tired of watching that happen.

  • Anonymous

    I think Ollie was playing possum. Given another at-bat, I bet he would have…hit a homer! On an 0-2 pitch!
    Oh wait, that was the other guys.
    Stupid Trachsel.

  • Anonymous

    Accuweather says it'll stop raining in St. Louis around 5 CDT, a couple of hours before gametime, and may not restart until 9:30 or 10. If correct, and if Glavine gets a lot of first-pitch outs and the Mets are efficient in slapping Weaver around, Billy Wagner has a chance to record the save without getting wet. I for one would like that.

  • Anonymous

    Thought for the day…
    If it gets to that point, pity the poor Yankee fan, who will have to choose against whom to root…
    Do you yell loudly for the glory of the AL? Do you cheer for the hated Tigers who JUST ELIMINATED YOU from the post-season?
    Or do you send up cheers for the City? Do you cheer for the hated Mets who share newspaper space, City acreage and hometown fealty and who ARE STILL PLAYING while you sit home & watch?
    Or do you take the easy out, just bite your lip & watch the Giants & Jets?
    Quite the conundrum…

  • Anonymous

    yankee fans? are they still even watching baseball?
    i figured they'd just be reading police blotters by now.

  • Anonymous

    i might reference the esteemed mr. koo, plate appearance versions 1.0 and 2.0, may 2005.

  • Anonymous

    “Dude! My name's in the papers!”

  • Anonymous

    You gotta know MLB will do everything in its power to get this game in. Nothing short of a monsoon will keep the tarp on the field.
    Just more reason the Mets need to score early and often again tonight.
    If we do get an on-again, off-again, rain delayed start and stop game, I think that only benefits the team with the better, deeper more rested bullpen.
    Wagner pitches the bottom of the sixth for the save?

  • Anonymous

    “pity the poor Yankee fan” ???
    Nope.

  • Anonymous

    I've always been of the opinion that it's actually better to be hated than pitied…

  • Anonymous

    “Or do you take the easy out, just bite your lip & watch the Giants & Jets?”
    It's been my experience that an outsized percentage of Yankee fans are also Cowboys fans. Especially during eras in which “America's Team” (“pfui!”) is successful. They also love Notre Dame football when it's convenient, rooted for the Bulls in the 90s, and cheered on the Islanders in the early 80s (succeeded by the Oilers).

  • Anonymous

    Um, why are we talking about them?
    LET'S GO METS!!!!!
    Beat the…let me check…I thought so…Cardinals!

  • Anonymous

    Joel, you're dissing Endy, My Endy… my heart is in pieces, scattered at my feet.
    Endy is perfect.

  • Anonymous

    Did anyone see the birdies' fans dancing in the stand while their team is losing 12-5? And those are supposed to be the best fans in baseball? Why, because they all wear red?? We're supposed to be bad fans because we do cheer for mediocrity?? And they stole our “Everybody clap your hands!!” good luck song!!! Mid-west bastards!!!

  • Anonymous

    Oh my GOD, I'm glad someone reminded me of that! Are they for real??!! I was stunned.
    Not to be too big-city chauvinistic, but Cardinal fans are dopey. Dancing a hoe-down (sp?) while your team is pummeled is bad, those strips of red tape on their chins are worse. Maybe we should honor our utility players… we can buy bald wigs and fix our ears so they stick straight out trophy-cup style like Woodward. And if Lasto makes the WS roster, do-rags for everyone!

  • Anonymous

    Geez, lighten up! Not all fans treat their team with vitriolic hatred just because theyre not winning. Some fans–wait for it–actually support their team even when they're not winning. Can you imagine?!
    I thought the Spiezio strips were cute. The Twins gave out similar Joe Mauer sideburns this summer. Go figure, some fans actually enjoy baseball enough to have a little fun, win or lose. And you haven't lived until you've seen an infant wearing bushy sideburns.

  • Anonymous

    I'm with the Card-haters. They're supposed to be the “best fans in baseball” because they're so damned polite — and politeness smacks of lack of conviction to me. They're all into it for the first two innings, then if they don't score they sit quietly waiting for something to happen. Then if something DOES happen, they go into mechanical “celebrations” regardless of whether that thing actually has anything to do with winning (like a solo HR down 12-4).
    Everybody gets Green Bay-style palpitations at the holiness of Cardinal fandom because we gloriously demanding and cynical urbanites secretly wish we were authentic docile midwesterners.
    Anybody can wear a red shirt and pubic hair on their face!

  • Anonymous

    Pubic hair on their face?? Yikes— that's a bit harsh, no??

  • Anonymous

    Whatever it takes in wartime, Jersey Jack.
    I admit that my hatred of the Cardinals and their fans is… oh… maybe five days old.
    Plus Jason pioneered the Spezio-beard/dirty parts thing, even if he did it in a far more tasteful and less hateful way.

  • Anonymous

    He did it so effectively, Josh, that I couldn't look at Spiezio all weekend without blushing.

  • Anonymous

    Hahahahah, same here! This may be a part of why Cardinal fans now disgust me for no good reason.