You know what Friday is? The one-year anniversary of the night Wilmer Flores thought he had been traded to Milwaukee and cried on the field.
We bring this up because it might be time for Sandy Alderson to give the Brewers another chance to acquire Flores as part of the continuing talks that center around Milwaukee catcher Jonathan Lucroy.
Not because Flores has done anything wrong, but because Milwaukee also has relievers to trade in Jeremy Jeffress and Will Smith. The Mets, in addition to needing to upgrade their putrid offense, have to get Jeurys Familia some help before his arm falls off.
Familia, pitching for the third day in a row and fourth time in five days, blew a save for the second consecutive game Thursday as the Mets lost a heartbreaker to the Rockies, 2-1. The night before, it was the Cardinals who victimized Familia, ending his regular-season converted save streak at 52 games.
By the way, Familia’s streak was impressive, but when you blow three saves in the World Series in between the regular seasons, it’s kind of hard to get too excited about it. It’s not exactly DiMaggio in ’41.
Going into Wednesday, the Mets were 48-0 with a lead after eight innings, and that includes a win over the Dodgers on May 27 in which Familia blew a four-run lead in the ninth. Not a save situation.
Anyway, the Mets now are 48-2 when they lead after eight innings.
Even the best closers are going to fail occasionally, and Familia is one of the best. But Terry Collins keeps going to him because he doesn’t trust anyone else besides Addison Reed and, against lefties, Jerry Blevins. That’s a recipe for burnout in September, which often happens to teams with thin bullpens when they are chasing down the stretch.
Collins said after Wednesday’s loss that he wasn’t going to use Familia on Thursday. Then he fell back on the old manager’s line that Familia said he was OK to pitch and painstakingly designed the end of the game to get the ball to his closer instead of extending Jacob deGrom into the eighth or mixing and matching and pitching Reed in the ninth.
The good news is we’d be shocked if Alderson doesn’t get Collins one or two new bullpen arms before Monday’s non-waiver trade deadline, from Milwaukee or somewhere else.
As for the offense, Lucroy sure would help fix that mess.
None of Thursday’s ninth-inning shenanigans — the leadoff single, the walk, the bunt that Rene Rivera thought was going to go foul and instead let stay fair for a single, the game-tying error by James Loney, the fall-behind wild pitch by Familia — would have been so deadly if the Mets had been able to do better than 1-for-9 with runners in scoring position.
That included a bases-loaded, none-out situation in the seventh when the Mets predictably, sadly, maddeningly, did not score. The culprits shall remain nameless to protect the guilty. But that was when Collins sacrificed deGrom for pinch hitter Yoenis Cespedes after he had said he could go another inning.
Actually, let’s name the culprits. Kelly Johnson. Curtis Granderson. And Flores, who popped to center to end the inning and who in the fourth trudged back to the dugout with his head down when his pop-up behind home plate ended up being caught by catcher Tony Wolters in fair territory during a collision with third baseman Nolan Arenado.
Neither Rockies player was hurt, but it was a bad look for Flores to give up on a ball that could have fallen fair.
“Tough day all around,” Collins said.
Friday could be a better one if Alderson can pry that talent out of the Brewers. It’s something the Mets need to do even if it makes Flores tear up again exactly one year later.