After rough weekend, closer records save with family in attendance
By Joshua Needelman
NEW YORK -- Mets closer Jeurys Familia insists he has a short memory. Even after surrendering six runs in two consecutive appearances against the Dodgers this weekend, the right-hander said he had a clear mind by the time he stepped on the mound for his 17th save opportunity Monday afternoon against the Chicago White Sox.
He worked a perfect ninth inning, needing just 13 pitches to put away Chicago and seal the 1-0 Mets win.
It's a mindset Familia has borrowed from veteran right-hander Bartolo Colon. But it's also the product of having some special people in his life.
"As soon as I see my son and my family, I forget everything that happened," Familia said.
On a day that right-hander Matt Harvey snapped a streak of ineffective starts, Familia turned things around, too.
"I thought we had to go to [Familia]. There was no hesitation on my part," Collins said. "This has got to be his time. We're going to need him [if] we're going to continue to achieve what we want to achieve. He's going to be a big part of it."
The Mets, of course, want to be playing deep into October. When the pressure mounts, Collins is going to need a reliable closer.
"If you're going to have confidence in anything you do, you need to have people that believe in you also," Collins said.
Familia first fanned catcher Dioner Navarro on a 97-mph sinker before using three sinkers to induce a groundout from Adam Eaton. Familia finished against Jose Abreu, striking him out on four pitches.
"My sinker is, right now, where I want my sinker," Familia said. "Everything felt good. I threw it down in the zone."
After he saw the home-plate umpire signal the strikeout of Abreu, Familia smacked his right hand into his glove and slapped five with catcher Rene Rivera.
On Sunday, Familia maintained that he believes in himself, but he's not the only one. His teammates said he'd bounce back. His manager said he'd bounce back. And his family said he'd bounce back.
"It helps me a lot, my son and my family being here," Familia said.
Joshua Needelman is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.