The third option as closer, he capably stepped into the role with Jenrry Mejia suspended because of positive performance-enhancing drug tests and Bobby Parnell ineffective upon returning from Tommy John surgery.
Familia matched a franchise record with 43 regular-season saves. Then he had logged 9⅔ scoreless innings through two rounds of the postseason -- including a six-out save against the Los Angeles Dodgers in a winner-take-all Game 5 of the National League Division Series.
So the tying solo homer Familia surrendered to Alex Gordon with one out in the ninth inning that forced extra innings Tuesday night in Game 1 of the World Series stunned some in the visitors dugout at Kauffman Stadium. The Mets went on to lose, 5-4, in 14 innings.
Familia had not suffered a blown save since July 30.
Bidding for a four-out save, he already had escaped the eighth inning with a 4-3 lead intact after inheriting runners on the corners with two outs from setup man Tyler Clippard.
"One thing, he doesn't give up home runs," manager Terry Collins said. "So we were all shocked by it. We liked where we were at."
Said captain David Wright: "Familia has come in and done an excellent job all year. So, hopefully, we can get him the ball again tomorrow."
Familia said he missed on the location of the fastball to Gordon that evened the score at 4.
"It's part of the game. I just left my fastball up in the zone," Familia said. "He made the swing. That's it. I missed the zone a little bit. I wanted to go away, down. I left it in the middle, a little up."
Familia's last blown save came at the lowest moment of the Mets' season. A trade with the Milwaukee Brewers for outfielder Carlos Gomez had just fallen through. And then Familia served up a three-run homer to Justin Upton as the San Diego Padres completed a comeback from a six-run deficit to defeat the Mets at a rainy Citi Field. The dispiriting loss dropped the Mets three games behind the Washington Nationals in the National League East.
But after that July 30 blown save, Familia gave up only one run over his next 25 innings -- producing the lowest ERA in the majors during that span (minimum 20 innings).
The Mets took off, too. They rebounded from the Gomez trade falling through by acquiring Yoenis Cespedes from the Detroit Tigers on July 31. That night, Wilmer Flores hit a walk-off homer against the Nationals in the 12th inning. The Mets ended up sweeping Washington that weekend to pull even atop the division standings.
Veteran righty Bartolo Colon has preached all season to Familia to not get too high or too low, and to forget bad moments. That advice, which Familia has taken to heart, probably will serve him well now.
"The thing that's so great about him is he knows how to shake it off and be ready for the next pitch and to get the next guy out," catcher Travis d'Arnaud said.
Said Familia: "I'm not surprised. I can make mistakes. Everybody makes mistakes in this game. You just try to move forward and that's it."