Jeurys Familia forgot.
He didn’t think about the three-run double he allowed to Mets nemesis Chase Utley on Friday, or the four runs he gave up that night. He wiped away Adrian Gonzalez’s game-winning two-run single on Sunday night. The minute he got home, it was gone — the minute, he said, he looked into his son’s eyes.
And the Mets are better for it.
Rebounding from a rough series against the Dodgers, Familia was back to his old ways Monday, retiring the White Sox in order in the ninth to preserve a 1-0 win at Citi Field and earn his 17th save. Relying heavily on his sinker, he struck out Dioner Navarro swinging, got Adam Eaton on a comebacker and ended the game by striking out Jose Abreu.
A short memory is key for most closers, and for Familia, it’s especially effective. His confidence, he said, never wavered, and going home to his family and his nearly 1-year-old son, Jeurys Jr., always helps him keep things in perspective.
“I know how to move forward when I have a bad outing,” he said. “I try to forget everything quickly and I have my son and my family here, and what I learn from the veteran guys — from Bartolo [Colon], [former Met] LaTroy [Hawkins] — everybody in here, because I saw when they have a bad day and the next day they came and try to do better and play for a win.”
Terry Collins said he didn’t hesitate to use Familia despite Addison Reed’s perfect, two-strikeout eighth inning. Though he gave up the lead Friday night and took the loss Sunday night, neither was a save situation, and he hasn’t actually blown a save opportunity this year. He’s 2-1 with a 3.91 ERA.
“[It’s] that get-back-on-the-horse thing,” Collins said. “When we got there, I said, ‘This has got to be his time because we’re going to need him.’ If we’re going to achieve what we’re going to achieve, he’s going to be a big part of it . . . If you’re going to have confidence in anything you do, you have to have people around you that believe in you also.”
And for anyone who doubts that Familia can forget any of it — the three blown saves in the World Series, or this last painful weekend — and move on, he poses a simple question.
“You have a son?” he asked. “When you have one, you’ll see.”