The Mets will still have to wait to get back to over .500 after giving up four runs in the ninth inning of a 6-5 loss to the Giants on Wednesday afternoon at Citi Field.
Jeurys Familia gave up four runs (three earned) in the ninth. Terry Collins used his closer in a five-run game the night before but the Met skipper didn’t feel that had anything to do with today’s blown save.
“Jerry Blevins has pitched three days in a row, Addison Reed’s pitched three days in a row,” said Collins, who was not first guessing or second guessing his decision. “Last night we had to win a game. We had to win a game last night. And if you bring in somebody else in the ninth inning, they get on, you gotta go to Familia. I was worried about winning the game. I did not know what was going to happen today.”
The Mets skipper isn’t afraid to make decisions out of what would be considered a safe strategy. Down in Washington, he removed Familia with the bases loaded and the Mets holding a two-run lead. Josh Edgin picked up the save when he bested Bryce Harper.
It seems like the final game of a series with a chance for a sweep is the Mets kryptonite. After beating Scherzer and Strasburg in Washington, the Nationals won 23-5 as Noah Syndergaard left with an injury. After taking two from the Marlins, Adam Wilk was beaten in place of Matt Harvey while the Mets mustered one hit in a 7-0 loss.
And now perhaps the most frustrating loss of the still early season. It looked like Tommy Milone would get the win in his first start as a Met, in which he also contributed an RBI single.
But the Giants got to Familia in the ninth (sound familiar) and a 3-2 Met lead became a 6-3 deficit.
Familia got Met killer Conor Gillaspie to fly out to start the inning. But then came a walk to Joe Panik and after falling behind Eduardo Nunez, pitching coach Dan Warthen made a visit to the mound.
Nunez hit a grounder to third but everyone was safe on a poor Wilmer Flores throw to second. It was one sinker in the dirt after the other as Familia fell behind Hunter Pence and surrendered a game-tying single. Then he fell behind Buster Posey and walked the Giants star to load the bases then.
Christian Arroyo then doubled to left-center to clear the bases. It’s not quite Armando Benitez territory yet although the sight of Familia being booed off the mound looked like the October night when he walked back to the dugout after allowing three runs in the ninth to the Giants. (Although that game meant just a little more.)
The Mets rallied in the bottom of the ninth as Wilmer Flores drove in two runs with a double but was stranded when Kevin Plawecki grounded out to end the game.
Despite what seems like a struggle for Familia, the closer entered Wednesday with an ERA of one in 10 appearances.
And Collins didn’t think his closer was dealing with fatigue, just falling behind good hitters. “The base on balls to Panik hurt him,” Collins said. “We got a ground ball, could’ve got out of the inning. After that, he just didn’t make any pitches.”