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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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Seconds, Please

No-hitters can leave you speechless in the moment but have you saying all kinds of things you hadn’t previously uttered in the days, weeks, months and years that follow. As Mets fans, we found ourselves speaking both excitedly and differently after June 1, 2012. When your focus turns from “when are we gonna get one of these?” to “we got one of these,” your thought processes and speech patterns will inexorably alter.

Much as we had phrases like “Nohan,” “134 pitches” and “Mike Baxter” infiltrate our lexicon ten years ago, we have one overwhelmingly beautiful word to bandy about now: since.

The Mets have their first no-hitter since 2012.
The Mets have their first no-hitter since Johan Santana’s.
We are celebrating a no-hitter for the first time since the first one.

Which is to say we have two, which is twice as good. And it wasn’t the Friday Night Game of the Week on Apple TV+, which is even better.

If No-Hitter I unfolded in operatic fashion — an umpire pleasing the gods by committing a narrative-altering faux pas; a left fielder writhing in agony as he preserves the integrity of the libretto; a manager practically rending his garments in the shadows, mentally tortured by the twist of fate that has fallen into his lap; the heroic figure at the center of the action who shall give his left shoulder to reach the destiny his people wished for him and themselves; plus some wind and rain for atmosphere — I found No-Hitter II, with its five arms to hold it, akin to an irresistible remix engineered to get the club up on its feet. A quintet of the hottest producers in the business went into the studio and added an array of bells, whistles and pulsations to a familiar number. The sum of hits per nine innings was still zero. The end result simply sounded different from what we’d come to expect.

When Arthur Baker deconstructed and reconstructed Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” into its Blaster Mix form in the summer of ’84, every rock guy I knew raced to call it “fun,” but more to rationalize it than celebrate it, as if AOR talking points had been distributed nationwide. Baker had turned a Springsteen song that was already the toast of (heaven forefend) pop radio into what five years earlier might have been referred to as a disco record. By 1984, of course, disco was dead in name, yet rock guys couldn’t stand to be reminded it ever thrived, let alone continued under other guises. When one of their own — The Boss! — signed off on the reimagining of one of his compositions as something with a good beat you could dance to…don’t worry, they assured one another. It’s fun.

Who doesn’t love a pulsating remix?

A combined no-hitter is fun, too, as we’ve already established. It’s unapologetically happy and peppy and bursting with love. The weight of the world doesn’t have to sit squarely on the surgically repaired anterior capsule of a single decorated southpaw enlisted in a futility-battered quest grimly passed down through generations that had wasted their summers praying in vain for a savior to rise from these streets, or perhaps a trade for an ace from Minnesota, for a hitless outing to resonate. Opera, Dick Clark suggested to his WZAZ listeners in the episode of The Odd Couple where Felix and Oscar win a car, is “music with a lot of killing”. Indeed, Johan slew all those no no-hitters ghosts that had haunted us from 1962 forward. We shook that world off our shoulders in 2012.

Who doesn’t love appetizing combinations?

Ten years later, a merry band of men in black — Tylor Megill, Drew Smith, Joely Rodriguez, Seth Lugo and Edwin Diaz — animated our spirits. Who doesn’t love a no-hitter? Who doesn’t prefer to smile rather than stress? Who doesn’t love the teamwork when it has a chance to make the dream work, even if few of us entered Friday night dreaming this specific dream? Once it was clear Tylor wasn’t going to be permitted to compete beyond the first five frames (88 pitches, short Spring Training, chilly April evening, comparatively slight track record of career innings notched, no argument), everything else was a matter of deciding how badly we wanted to consume this particular combo meal. A side of Drew…a dab of Joely…a large Seth (easy on the ice)…and pour some Sugar on it. It may not have gone down quite like a prime cut of Santana, but it grew more and more appetizing as the night wore on.

Who doesn’t love teamwork?

If the Mets somehow didn’t get the order exactly right, there’d still be some fries in the bag, there’d still be a win over the Phillies, and there’d still be that pristine Nohan safely encased in glass. The combined no-hitter would go nicely next to it, but obtaining it wasn’t the matter of life or death that getting that first one felt like for more than half-a-century. Turns out we got a little extra life.

A no-hitter every ten years. A fan could get used to this.

National League Town commemorated The Second No-Hitter in New York Mets History with a twelve-minute spasm of audio giddiness. You and four of your Circle of Trust colleagues can listen here.

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