Terry Collins wants to get Jeurys Familia another save chance as soon as possible
The beauty of baseball is tomorrow always comes with an opportunity for redemption.
And while Game 1 of the World Series was most certainly a disappointing Fall Classic debut for Jeurys Familia, it wasn’t the first time he’s experienced failure and a missed opportunity, and it won’t be the last either as long as he continues to serve as a big league closer.
It has been a while, but his last blown save complete an epic meltdown in a weird, rainy Thursday afternoon game at Citi Field on July 30 when he helped allow the Padres to roar back from a 7-1 deficit to ultimately win 8-7.
But because it’s just one game – albeit a big one – manager Terry Collins will not hesitate to use his star closer if another save opportunity arises on Wednesday night, as he feels it’s important Familia pitch as soon as possible to move past his failed attempt to close out Game 1.
“If it’s 4-3 in the bottom of the ninth inning, Jeurys Familia will be standing on that mound. That’s just what you’ve got to do. And you’ve got to realize it’s all part of the game,” Collins said.
Collins said it’s important to give Familia his next save chance for the sake of his short and long-term psyche and confidence.
“These are the times you’ve got to do it. Not just for tonight, just for the whole future,” Collins explained.
As for the quick pitch he attempted to get by Alex Gordon, in which he crushed for a game-tying solo home run in the ninth inning of Game 1, Collins said it’s been a very effective tool for Familia, although it’s important he understands that he needs to use both his sinker and his splitter when opting for that delivery.
“He’s been really effective with it,” the manager said. “The one thing you want to try to do though is not, when you quick pitch, not just use one pitch. He just left it up.”
But regardless, Collins chalked up the poor result to only one thing.
“He just left it up,” Collins said about Familia’s pitch to Gordon. “He paid the price for it. And that’s what happens when you play good teams.”
The important thing for Familia – especially if he faces Gordon again tonight or later in this series – is for him to not only mix his pitches up, but not be obvious about trying to mix his pitches up either. The Royals are a very keen and intelligent team who adjust not only from one at-bat to another, but pitch-to-pitch. Gordon himself said after the game he didn’t even know Familia had a quick pitch in his arsenal, but he saw it in the previous sequence before he came up, and he was obviously more than ready for it.
Of course, if Familia executes his location, the result might have been different. But the fact he was able to adjust to a quick pitch with that velocity just goes to show how the Royals think and react, which affords them the ability to be aggressive and successfully aggressive at that.
“As we know in sports, the game is played by great, great talented players who once in a while make mistakes. He made a mistake, he just didn’t get the ball where he wanted it to,” Collins said.