WASHINGTON -- Yes, it was interrupted by three blown saves in the World Series. But New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia now owns sole possession of the franchise record for consecutive regular-season saves.
Familia allowed back-to-back singles to Jayson Werth and Daniel Murphy to open the bottom of the ninth inning, but ultimately stranded both baserunners to preserve the Mets' 2-0 rubber-game win against the Washington Nationals on Wednesday.
Familia broke a tie with Billy Wagner, who converted 31 straight save attempts with the Mets in 2006 and '07. Among active streaks, only Arizona's Brad Ziegler has more consecutive save conversions (36).
Familia is 16-for-16 this season. That's tied with Francisco Rodriguez (2009) for the second-longest streak to begin a season in Mets history. Armando Benitez owns that franchise record. He opened 2001 with 25 straight save conversions.
"You saw what happened when he got in trouble," manager Terry Collins said about Familia's performance Wednesday. "He picked his game up."
Added captain David Wright, who also played with Wagner: "It's nice having those two guys at the back end of a game. When we had Billy, you might as well just have made it an eight-inning game. When he came in, he was getting the job done. And Jeurys is slowly getting there. He obviously doesn't have the track record Billy's got, but he's certainly got the stuff. That's a tremendous compliment, because Billy arguably had some of the best stuff of anybody in baseball. Familia is right there in this day and age."
Can Familia keep this streak going for the full season? Among the recent closers to have a perfect season are Eric Gagne (55-for-55 in 2003), Jose Valverde (49-for-49 in 2011) and Brad Lidge (41-for-41 in 2008).
"I don't know," Familia said. "I can't answer that question."