NEW YORK -- Less than 24 hours ago, Jeurys Familia had an active streak of 52 straight successful regular-season save conversions.
Now, Familia has suffered consecutive blown saves to leave the New York Mets reeling.
The Mets are 48-2 when leading after eight innings. They had been perfect only a day earlier.
Manager Terry Collins suggested after Wednesday’s blown save against the St. Louis Cardinals -- which snapped the third-longest save streak in MLB history -- that Familia would be unavailable for Thursday’s matinee because of his recent workload. Yet in trotted Familia for the ninth inning after telling his manager pregame that he was ready to contribute.
“My arm felt OK,” Familia said. “I didn’t feel tired and thought I could pitch. I know my body. I just said, ‘I’m available.’”
Said Collins: “We said, 'This is the perfect situation to get him right back out there.'"
Inheriting a 1-0 lead, Familia surrendered a leadoff single to Trevor Story, walked David Dahl and watched Daniel Descalso drop a two-strike bunt in front of the plate for a base hit as the Rockies loaded the bases with no outs.
Tony Wolters then struck out, but Cristhian Adames' ensuing broken-bat grounder plated the tying run. First baseman James Loney actually was charged with an error after he could not cleanly field the baseball, although it was hit too softly to have turned a game-ending double play anyway.
A wild pitch from Familia with the tying run at third base then plated the go-ahead run. After an intentional walk to Charlie Blackmon, Familia was pulled mid-inning for the first time since Sept. 15, 2014 -- when Jenrry Mejia was still the closer and Familia was working the eighth inning.
Two of the three longest streaks in MLB history were followed by consecutive blown saves. Tom Gordon blew back-to-back chances in 1999 after converting 54 straight saves.
Eric Gagne owns the MLB record with 84 straight save conversions from 2002 through '04.
The Rockies, who swept the series at Coors Field in May, improved to 4-0 against the Mets this season.
Collins particularly cited the failure to get an out on the bunt play, which loaded the bases with none out.
“The ball was right on top of the line, looking like it was going foul,” catcher Rene Rivera said. “And then suddenly is stopped.”
The blown save spoiled a brilliant performance by starter Jacob deGrom.
After lasting only 3 2/3 innings in Miami on Saturday, deGrom limited the Rockies to five hits and a walk in seven scoreless innings. He now owns a 0.95 ERA in four career starts against the Rockies.
It marked the second time this season that deGrom had a scoreless effort of at least seven innings and came away with a no-decision. He tossed eight scoreless innings at Atlanta on June 25 and received a no-decision in the Mets' eventual 1-0, 11-inning win.
In his last four starts in which he has received a no-decision, deGrom has allowed a total of two earned runs in 29 innings.
“I would say that’s probably the best I’ve felt mechanical-wise,” said deGrom, who threw twice off the mound between starts to try to right himself. “I was able to throw my changeup. I think last start against the Marlins I threw it one time. I kind of had gotten away from that, and today I threw my changeup a lot.”
Like the night before against St. Louis, beyond faulting Familia, the Mets also could kick themselves for woeful production with runners in scoring position.
The Mets entered the day hitting an MLB-worst .206 with runners in scoring position. That futility continued Thursday as they went 1-for-9. The lone hit came on an infield single by Asdrubal Cabrera.
Loney flied out to strand two baserunners in the fourth. An inning later, after Rivera produced his second double of the game, he was stranded at third base as Juan Lagares took a called third strike. And when an error by third baseman Nolan Arenado prolonged the sixth, Loney popped out to first base to again strand two baserunners.
The worst was yet to come.
The Mets loaded the bases with none out in the seventh and failed to score, inviting boos from the Citi Field faithful. Kelly Johnson grounded into a forceout at the plate, Curtis Granderson struck out and Wilmer Flores popped out.
“We could have blown that game open by some ground balls and haven’t been able to do it,” Collins said. “That’s what it comes down to. Our pitchers, they live on the edge. It’s hard to do every night.”
In a pinch: Although he was held out of the starting lineup because his balky right quadriceps flared up, Yoenis Cespedes was inserted as a pinch hitter for deGrom in the seventh inning with two runners in scoring position and none out. Cespedes received an intentional walk and departed for pinch runner Steven Matz.
Heating up? Neil Walker had his second straight three-hit game. He had been in a 4-for-48 rut before the awakening.
Rivera went 3-for-4. He drove in the Mets’ lone run with an RBI double in the second.