During this weekend's sweep of the Diamondbacks, Jeurys Familia was one of the many Mets with standout performances. But there was little buzz over his two perfect innings. In fact, his entire resurgent season has largely flown under the radar.
After three straight seasons as one of the best relievers in baseball, Familia's brutal 2017 was an alarming blow to a struggling team. Between a suspension related to a domestic violence arrest and surgery for a blood clot, he threw only 24.2 innings with an ERA of 4.38 -- nearly two full runs higher than his career mark -- and had only six saves on the year.
Familia's most notable weakness has always been his walk rate, which in 2017 jumped to 5.5 batters per nine innings. Aside from a slight drop in his strikeout rate (which has never been elite in the current environment), Familia's other statistics largely held stable, suggesting a return to form wasn't out of reach. Looking back, it seems that rustiness from lost time and lingering effects of a short-term injury were to blame for his ineffectiveness, both of which have fully resolved...