clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Looking back at Jeurys Familia's three "blown" saves in the World Series

The Mets' closer pitched well, but still "blew" three saves

Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports

Years from now, when baseball fans read about the 2015 World Series, it is relatively certain that Jeurys Familia will be one of the folks that, removed from actually watching the games, gets pegged as one of the causes of the Mets' failure to win their third world championship. His three blown saves are an easy statistic to point out as a clear indication that his performance had a significant and detrimental impact on the team's four losses.

Except that, apart from his appearance in Game 1, he did almost nothing wrong, pitching wise.

In Game 1 of the World Series, while pitching in the bottom of the ninth, Familia gave up his only hit of the appearance, a home run to Alex Gordon that was absolutely smoked. Familia quick pitched Gordon, which likely led to poor location, and allowed Gordon to tie the game. Gordon claims that he was ready for the quick pitch after Familia threw it twice to Salvador Perez, who was batting directly before Gordon.

This is the most clear instance of Familia really costing the Mets the game, even though it did not give the Royals the lead. The home run given up to Gordon was a straight-up pitching decision that backfired—the blame for that run falls on the poor location of the pitch, as well as the decision to quick pitch in that instance, both of which are on Familia—assuming he decided on his own to quick pitch. The other two blown saves are vastly different situations.

In Game 4, Familia entered the game with one out in the eighth inning and runners on first and second—both of whom had been walked by Tyler Clippard—and the Mets leading 3-2. It is important to note that both Clippard and Familia (as well as Addison Reed) had pitched in Game 3 when the team was up by six runs. Now, whether or not manager Terry Collins trusted his other relievers is a conversation for another day, but the wisdom of using your three most high-leverage relievers in a game with a lead that great is certainly debatable.

Because both pitchers were used a day earlier, neither was as rested or able to throw as many pitches as they might have otherwise been. This was Collins's argument for not starting the eighth with Familia—he had thrown the previous day, and Collins didn't want to render him unavailable for Game 5. But, with two men on and only one out, Collins brought in Familia anyway. Eric Hosmer, the first batter, hit a ground ball to Daniel Murphy, who Murph'd it good, leading to a run scoring and men on first and third with only one out. Mike Moustakas then singled between first and second, scoring the second inherited runner. Salvador Perez knocked in Hosmer for the third run scored over the span of three Royals at-bats.

Now, one could argue that, after the Murphy error, Familia wasn't executing his pitches and gave up two singles. That's true—notwithstanding BABIP considerations—but Familia came into a game that was already quite different than the game he would have entered at the start of the inning.

The third blown save came in Game 5, where, again, Familia did not enter a clean inning. Matt Harvey, who had thrown a great game through eight, was brought out for the ninth—after vetoing his manager's decision to take him out—and promptly gave up a walk, a stolen base, and a double, reducing the Mets' lead to just one run. Familia came in the game, got three ground ball outs, and still had the inherited runner score on a terrible throw home by Lucas Duda.

So history is in the details, and aside from Game 1, Familia pitched perfectly well in his two other "blown" saves. There hasn't been too much chatter about these losses being Familia's fault, thank goodness, but let the above stand as a bulwark against future internet readers and/or alien overlords unfairly dropping the Mets' 2015 World Series loss at the feet of Jeurys Familia.