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Mets closer Jeurys Familia finally looking like his old self

In first appearance since March 8, he has good stuff in 1-2-3 inning, with no hint of shoulder tightness that negatively impacted his previous outing.

Mets pitchers Jeurys Familia, right, and Jacob Rhame

Mets pitchers Jeurys Familia, right, and Jacob Rhame warm up during spring training baseball practice on Feb. 16, 2018, in Port St. Lucie, Fla. Photo Credit: AP / Jeff Roberson

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. — Jeurys Familia’s inning Thursday against the Marlins, his first game in a week, was a simple one: groundout, groundout, flyout. Workday done.

More important than the results was how he looked. On March 8 against the Nationals, he got lit up for five runs in 1 1⁄3 innings. He later said his shoulder was tight, and he hadn’t pitched since — until Thursday.

All indications are Familia is back to normal. “He was more Familia-like today than he had been,” manager Mickey Callaway said. “Way more arm speed. Better sink, better action on his two-seamer, which is what he does the best.”

Said catcher Kevin Plawecki: “It looked like Familia had his stuff back. It was very encouraging to see. His fastball had a lot of life on it. His sinker was back. His slider was there. His arm action was great. I know he’s been working to get that arm action back, and I thought today was a really good sign.”

Syndergaard honored

Noah Syndergaard said it is an “incredible feeling” to start Opening Day, but he’ll try to treat it like any other game.

“I think that benefits me, to just go out there and pretend it’s another game,” he said. “We put it on this pedestal and the hype gets a little overwhelming . . . Got to put that to the side and go out there and have fun with it.”

Extra bases

Dwight Gooden visited Mets camp Thursday, spending the morning chatting with players and other team employees and watching the game from behind the Mets’ dugout . . . Plawecki and Travis d’Arnaud will host kids from the local YMCA for lunch, the Mets’ game against the Orioles and a meet-and-greet Friday at First Data Field. They’re continuing the annual event started by former Met Curtis Granderson in 2014 . . . The Mets lost to the Marlins, 7-6. They haven’t won since March 6, a stretch of nine games, and are 5-15-2. “I don’t want to out-win them in spring training. I want to out-prepare them,” Callaway said. “[But] it’d be nice to win some games, go shake hands. We need to practice that, too, at times.” . . . Callaway said Adrian Gonzalez, upon learning he wasn’t playing Thursday, asked to get at-bats in minor-league games instead. He went 5-for-8 with two doubles.


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