"You always feel. It's not an easy position," Rivera said. "Every eye is on top of you, and that's only on the field. Forget about on TV. You feel like a little ant. I do. I feel for guys like that. Besides that, if you don't have the brain or the mentality to surpass that or put it behind, that can be dangerous."
The Mets, who will head back to New York for Game 3 on Friday (7:30 p.m. ET air time on FOX, 8 p.m. game time), were "shocked," in manager Terry Collins' words, when Familia blew his first save since July, following a campaign in which he recorded 43 regular-season saves and ran off 9 2/3 scoreless innings through the first two rounds of the playoffs.
Rivera's message to Familia: it happens to everyone, and the best thing to do is get right back on the mound.
"That's part of the game. It's not something that, 'Oh, he's invincible,'" Rivera said. "No, he's not. He's not invincible. We're all vulnerable. We're human beings, not a machine. When that happens, the question will be, 'How is he going to come back? How is he going to react after that?' We will see that when the situation happens. That's a big blow.
"As long as when you go in there and you're mentally prepared, and you're physically prepared 100 percent, the rest is history. You're giving your best. Sometimes your best won't be enough. It's simple."
Rivera was pitching against the Mets the last time they appeared in a World Series, closing out the Yankees' 26th championship at Shea Stadium. Fifteen years later, Rivera said that he finds himself pulling for the Yanks' crosstown rivals in this series.
"I am. We have a Panamanian there [infielder Ruben Tejada], and it was shocking the way he got hurt," Rivera said. "But it's still New York. Because the Yankees are not in it, I am pulling for the Mets."
Bryan Hoch is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @bryanhoch, on Facebook and read his MLBlog, Bombers Beat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.