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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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Let's Play One

The Mets and Marlins were supposed to play two baseball games starting at 4:10 pm, but at 4:10 pm it was raining.

Not particularly hard — you could almost call it Corey Oswalt weather — but hard enough. It stayed that way through 5:10 pm, through 6:10 pm, through the time the Mets would have played their usual baseball game, and on into the night. Mets Yearbooks came and went on SNY, with 1984 becoming 1987 becoming 1983. (We’re really going places with Wes Gardner, people!) Every 10 minutes or so Gary Apple, forced into the role played by Kevin Bacon in “Animal House,” would appear to note the continuing reality of the deployed tarp, smile doggedly and say that no one was telling anyone anything but he’d be back with updates as soon as he had them.

I eventually gave up and started watching “Edge of Tomorrow,” the Tom Cruise/Emily Blunt movie about an ill-prepared soldier who has to live the same fight over and over, with fatal results, until he figures out a way to escape. I mention the details of this plot for no particular reason. At about the midpoint of the movie, I glanced at At Bat and saw, to my shock, that it was the bottom of the first. After five and a half hours of nothing, there was baseball being played!

And then I watched the rest of “Edge of Tomorrow.” Honestly, it had treated me better than the Mets had.

When I switched over to the game it was already 6-0 Mets, the last three runs collected on an Amed Rosario home run that nearly hit the restaurant, and let’s just say the Marlins didn’t look super-enthused to play baseball. You can’t blame them for that — by that point I wasn’t super-enthused to consume it while dry and on my couch — but the 13-0 final score made you wonder if the two teams had chosen different regimens for passing those five and a half hours. Judging by the evidence, perhaps the Mets were having a Chug a Red Bull contest while the Marlins were taking care of a bake shop’s entire stock of Whip-Its.

(Thirteen runs. Scored by the Mets. Man, it’s good not being Jacob deGrom.)

(Also: this game has no recap. Which somehow seems appropriate.)

Anyway the teams played, or at least the Mets did, while 200-odd unbelievably stubborn fans peered at the proceedings through a veil of fog. The game wasn’t without its pleasures — if you win by nearly two touchdowns you’ve got to exit at least content, right? The biggest pleasure was Zack Wheeler, continuing his gangbusters season. Wheeler throttled the Marlins and outscored them by his lonesome before departing after eight innings and just 88 pitches. (Hold the pitchforks for once: he told the braintrust he was tired.) Rosario’s homer was something, though also the kind of something you hope a young hitter doesn’t get into his head as the preferred outcome — remember how Rey Ordonez‘s annual home run would be followed by around six weeks of windmill swings and clouts that were prodigious if measured vertically? Dom Smith connected for a homer of his own. Jeff McNeil did what we’ve come to regard as Jeff McNeil things. Other than the 335-minute wait and the absence of a pennant race, it was all good.

And there was the ball Jay Bruce hit with the bases loaded and two outs in the sixth. It arced out to left, hard but a bit low, and out there in the fog Rafael Ortega felt for the wall, reached up with his glove and came down with the ball. Darn, a solid catch for an inning-ending out. But wait, the umpires looked skeptical and various Mets were running around the bases. And, indeed, replays showed that the ball had banged off the railing and its M&Ms banner, a good two feet above the orange line, and then thunked into the mitt of a startled Ortega, who after a beat showed off his prize, probably with the suspicion that this ruse would not go undetected.

Players instinctively selling traps as catches in the replay era is adorable, but also futile. It was a grand slam for Bruce — and, if you think about it, a not bad summation of the quietly bonkers night the Mets and Marlins eventually decided, “let’s play one.”

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