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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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OK, Jimmy Rollins…

…your declarations no longer make us laugh. You're to be taken seriously, because you've backed up everything you said.

OK, Pat Burrell. Dumb people may have referred to you as “once terrifying, now vaguely pathetic,” but that was a while ago. Those people have been chastened, and never want to see you at the plate against us again. You're every bit the Met killer you once were.

For the vast majority of our existence, the Phillies were the team that should matter more than they did, the rival that wasn't and possibly never would be. In the last couple of years they've finally mattered standings-wise, but not competition-wise: We knew they'd revert to Philliedom, to punching the clock in their curiously listless way while their fans chanted for the Eagles. Somewhere along the line Aaron Rowand and Ryan Howard and Chase Utley and Shane Victorino and Jimmy Rollins — great baseball players, ferocious competitors and stand-up guys all — changed that clubhouse. Their Philies are very real, and this series' two black eyes, bloody nose and final knockout blow were the last bit of proof anyone could need.

For the series, Rollins went 9 for 19, 5 runs scored, 2 HRs, 3 RBIs. Utley was 5 for 15, 2 runs scored, 1 HR and 3 RBI. Burrell was 5 for 15, 4 runs scored, 3 HR and 7 RBI. And Howard was 9 for 18, 3 runs scored, 2 HR and 4 RBI. Goodness. That's an absolute beatdown.

As yesterday's game roared along (an absolute classic, though I get the feeling it won't be repeated on SNY), I suggested to an equally nervous Emily that maybe the Mets and Phils should just declare whoever won the Champion of the Universe and then go home until February. Should either or both of us make the playoffs (and after these last four days, that conditional is not just baseball superstition), it's hard to believe there will be a game this thrilling — or exhausting. Apologies that this is late, but I went to bed at 8:30 and didn't stir until 7. A baseball apocalypse will do that to you.

Once Wagner gave up the home run to Pat the Bat, I knew we were going to lose. Whether it was fatigue or just a bad day at the office, Billy didn't seem to have it and it was painfully apparent this wasn't the day he was going to get a six-out save. (That's not a second-guess, by the way — if not Wagner, who? There are no good answers for Willie right now.) The Phillies did everything right all series. They played with an amazing, un-Phillielike intensity, and they got all the breaks — as teams playing at that level will and should.

At least the Mets' twin comebacks — fueled by a maturing-before-our-eyes David Wright — took some of the sting away. Yes, yesterday and the three days before that hurt like hell. But once El Duque fell behind 5-0, I think a lot us figured the Mets would throw in the towel, take their beating and slink off to Atlanta saying philosophical things. Instead they came out of the coffin all nails and teeth, throwing punches and roundhouse kicks and biting and clawing, and if not for some terrible luck for Aaron Sele we might now be celebrating our escape and saying that hey, for all that we're still four games up.

Didn't happen. We're two games up with another tormenter still to confront and no shortage of fears. OK then. Jimmy Rollins, my cap is tipped to you and your teammates. It's a pennant race again, with a month of anxiety and exhiliration ahead. Proportions — and final outcome — to be determined.

8 comments to OK, Jimmy Rollins…

  • Anonymous

    You'd think as a Met fan I'd be used to it by now, but, godammit, I hate being humbled…

  • Anonymous

    I think everyone made way too big a deal of what Rollins said, especially when he was right, basically.
    Not for nothing but could you imagine how excited we'd be had our own farm system produced a core as good as Philly's? It's not like I covet it or anything. But not respecting it was a mistake.

  • Anonymous

    By the 8th inning, I firmly believed that the winner of yesterday's game was winning the division. Here I am, 17 hours later, completely disagreeing with that sentiment. There are still 28 games left, and as we are well aware, 19 of them don't involve Chipper, Pat, or a team with a winning record.
    Met fans always talk about games like Pendleton, Jordan, and the stretch to end '98. You don't hear that much about the tough losses that occurred down the stretch of the '69 or '73 campaigns (and yes, wild card excepted, the Mets haven't claimed victory in a real pennant race in 34 years). Point is, this game's legacy is still to be determined. The die-hards will never forget it, but it's quite possible that the outcomes of the next 29 games (and hopefully beyond) will make it a footnote more than anything.

  • Anonymous

    Jeez, I meant outcomes of the next 28. If it has to come down to 29 (163), God help us.

  • Anonymous

    Dude, that's just proximity to my writing. I confound mathematical abilities like a black hole warps light.

  • Anonymous

    As Gary Cohen said yesterday, “everything the Phillies touched turned to gold.” The key play in each of the last three games were a swinging bunt, an interference call, and a fly ball single to lead off the ninth. All of which went the Phillies' way. If they went the Mets way, Rowand's swinging bunt rolls foul, interference is not called, and Werth fly ball carries another 10 feet and is caught, the Mets could've at least one of the games if not all three.

  • Anonymous

    The '06 Mets win yesterday's game…

  • Anonymous

    Does the '06 version of Wagner record six outs without coughing up more than a run? I dunno. Wags doesn't have the best track record in situations other than 9th-inning saves.
    But yeah, I miss Duaner, damn it.