Jeurys Familia was one of MLB's most dominating and reliable closers throughout 2015, so why has he become the scapegoat for why the New York Mets bowed out in five games to the Kansas City Royals in the World Series?
Three blown saves in eight chances might seem blameworthy at first glance, but Familia's 0.61 ERA tells another story. Shoddy fielding behind him and the inability to keep baserunners at bay became the Amazin's undoing in the Fall Classic.
Yes, Familia surrendering a game-tying home run to Alex Gordon in Game 1, but aside from the deep bomb he gave up off a quick-pitch, the Mets closer gave up just five hits and one earned run in 14 2/3 postseason innings pitched.
A closer examination reveals that New York's defense, which had been the team's Achilles heel all season-long, came back to bite them when the games mattered the most. A gritty and fundamentally sound Royals squad exploited the Mets defensive ineptitude and took home baseball's ultimate prize.
As for Familia's mindset heading into 2016, the ninth inning man's confidence should be riding high. After taking over close out duties from Jenrry Mejia following his second of three PED suspensions, Familia flourished by notching 43 regular season saves.