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Mets reliever Jeurys Familia already nearing career-high in runs allowed

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 14: Jeurys Familia #27 of the New York Mets reacts after giving up four runs in the top of the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on June 14, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 14: Jeurys Familia #27 of the New York Mets reacts after giving up four runs in the top of the eighth inning against the St. Louis Cardinals at Citi Field on June 14, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images)
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How bad has 2019 been for New York Mets reliever Jeurys Familia? He is only a handful of runs from allowing more earned runs than he ever has.

It’s only mid-June and already New York Mets relief pitcher Jeurys Familia is on pace to have his worst season yet. As someone who had several masterful seasons as a closer and setup man, it’s uncanny how bad he has been in 2019.

Friday night’s loss and complete meltdown lifted his ERA up to 6.91 on the year. He has now surrendered 21 earned runs this year, just four shy of the 25 he gave up all of last season.

It’s not only last year we should look at. In his All-Star 2016 campaign, Familia allowed 22 earned runs. In his even better 2015 campaign, teams scored only 16 earned runs against him. All of this happened in more than twice as many innings of work.

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Home runs have been a big reason for it. The two he allowed on Friday made it 5 for the season. His previous high of 6, served up in his 2015 season which included a 1.85 ERA, will probably get passed by a couple of dingers.

Bullpen problems have plagued the Mets all year long. Familia is far from alone when it comes to these struggles. Fellow reliever Robert Gsellman has also already reached the 20 earned runs mark. If others had a chance to stick around with the big league squad long enough, I think they would have company.

Among the relievers, Seth Lugo has been the only consistently effective arm. At 3-0 with a 2.43 ERA in relief, he’s the outlier the Mets wish they could clone. Wilmer Font has pitched well out of the bullpen in his 7 innings thus far, allowing a single run. However, as a starter, he wasn’t so great. Let’s not hold our breath on him figuring things out and becoming the next Lugo.

It is one thing for a guy like Tyler Bashlor or Daniel Zamora to have the kind of nights Familia seems to come to the ballpark with. We don’t expect them to deliver in the clutch. Familia is getting paid to secure the late innings before the ball gets handed to Edwin Diaz. One could argue he has done his job worse than anyone else when you factor in the level of responsibility and compensation.

Nothing has gone Familia’s way this year. He’s walking batters at a rate higher than 6 per nine innings. Batters are taking him yard at a rate more than twice his career average. Keeping the ball in the park was always a strength of his.

Whether it’s the new baseballs, the contagion infecting the team’s bullpen, or the pact with the devil MLB hitters made for an all-time punishing season versus pitchers, Familia has been downright untrustworthy.

There’s no silver lining here. With two more seasons of what looks like a disastrous free agent signing, we can only hope he can get back to respectability. The best we may have to hope for is an expensive mop-up man who can eat a few innings in blowouts.

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This isn’t how the story of Jeurys Familia was supposed to end in Flushing. Sadly, it’s trending in that direction.

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