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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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Faith Quickly Restored in Baseball

Did you know the National League season just ended like half-an-hour ago? Yes, that was the Rockies and Padres pre-empting Family Guy on TBS. And it was quite a game.

Didn't watch every pitch of it (Stephanie was shocked that I wanted to watch any of it after my nonstop despondency since 4:30 PM Sunday), but found the back-and-forth fascinating. It was 6-6 through 12, when ex-Met Clint Hurdle sent ex-Met Jorge Julio into pitch and make it 8-6. But those indefatigable Rockies, on a leadoff double by ex-Met Kaz Matsui (whom I urged on vociferously, to my genuine surprise), tied that bad boy in no time off the Julioesque Trevor Hoffman (does he ever get a big save?). Troy Tulowitzki doubled home Kaz; then Matt Holliday, a more authentic MVP candidate than anybody in Queens, sadly, tripled home Tulowitzki. Helton was intentionally walked so Trevor could face Jamey Carroll, ex-Expo whom I always dreaded. Carroll was batting behind Helton because Hurdle pinch-ran him for Garrett Atkins; I missed that when it happened, but it didn't seem like a great idea in the 13th. But Carroll lined it to Brian Giles in medium-deep right and Giles, a good arm, fired home.

Michael Barrett, yet another ex-Expo who drove me nuts, blocked the plate beautifully. Holliday tried to slide to the outer edge of the plate but didn't touch it. Yet Barrett didn't handle the ball and Tim McClelland seemed more flummoxed than usual. The ball rolled around behind the plate while Holliday bloodied his face in the dirt. Barrett ran to pick up the ball and tag the dazed Holliday, but McClelland, after about an eternity, called him safe and the Wild Card belonged to Colorado, 9-8.

No argument from the Padres. Too crazy around the plate: Rockies descending on Holliday; trainer tending to his face (at first, Matt didn't get up, but he walked away all right); t-shirts and caps distributed. TBS did a lousy job of covering the moment of truth but offered the angles eventually.

Not sure if it was a great game, but it was a long one. And it felt, I don't know, fun to watch without the weight of worry that had attached itself to everything I had my eye on for the last couple of weeks. I'm sorry the Rockies aren't next flying to New York instead of Philadelphia, but I think I might actually look in on these playoffs sooner than I'd planned. I didn't think I was going to want to watch any of them.

There are teams I like a little in this postseason and some teams of whom I'm not fond. But I don't have a favorite and I'm really not in a mood to root against. Let's Go Baseball, I guess.

12 comments to Faith Quickly Restored in Baseball

  • Anonymous

    Talk about a tie-breaker, though, eh? Definition of evenly matched. And McClelland definitely blew that call…
    KazMat and Heath Bell both shined, perhaps savoring a bit of that irony. I felt all right rooting for them.
    If you're the Rockies, do you let Jorge Juligan (as my friend Dmitri dubbed him) anywhere near a mound in the postseason?

  • Anonymous

    Spoken like a true fan of the game. My #2 team, the BoSox are in it and I'm with them til they win it or are out of it.
    The Rox are a true Cinderella team in the NL and they play the Philthys so Go Rox.

  • Anonymous

    I followed the game loosely, but inexplicably found myself trolling youtube for 2006 clips… Beltran's game-winner against Izzy… D-Wright's game-winner against Rivera… Lo Duca's 2-run NLDS single..
    Then I watched Johnny's 14 strikeouts from Saturday – the best pitching performance I've ever witnessed (and probably ever will witness) in person, and the last time I was legitimately happy (yes, Glavine, it's 'just baseball,' but I get worked up about this stuff so drop the pretentiousness). Johnny's performance gave me the chills, and my Red Sox fan friend next to me, legitimate goosebumps. It was kind of nice to relive, in a sickening, awful, disappointing way, masochistic way – that last inkling of hope that wow, I'd really be seeing more of this when the air was a little crisper, and those swirling winds out in left a little stiffer. How did a miracle not follow Saturday? That's how these things work, right? This just isn't fair play and substantial justice!
    The brawl – the team finally showing some damn emotion.. the onslaught of homers and doubles and high-fives… Johnny's no-hit bid and his 14 K's – each one drawing an increasingly deafening roar from the crowd – an experience I've never felt/seen/heard before at Shea, and one I'll never forget. I felt like I was ten years old again. Another strikeout? Are you kidding me? This was the spark! The fire under their collective ass! The turnaround.. ..the unbelievably cruel and unusual joke?
    Greg, I distinctly remember reading one of your posts last December… one dreary, cold, windy night… ages away from pitchers and catchers… the one in which you weighed in on the lingering heartache and memories of game 7, and your assurance that baseball's clock is infinite and circular and we would be hearing the simple-but-oh-so-f**king beautiful “LETS GO METS!” chant arise from the mezzanine before too long… and I got the chills and a little misty eyed. As much as it still hurt, I marveled at how close we got; at how magical the season was, how hard they fought, how I didn't hold any resentment for Carlos freezing at that ridiculous hook….and most importantly, how utterly stoked I was for opening day.
    Please tell me I'll feel that way again.

  • Anonymous

    We will feel that way again. We won't believe how much you will feel that way again — we can't possibly absorb it right now — but we will.
    I appreciate the recollection of the post from last offseason, Matt, but I'm pretty sure some of those chills were generated by Jason with maybe a few from me. Either way, credit the 2006 Mets mostly. They were pretty good at that.
    Glad you were there for Maine and Saturday. I plan to get into it a little later in the week, but this season was not completely for naught. It couldn't have been. It was a baseball season.

  • Anonymous

    I'm a proud 40 year fan of this team..And the day after all this business was said and done- I was never more proud of being a fan of this team!.I have NEVER forgotten the bad times! I know disappointment, and I don't give a damn that we didn't make this years post-season..OK, there I said it!.I'm not glad, but I need a rest! Let the others squirm..After 06' I need a break. The last thing I need is back to back years of post-season heart ache..
    Greg I will be calling you soon concerning the next NYG meeting..

  • Anonymous

    McClelland clearly blew the call, actually he should not have made any call as there was no tag by Barret, on Halliday or on Home plate by Halliday. It was nice watching a game without any tension in my stomach, what a game. Last year watching the World Series was too painful, this year the Playoffs et al will not be difficult. By Superbowl Sunday i expect to be reengaged, hell by the Winter meetings when we trade for Johan Santana, it might happen , but for now its Lets Go Rangers!

  • Anonymous

    I never thought my recovery would be complete in 24 hours. It was refreshing to enjoy baseball for the first time in four months. By the 7th inning of last night I was totally immersed in that game (and I enjoyed Julio's meltdown). Thanks Rockies and Padres–you rekindled my love of my favorite game.
    And in related TBS news, SNY's Ron Darling will be working the Cubs-Diamonbacks series with Dick Stockton. That instantly become the must watch series of the postseason for me. (Stockton was a pretty decent basbeall broadcaster in his youth, and he's been much better than Joe Buck filling in on the FOX Saturday games, so I bet he and Darling do a great job.)

  • Anonymous

    Padres fans have got to be dying. They blew their own lead in the standings, and then to have your closer come in and blow a 2-run lead, with an assist by an incomprehensible umpire screw-up… it's not schaedenfreude, but somehow it made me feel just a little better that we're not alone in feeling this way.

  • Anonymous

    While misery certainly does love company, comparing ourselves to ….The Padres, might actually be worse then blowing the division lead. If you complian about yoru tax rate, does it make you feel any better when some one says, “You think you pay alot in taxes, just think about what the tax rate is in Belgium”. Like I give a fuck about the tax rate in fucking Beligium. Thats what the Padres are, the Belgium of the National League.

  • Anonymous

    True that… the Padres pretty much registered on my radar once, and then Mike moved on.

  • Anonymous

    Wow.. yes, those are exactly the two posts I was referring to, and apparently mistakenly merging together. I remember reading the latter in December, in the midst of NFL season, when it gets dark before you leave work, and thinking “Wow, someone else out there is still mulling over Game 7” and feeling a little better.
    I sure something like that happens again this winter – it's gonna be a long one.

  • Anonymous

    Reminds me of what a buddy of mine said to me last week…”Jesus, I'm about to get ready to clinch the East and all of a sudden I have to stay up to see what the Padres & Rockies are doing? In what universe do I give a fuck about the Padres and Rockies?”