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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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The Only Difference

At one point during last night's game, I turned to Emily and said something along the lines of “If this were Game 163, with a playoff spot on the line, Met fans all over the city would be dropping dead of heart attacks.”

As it was, it wasn't anything like that. (And no heart attacks. We're going to the playoffs. Really, we are. Relax already.) Without the threat of cardiac arrest, we were left with nothing more than a taut, marvelous game between a team battling for its life and a team playing remarkably good baseball. One with guys clawing and biting and scrapping for every base, and one following the leads of an MVP candidate and emerging superstar and a Hall of Fame pitcher. And the latter team in great-looking uniforms we should really see more often.

I mean, there was Wright's ice-breaking drive over the fence, followed by his remarkable, Keith Hernandez In Reverse spearing of Jamie Moyer's pop bunt for a double play. There was Chase Utley playing his Ut-most as usual, one-upping Wright's solo shot with a crucial two-run blast of his own. There was Tom Glavine making everybody in red and gray but Utley look silly, and Moyer turning aside rally after rally from those in blue and orange. There was a huge crowd roaring “MVP! MVP!” and “Jose Jose Jose!” and booing every move Jimmy Rollins and Pat Burrell made. There was an umpire making an idiot out of himself — somebody tell Paul Emmel that nobody comes to the park to see him reinterpret the strike zone to make a point of etiquette to Jose Reyes, watch Phillie relievers twitch as he accordions between strike calls at the knees and no such calls, or throw gasoline on the flaming torch that is Paul Lo Duca.

Still, I wasn't too bothered by Emmel — he was playing the role of mutually agreed-upon heel. No, everything about this game was marvelous except for the ending — engineered by that curling foul pop that a scrambling Mike DiFelice caught with his neck instead of his glove, and Aaron Heilman's too-hasty throw to second. Those were really the Mets' only blemishes, and they proved fatal. But then this was the kind of game in which you sensed the first team to make a mistake and allow extra outs would pay dearly for it. And now that there's a chill creeping into the night air, isn't that the way baseball's supposed to work?

3 comments to The Only Difference

  • Anonymous

    Be sure to leave me your rose-colored glasses before you take off.

  • Anonymous

    To be honest, I guess I have to give the Phillies more credit. They seem to have some talent, and some ability to play the big game. Of course, overall they aren't that good for a 162 game stretch.

  • Anonymous

    Why, exactly, did Willie leave the Other Pedro in for the 8th against right-hander Aaron Rowand?