Jeurys Familia and Jenrry Mejia are a 1-2 punch that have the Mets thinking big.
Mejia, who has taken over the role as closer and has 11 saves and a 2.22 ERA in the job, and Familia, the set-up man, have become a dynamic combination for the Mets in the bullpen. Gone are Jose Valverde and Kyle Farnsworth as well as the season-ending injury to Bobby Parnell.
In their place, the Mets' bullpen ranks seventh in the big leagues with a 3.17 ERA. Over the past 30 days, the Mets' pen has a 2.29 ERA. Much of that has to do with Familia and Mejia (Star-Ledger, July 18).
One thing Mets manager Terry Collins wants to do is limit the multi-inning outings from the duo. Collins admitted as much on Saturday pregame telling reporters that he would like to curb Familia's multi-inning outings going forward.
Familia has been dominant out of the bullpen with a 1.41 ERA in 37 appearances since May 1 with his blazing mid-90s fastball. For the season, Familia has a 2.02 ERA and a 2-3 record with 40 strikeouts in 49 innings pitched.
Collins is guarding against overuse of Mejia (MLB.com, July 8) and now Familia.
Familia has watched his usage drop since facing 10 batters, throwing 45 pitches and going 1.2 innings on July 4th against Texas . Familia has faced only 15 batters over his last five appearances and has thrown 58 pitches over the last five outings, giving up only two hits, and no runs.
Mejia is feeling confident. He boasted to SNY on Friday that the Mets "are gonna make the playoffs." If the Mets are going to get there, that bullpen is going to have to remain lights out.
Part of helping that along is limiting their use. Collins appears to be on board with it.