The New York Mets are fighting to get back above .500. Regardless of their record, there’s no logic behind what Jeurys Familia is doing for the team out of the bullpen.
Nearing the end of an unexpected product year, Familia has lucked into wins all year long. He is now tied for the team lead with 9 victories. Starter Marcus Stroman is the man he has tied. Based on the way his year has gone, there’s a chance his 9-12 record doesn’t get much better and Familia is the one leading the club in wins.
If so, it would be the first time since 1983 for a Mets reliever to lead the team in wins. Jesse Orosco won 13 games that year in what might be the greatest season by a Mets relief pitcher ever.
Jeurys Familia is getting the wins the Mets starting pitchers have missed out on
A topic for weeks now has been the inability of Mets starting pitchers to take home a win. Jacob deGrom is the only guy with more than one start this year to own a record above .500. Taijuan Walker has slipped to 7-9 while Rich Hill and Carlos Carrasco remain winless at 0-2.
Guys like Tylor Megill have pitched well consistently but still came away with no decisions. Through 13 starts, his record sits at just 2-3.
Baseball stats can be a whacky thing. When it comes to wins for pitchers, there is often less of a pattern and more coincidence.
Familia has pitched well this year but he has definitely not been the best man out of the bullpen. That title belongs to Aaron Loup, who ironically, blow the lead in Thursday’s game which led to lining Familia up for the win.
The Mets bullpen, for the first time in several seasons, has been a trustworthy group. Through short stretches, we even got to see lesser pitchers perform well. In a season where the offense came up well short of the finish line and the starting pitching had its own weaknesses and injuries, it shouldn’t be too big of a shock to sit here in early September with a relief pitcher challenging to lead the team in Ws.
Because Familia should also see action in more games than any starter before the year is through, the odds should stack in his favor against everyone other than Stroman.
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We all know by now how unimportant wins are for starting pitchers. deGrom taught us about that back in 2018. The shift in how pitchers are used continues. Starters exit games early on the norm. By the end, Familia may do the unthinkable and actually lead the 2021 Mets in wins.