LOS ANGELES -- Jeurys Familia arguably was the third option to close for the New York Mets this season, behind Jenrry Mejia and Bobby Parnell. Now Familia has helped pitch the Mets to the National League Championship Series.
Familia recorded the first six-out save of his career to protect a one-run lead and the Mets ousted the Los Angeles Dodgers with a 3-2 victory in a winner-take-all Game 5 on Thursday night at Dodger Stadium. Dodgers batters went 0-for-16 against Familia in the division series.
The last six-out postseason save by a Met in the postseason? Jesse Orosco in Game 7 of the 1986 World Series against the Boston Red Sox. The only postseason saves of two or more innings in franchise history belong to Familia, Orosco, Tug McGraw (1973) and Nolan Ryan (1969).
“He’s gotten four-out saves. He’s gotten five-out saves. Why not six?” general manager Sandy Alderson said afterward inside a jubilant Mets clubhouse.
Familia matched Armando Benitez’s 2001 franchise record with 43 saves during the regular season. That's pretty amazing considering Mejia originally appeared first in line for the role, before receiving the first of two suspensions for performance-enhancing drugs. Parnell might have been next in line, but he performed poorly while on a rehab assignment after Tommy John surgery, and Familia had already taken off in the role.
During the celebration, Familia again credited advice from veterans such as Bartolo Colon, plus bullpen coach Ricky Bones.
“Tonight, when I went out there, I tried to have fun and do my job," Familia said. "I wasn’t nervous.”