Jeurys Familia did not help his trade value Wednesday.
The Mets closer, tasked with a routine save chance a night after tossing 28 pitches in 1 2⁄3 innings, allowed four runs and recorded no outs as the Mets lost to the Pirates, 5-3. Familia’s ERA jumped from 2.41 to 3.48. Those four runs were more than he had allowed in any calendar month this season.
The loss was the Mets’ eighth in nine games.
Manager Mickey Callaway said he did not consider sticking with rookie righthander Tim Peterson (nine pitches, two outs in the eighth) for the last inning and did not get Anthony Swarzak up faster in the ninth as a vote of confidence in Familia.
“You can’t put the kid [Peterson] in that situation,” Callaway said. “We put him in a tough situation already to close out the eighth. Familia was ready to go. We got a day off [Thursday]. He’s definitely the guy.
“When you put in your closer, you have to give him a chance to close. If you set that precedent, it’ll be tough in the long run. As soon as we figured, you know what, he’s not getting any outs, we got Swarzak going.”
Facing only four batters, Familia, a prime trade candidate in the coming weeks, loaded the bases and walked off the mound to boos from the Citi Field crowd. Familia made no excuses, saying his arm felt strong and he knew he was available after playing catch Wednesday afternoon.
Swarzak, who has a 4.85 ERA and has been inconsistent since returning from the disabled list almost a month ago, allowed all three inherited runners to score.
Callaway’s other options behind Familia were Jerry Blevins (5.30 ERA), Chris Beck (4.40 ERA) and three rookies with a combined eight major-league appearances.
The bullpen’s blowup, which included Robert Gsellman (7.11 ERA this month) allowing a run in the eighth, wasted a strong start from Zack Wheeler (seven scoreless) and Wilmer Flores’ solo homer (11th RBI in eight games).
“Tonight, we used all of our high-leverage guys,” Callaway said. “And we just didn’t get the job done.”
Sign up for Newsday’s Mets Messages for updates directly to your phone via text, free with a Newsday digital subscription. Learn more at newsday.com/metstext.