Jeurys Familia has postseason experience, which could either be a good or bad thing for the Athletics in their Wild Card game against the Yankees on Wednesday night.
On one hand, well, he is experienced. On the other, he blew three saves for the Mets in the 2015 World Series, and the last time he appeared in a Wild Card game, he allowed a three-run home run to Conor Gillaspie that gave the Giants a 3-0 victory over the Mets in 2016.
Asked before the A’s worked out at Yankee Stadium on Tuesday what he remembers about that 2016 game, Familia said, “I remember everything. It’s tough to forget a game like that.”
Familia had been a Met since 2012 when they traded him to Oakland on July 21. Since then, he is 4-2 with a 3.45 ERA in 31 1/3 innings. He has one save. (He had 17 for the Mets this season.)
He said he was prepared for a trade. “I knew if things didn’t go well with the Mets I’m going to get traded, so it’s not surprising,” he said. “I knew at some point I was going to get traded to help some team get to the playoffs. My mind was ready for that.”
Now he is back in the playoffs – in the major-league city he knows best.
“This is one of the cities I’m always going to remember,” he said. “I spent most of the time in my career here, six years. So I have a lot of respect for this city and I appreciate a lot the Mets and the fans. But now it’s a different city, and I’m trying to do the best I can, like I always do.”
Familia said the Athletics bullpen is the best he has been a part of, one reason the A’s regularly have pitched by committee rather than rely on a traditional starter for six or more innings.
“I love it,” Familia said of the approach, “because we have special guys. . . It’s the same game. You have to be ready for whatever inning you’re going to pitch . . . It doesn’t matter for me. I just want to do the best I can whatever inning.”
Familia praised the A’s for their talent and spunk, despite a relative lack of stars. He said he has tried to school his new teammates on what to expect under the bright lights of the big city.
“For me, it’s a little bit different because I played here for six years, so it’s no pressure for me,” he said. “It’s like what I tell everybody here the first time: Just go out there and enjoy the game like you’re pitching in Oakland or whatever city. It doesn’t matter.”