Familia can't convert immediate shot at redemption

Familia can't convert immediate shot at redemption

NEW YORK -- Jeurys Familia was sitting quietly in a far corner of the Mets' clubhouse late Thursday afternoon when David Wright emerged from a back room, offered Familia a quick, reassuring pat on the shoulder, then disappeared as quickly as he had arrived.

If Familia is as human as he says, and as human as he looked in blowing a second consecutive save in a 2-1 loss to the Rockies, he must have needed the reassurance. No sooner had Familia's franchise-record streak of 52 consecutive save conversions come to an end this week than he found himself in a bona fide funk, losing Thursday's game on two hits, a walk, a James Loney fielding error and a wild pitch.

Certainly, this latest defeat was not all Familia's fault. The offense (1-for-9 with runners in scoring position, nine men left on base) is still not producing, and the Mets are making curious choices because of it. Manager Terry Collins absorbed a heap of instant criticism for his decision to pinch-hit Yoenis Cespedes, whom he knew the Rockies would intentionally walk, for Jacob deGrom with two on base in the seventh inning, forcing deGrom out of the game. Collins also took Familia at his word when the closer approached him and Dan Warthen in the morning to say that, less than 24 hours after his first blown save, he wanted to return to the mound.

"My arm feels OK," Familia said. "I don't feel tired. I know my body. I can pitch. I just said, 'I'm available.'"

Familia fans Wolters in 9th

The result wasn't any better than the last time. Familia allowed a hit to leadoff man Trevor Story, walked David Dahl, then loaded the bases when catcher Rene Rivera could not properly corral a bunt attempt. The Rockies' game-tying run crossed home after Loney's error, before the go-ahead run scored on a wild pitch.

"I don't have an excuse," Familia said. "Everybody is trying to do the best they can."

That is not, however, resulting in wins for the Mets, largely because the offense is leaving Familia and other Mets pitchers with a razor-thin daily margin for error. Both Wednesday and Thursday, Familia carried a one-run lead heading into the ninth. The Mets haven't held more than a two-run lead at any point in their last four games, due to an offense that ranks 28th in the Majors in runs scored and 30th in batting average. Their on-base and slugging percentages have plummeted since April.

"Our pitchers, they live on the edge," Collins said. "It's hard to do every night."

If the Mets can take solace in anything, it's that they've been here before. Even Familia blew three consecutive saves last July, before starting the streak of 52 in a row that ended on Wednesday. That coincided with an offensive renaissance for the Mets, which they rode to the National League pennant.

They've done it. They've lived it. And even if they can't repeat those glories, at least the Mets understand the blueprint.

"We know what we need to do," deGrom said. "But everyone's out there giving 100 percent. I think we'll be all right."

Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.