Jeurys Familia’s sinker stayed high, and the Mets’ prospects sank.
It’s perhaps a simplistic version of what happened Wednesday night, but accurate nonetheless: Struggling with a sinker that stayed in the more tantalizing part of the plate, Familia gave up two runs in the top of the ninth as the Mets lost, 2-1. He showcased some of the inconsistency that has dotted a mercurial year for the closer — yes, 13 saves, which ranked fifth in major-league baseball going into the game, but also an MLB-high four blown saves.
“It is what it is,” Familia said. “Every night is not going to be a good night. It doesn’t matter how you feel, feel good, feel bad. Some days it’s going to be like that — you try to move forward, change the pace and get a nice day.”
Familia said he felt fine throwing in the bullpen but acknowledged that sometimes warm-up pitches lie: It doesn’t make sense to throw 100 percent when you’re about to get into a game, and adrenaline is always a mitigating factor.
Things shifted dramatically one batter into the ninth inning. Familia allowed a one-out single to Martin Prado, followed by a double from Derek Dietrich, landing both runners in scoring position. J.T. Realmuto muscled a sinker into centerfield, scoring pinch runner Yadiel Rivera to tie it.
Michael Conforto threw out Dietrich trying to score, but the Marlins would get that run back one batter later, when Starlin Castro singled in Realmuto. All of the hits came off Familia’s sinker.
“I made the pitch,” he said, explaining that he saw his sinker was up. “Everything I throw is because it’s my decision.”
Familia’s ERA is up to 2.35, his worst mark of the year. It was his first blown save since April 26, which capped a particularly trying stretch for him. He blew all three of his previous saves in a 10-day stretch.
“I wouldn’t say [he’s been inconsistent] as of late,” Mickey Callaway said. “I think he had a few days’ stretch there where he wasn’t consistent, and tonight he gave up a couple runs. You can’t expect to win games 1-0 all the time.
“[His sinker] was just up a little bit. He wasn’t getting down in the zone like he usually does.”
Though it’s true the Mets’ offense did them no favors, the blown save did waste a gritty performance by Jacob deGrom, who held the Marlins scoreless for seven innings despite not having his best stuff.
“Of course” he feels bad about that, Familia said. “We’re like a family here. Every time [someone] has a game like that, we come up from the bullpen and we don’t do the job, we feel bad, as a teammate.
“It’s part of the game. They know everyone is going out there trying to do their job and give 100 percent.”