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Greg Prince and Jason Fry
Faith and Fear in Flushing made its debut on Feb. 16, 2005, the brainchild of two longtime friends and lifelong Met fans.

Greg Prince discovered the Mets when he was 6, during the magical summer of 1969. He is a Long Island-based writer, editor and communications consultant. Contact him here.

Jason Fry is a Brooklyn writer whose first memories include his mom leaping up and down cheering for Rusty Staub. Check out his other writing here.

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The Numbers Game

Bartolo Colon has 9 wins. Jeurys Familia has 18 saves. Those are some pretty cool numbers, even for our sophisticated statistical times.

Wins have been discredited as a leading indicator of starting pitcher effectiveness and are all but useless for measuring anything a reliever does, but when the starter always earns the decision, I don’t think you can completely dismiss its conclusions. Colon has started 13 games in 2015 and is 9-4. He’s been doing the heavy lifting every time he’s won. In each of those 9 starts, he’s gone at least 6 innings. Only one of them wasn’t a “quality” start, and we can swap out his having won 7-4 on that occasion for his hard-luck losing (2-1) to Arizona in his most recent start prior to last night.

As for last night, he kept his own luck together, distributing but 2 hits, 2 walks and 2 runs to Atlanta over 6 frames. The Mets led when he exited, which would explain the 9th win.

Also contributing Friday in an explanatory nature: Wilmer Flores’s 10th home run; the 3 late-game double plays begun by Dilson Herrera; the 2nd game in a row in which Michael Cuddyer came through with a key RBI; and John Mayberry’s 1st Citi Field home run.

Oh, and don’t forget that 18th save out of Familia. I was surprised to learn, despite watching him all season, that Jeurys had 17 saves coming in. They’ve quietly and effectively accumulated, which isn’t a bad way for saves to collect.

Saves are also a limited stat, having been jury-rigged for the benefits of agents and their clients and perhaps to increase the royalties paid to groups like Metallica and AC/DC. You can’t say the Tsuris brothers, Alex and Carlos, didn’t help save the Mets’ bacon-flavored strips by throwing the ground balls that became 2 of those Herrera-engineered twin-killings in the 7th and 8th (never mind that they placed the runners on base to give Dilson so much to work with). Still, you get to the 9th, and you get there ahead by 2 runs, you want to get out alive.

Familia kept us vital. It was a less simple process than usual — two walks sandwiched a base hit — but when Jeurys, who might have had other things on his mind, had to get Nick Markakis to cooperate, he succeeded. It went 4-6-3 and ensured a 5-3 victory.

Scoff at saves if you like, but you’ll never reject them when you receive them.

5 comments to The Numbers Game

  • Ken K. in NJ

    Of all the closers the Mets have had over the years, Familia seems to be the least strees-inducing ever, last night nothwithstanding. Hardly any drama, unlike Franco, Benitez. Wagner and of course Mejia. McGraw I think was usually stress-free as I recall, but I was younger then and there was always tomorrow.

  • Tim Donner

    It’s hard to believe with all the injuries to the bullpen and lineup and lousy record on the road and sub-500 record the last seven weeks or so, and Harvey’s problems and Thor’s recent struggles…but we’re actually a game and a half into 1st place. But here we are, and I think the main reason this season is alive is this team’s ability so far to avoid long losing streaks. Every time they seem about to go into free fall, they recover. We can only hope to continue as such.

  • Lenny65

    Familia has been a real rock (knocks firmly on wooden surface) this year. I agree that he’s been an absolute blessing and IMO he has a real chance to develop into (knocks firmly on wooden surface) something special. And Bartolo is firmly entrenched in Mets legend already, every win from here on in is gravy.

    It really is difficult to believe they’re in first place, isn’t it? It’s been a very strange season, hasn’t it? Normally if we’re in 1st in the middle of June we’re delirious, but this year they’re just so annoying sometimes. It’s definitely possible that they’re not that far away from being legit but every time you start to get enthusiastic the spotlight swings onto their weaknesses again (or someone goes on the DL). I’ve seen some folks compare this to 1984 (nope, not even close) and 1998 (a little closer but still no) and I even came across some nitwit who tried to compare it to 85 (ha you wish) but I don’t remember a season like this one ever (I don’t remember 1971 but I can definitely see the similarities there).

    I’m not trying to troll her nor am I starting another “Uncle Terry Must Go” bandwagon movement but isn’t it strange how. for the most part he’s avoided the criticism most other mediocre managers would get under the same circumstances? I know, he’s saddled with terrible ownership, he can only use the guys he’s been given and he’s generally considered a “caretaker” manager while the team reloads and etc. I don’t even especially dislike him or anything, I’ve just been wondering how long the leash here is, so to speak. It isn’t to imply that a change would do any good because honestly I’m not really sure if it’d be a good idea. I’m just wondering why it doesn’t come up more often, as it seems sort of weird to me. Usually we’re way harder on our managers but somehow TC has avoided most of that.

    Anyhow, right now I’m hoping that someone catches fire, Thor and Harvey get in the groove and they at least make it interesting through September. Going out on a 1985 “wait til next year!” high note would be enough to satiate me for one more year.

  • open the gates

    I just hope they don’t hand the 9th inning back to Mejia or Parnell just because. Jeuris has earned the right to close for the rest of the season, or at least as long as he is effective. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

  • EMW

    “The Tsuris brothers.” That is about the funniest line I have read all week, funny and sadly fitting.