After all the hoopla over the last week since the dirty slide that took out Mets shortstop Reuben Tejada, Chase Utley ended up coming to bat for the Dodgers in the bottom of the ninth during last night's NLDS elimination game, with his team down one run and a stadium of fans cheering him on. The game was on the line, and it was as dramatic a moment as any sports fan could hope for—and it didn't phase Mets closer Jeurys Familia one bit, getting him to fly out on the way to a two-inning save as the Mets scrapped and fought their way to beating the Dodgers 3-2 and advancing to the NLCS for the first time in nine years.

As one person put it, after spending nearly a decade coming up with new heartbreaking ways to lose, it was only appropriate that the Mets give the world a new and awesome way to celebrate winning: turning their dugout into a giant beer slip 'n slide.

This was not the prettiest Mets win this postseason, but it was the most indicative one yet of who this team is, and why they might earn themselves a place in baseball history. Starting pitcher Jacob deGrom, who looked like he had been chugging Red Bulls the night before and was trying to stave off the jitters in the first inning, didn't have his best stuff to start the game, giving up a few runs and sending fans into familiar doom spirals on social media. But he persevered throughout the "terror-inducing win," holding the Dodgers to 0-for-11 with runners in scoring position after the first inning, and proving naysayers wrong with a gutsy pitching performance Mets fans are sure to remember for years. The difference between the Mets of 2006 and the Mets of today may very well turn out to be performances like deGrom's.

"I knew I was struggling," deGrom said of the start. "I think that's probably the hardest I've had to work." When manager Terry Collins came out in the third inning for a chat, he calmed down: "He came out there and said, 'Hey, let's go one pitch at a time. They're not going to score anymore.' He had confidence in me. I'm thankful I got to stay in that game."

The other hero of the game was second basemen Daniel Murphy, who was responsible for almost all their offense, driving in two runs and scoring the other. After the victory, Mets fans in attendance crowded around the visitors' dugout chanting, "RE-SIGN MUR-PHY, RE-SIGN MUR-PHY." Those same fans also told Collins they loved him:

As befitting this particular group of players, Murphy was generous with his praise for his teammates during the post-game alcohol celebration: "The hero?" Murphy said, when someone suggested he had saved the game. "You can pick anybody in here. They're a hero. Everybody's a hero. Everybody had a piece of this."

Wilmer Flores—the shortstop who shed tears when he thought he would be traded from the organization last July, then became a magical good luck charm as the season wore on—said the club had another person in mind during the victory:

Back in New York, Ruben Tejada picked up and heard a message from his friend. "This is for you," Flores told him.

"We couldn't do it in a better moment," Flores said. "This is for him. We have to get him two more."

Even Yankees fans had to tip their hats to that:

These Mets have played with a cinder block on their shoulder, and ample oxygen in their heart. These Mets are the antithesis of what has driven their fans so crazy over the decades. They are young, smart, exciting, and tireless. And they are four wins from the World Series.

Even as a Yankees fan, I surfed the wave of Mets affection on Twitter, well into the wee hours, borrowing orange and blue pom poms to stoke the online fans. The Yankees and their fans have had their moments, a gratuitous string of dominance. It’s your time now, tomorrow, and maybe for a while. Kudos to you.

Celebrities, politicians, former players and longtime fans all Tweeted their congratulations:

The MTA got into the action as well:

Game 1 of the NLCS, with the wholly unlikely and unbelievably exciting matchup of Mets/Cubs, will take place at Citi Field on Saturday. The Cubs sent the Mets their best wishes after the victory.

Casey Stengel put it best: