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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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Now That Was Ridiculous

The poorest player on the New York Mets makes nearly $400,000 a year to ply his trade, but have a moment's sympathy if you can: Right now they're on a bus, and that bus is going to Philadelphia.

But at least they have memories of an extra-inning marathon that went from taut to excruciating to taxing to absurd over a mere 285 minutes.

If last week's game against the Phils (the one with the Angelic finish) was the first 2008 classic, this was the first 2008 game that saw us crawl out of the wreckage dazed but happy. I mean, where to begin? There was Nelson Figueroa stubbornly refusing to be just a day's worth of feel-good story, even starting that always-premature Met No Hitter clock ticking once again. There was John Lannan matching Figueroa unlikely K for unlikely K. There was Carlos Delgado, clawing his way off the scrap heap for at least one more night. There was a parade of suspect relievers making very good, from Heilman to Wagner to Sanchez (looking genuinely effective instead of just glad to be back) to Smith to the heroic Sosa. (Sorry Feliciano — it wasn't your night.) There was even the Mets belatedly doing right by their own countdown, bringing Jack Fisher and Tim Harkness and Ron Hunt back to the park they helped christen. I'll take a '64 Met over the general manager of a Lake Ronkonkoma Ford dealership any night, thank you very much.

All very nice, and then that ending traded in high drama for slapstick. (Memo to the baseball gods: Not complaining!) Just consider Easley's 14th-inning journey: single, advanced to second on wild pitch, advanced to third on throwing error by pitcher, scored on wild pitch. The Nats' luckless Joel Hanrahan did everything but leave the mound to physically carry him around the bases.

Of course, the Mets have been bystanders to their own unlikely victories before: Somewhere out there, I like to imagine, Brad Clontz winced, while Mike Piazza shook his head and smiled.

6 comments to Now That Was Ridiculous

  • Anonymous

    Fourteen innings…mere pikers compared to Colorado and San Diego (22 innings, three stretches, losing pitcher who can at least get a cab from LaGuardia all the way into Shea).
    Loved Willie's baseballsy move to send up Schneider, bullpen depletion be damned. That ball wasn't at the backstop when Melvin Mora crossed my mind.
    Hated bunting Church with two on and nobody out in the twelfth (never mind the lousy call at third). If it works, you walk Wright and have Ray King-sized (as Stephanie calls him) pitch probably successfully to Delgado, despite his earlier come-through. But after the lousy call at third, we were owed something.
    And I can't get enough of Damion Easley, as long as he's not starting daily.
    Figueroa vs Lannan: borough of my birth versus city of my upbringing. I wasn't torn. Long Beach represented uncomfortably well, however. If you didn't know this rotation any better, you'd slot it Figgy, Pelf, Maine and the rest based on this homestand.
    Which was a long journey, by the way, from maddening leftovers of '07 to something all its own for '08. This was a fun series from beginning to end. It took fourteen games, but I really like my team again.
    Here's looking at Johan. Don't be such a stranger tonight.

  • Anonymous

    That bizarre 360-foot trip of Easley's was eerily reminiscent of Reyes' walk-balk-sacrifice-balk trip against our old friend Armando Benitez last season.

  • Anonymous

    John Lannan played T-Ball with my nephew Jimmy — whom you Mets on Saturday!
    Biiiiiiiiiig circle…

  • Anonymous

    Talking about old friends, this series also showed why Lastings Milledge still has lots to learn. Alhough last night it didn't cost Washington the game, who tries going to third on a close play with two out (and he was just barely safe)? And by glancing at the runner instead of immediately firing the ball in, Church got the extra step he needed to advance to second on a fly ball. The night before he misplayed a pop up which then fell out of his glove. And in the opener he played too far in and was burned on a shot just over his head. This after getting a first inning double with one out and then thrown out trying to steal third.
    Being his third year in the majors, Lastings should know better (and wasn't his indifference to listen one of the reasons why the Mets gave up on him?).
    Oh, and Willie was right clearing his bench by bringing in Schneider. With Joel Hanrahan's breaking stuff constantly in the dirt (and what about that outside fastball that almost got away?) and him personally responsible for Easley being at third, having a genuine hitter at the plate would only intimidate Hanrahan even more (as it did).

  • Anonymous

    I was out in the picnic area for all 14 excruciating innings. My back is killing me. But you guys will be happy to know there was a FAFIF t-shirt sitting right in front of me, and it lasted all 14 innings as well. I didn't catch the woman's name who was wearing it, though…
    I was thrilled to finally take part in a 14th inning stretch (I've been to about a hundred 13-inning affairs), and thrilled to finally go home a few minutes later. I was thinking Brad Clontz as well. I pulled a Buddy Harrelson with my girlfriend a few minutes before, when Easley took third. She said, “man, it would be great if he stole home so we could leave.” I said, “that is absolutely not going to happen, but we could see a wild pitch.”
    A memorable evening for sure.

  • Anonymous

    The picnic area was featured on SNY every time Angel Pagan came up as Gary heartily approved of the angel's wings gesticulation.