For the second straight day the Mets grabbed the elusive RISP brass ring, only to have it fall on the carousal floor Wednesday night after the Cardinals rallied for two runs in their 5-4 win.
Jeurys Familia stepped onto the mound in the top of the 9th holding a one run lead in his trusty right hand, and did what he hadn’t done in 52 consecutive outings. Blow a save. In fact the Mets were 48-0 when leading after 8 innings.
The prolific closing act of this offensively struggling team flirted with danger one time too many when he issued a one out walk to the pesky Jedd Gyorko, the guy that hurt the Mets with a two-run homer in the first game of their double-header on Monday.
Yadier Molina, who broke New York’s heart during Game 7 of the NLCS nearly a decade ago, delivered a game tying RBI double, then Kolten Wong brought him home with the streak-ending dagger double to left field.
“I just tried to get a ground ball,” Familia said of his pitch to Molina. “I left it a little bit in the middle and he had a good swing.”
Fair to say that Yadier is still public enemy number one in Flushing.
Logan Verrett couldn’t close the door with two outs in the bottom of the inning, surrendering back-to-back deuces to Matt Holliday and Matt Adams giving St Louis a 3-1 lead.
But then in the In the 7th, it seemed like the makings of a modest two game winning streak was on the menu when consecutive singles by Travis d’Arnaud and Alejandro De Aza, a wild pitch by Adam Wainwright and a two-run shot by Yoenis Cespedes gave the Mets a one run lead.
Addison Reed retired the side in order in the 8th, setting the stage for Familia’s 53rd save which never came to fruition.
“You know it’s eventually gonna happen,” Wilmer Flores said of Familia’s inability to come through. “Nobody’s perfect. He made a pitch Molina was ready for. Some hitters would try to pull that ball. Molina didn’t.”
The loss meant the Mets still haven’t won consecutive games for nearly three weeks.
“It’s definitely a tough one to swallow since we came back,” Wilmer Flores said of his teammate Familia. “What can you do? We’re still right there. And we still believe in him.”
“Nobody’s perfect. He made a pitch Molina was ready for. Some hitters would try to pull that ball. Molina didn’t.”
The collateral damage that was done tonight put the Mets 5.5 back of the Nationals and in 4th position of a wild card spot, a half game behind the Cardinals, and 1.5 away from the Marlins and the surging LA Dodgers. It’s suddenly getting pretty crowded around here.
Regardless of the result, kudos to Familia for an incredible record-setting run. His 52 consecutive saves in the regular season dating back to August 1, 2015, is the third-longest streak in major league history. And his 36 consecutive saves to open this season are a Mets franchise record. Shake it off, big guy.