The Mets must sort out their starting rotation, with the team holding out hope that Steven Matz's back will be healthy enough. They might even re-examine their bullpen, with seventh-inning reliever Addison Reed and setup man Tyler Clippard swapping roles in certain situations. But in the ninth inning, there are no questions, thanks to closer Jeurys Familia.
"He was thrown into that closer's role and he hasn't looked back," David Wright said after Familia wrapped up one of the best relief seasons in Mets history. "He's about as dominating as any arm in all of baseball. He's proven that he's an All-Star-caliber closer. You just feel confident when you can shorten the game up. He definitely shortens the game up."
The first of Jenrry Mejia's two PED suspensions opened the door for Familia to close and the fireballing righthander has become the Mets' surest bet, nailing down 43 saves in 48 chances and recording a 1.85 ERA.
Familia now shares the franchise single-season record for saves with Armando Benitez. Only the Pirates' Mark Melancon (51) and the Cardinals' Trevor Rosenthal (48) finished with more saves.
"He's one of the sharpest guys you'll ever be around, no fear, and he wants the baseball," manager Terry Collins said.
As expected, Matz played long toss Monday at Citi Field. The Ward Melville product will throw a bullpen session Tuesday ahead of a start Thursday in the instructional league, which will determine whether he's healthy enough to pitch against the Dodgers in the NLDS.
Games 1 and 2 will start at 9:45 p.m. and 9:07 p.m., MLB announced . . . The Mets encourage fans to take mass transit to any playoff games at Citi Field . . . The Mets say fans still can qualify to buy postseason tickets by putting down deposits for 2016 season tickets.