After last night’s win against the Marlins, Jeurys Familia has now converted 50 straight save opportunities for the Mets. The last time he blew a save was nearly a year ago. It required a literal omen from the skies.
Familia has been a lifeline of sorts for the Mets, whose offensive futility puts them into a lot of close, low-scoring games. The Mets are 19-11 so far this season in one-run games, and Familia’s heroics have been a key factor.
Despite the streak, several peripheral numbers suggest Familia isn’t quite as dominant as he was a year ago. Familia’s strikeout rate is down (8.9 strikeouts per nine innings, compared to 9.9 a year ago), while his walk rate has gone up (3.6 walks per nine innings, compared to 2.2 a year ago). His BABIP is 50 points higher than last season, resulting in a lot more men on base. His ERA, xFIP, and SIERA have all risen considerably.
There is, however, one number that’s saved Familia’s neck all season. He’s yet to allow a home run this entire year. One can argue that’s unsustainable, but Familia’s batted ball profile does a lot to help his cause. So far in 2016, opposing batters are hitting way more ground balls, pulling the ball less, and not getting solid contact, all of which go a long way toward helping Familia prevent the big hit.
He may not be quite as dominant as he was in 2015, but Familia has still been very effective. The Mets will depend on him to keep the magic going, no matter how many Houdini acts it takes. Only 34 more to go!