Going into the season, Mets manager Mickey Callaway said he would likely use a closer-by-committee, where a handful of guys could get opportunities to finish games.
While that may still prove to be true, Jeurys Familia has emerged as the early favorite for the role and it’s paid great dividends for the team.
Through the Mets’ first seven games, Familia has notched four saves in five games, including a five out effort in Saturday afternoon’s win against the Washington Nationals.
Blevins walked Harper, and with the pressure on, Callaway turned to Familia for a five out save.
“There was no second thoughts,” Callaway said. “Those were the batters he was supposed to face. We were going to win or lose the ninth with him.”
The right-hander then went out for the ninth and pitched a clean inning, notching a strikeout and getting Matt Adams to ground out to first to secure the Mets sixth win in seven tries to start the year.
“I think this is one of the biggest saves I’ve had in the last couple of years, and I feel good,” Familia said.
“Everybody is happy with the way [Callaway] is using the bullpen. That’s the good thing. Everybody is doing the job every time they get the opportunity to go out there.”
Mets relievers entered Saturday’s game with a 1.13 ERA, and chipped in four more innings of strong ball in the win. The lone blemish against them was a home run surrendered by Hansel Robles.
Familia has been a big part of the early success and his presence is felt. The impending free agent appeared in just 26 games last year after notching 51 saves the season prior.
Though he has been used frequently so far this season, Callaway isn’t concerned.
“As long as we make sure we take care of him the day after,” Callaway said. “If he needs a day, if it looks like he is going to need a day, to win a game, we will take that every time, because we have other guys in our bullpen that can get the job done.”