Tonight the Athletics will play against the Yankees in a one-game, Wild Card playoff. You’re a Mets fan (probably), that’s why you are on this site (probably) which means you remember this Wild Card format from 2016 when the Mets lost in a pitching duel against the Giants on a three-run homer to Conor Gillaspie given up by Familia. Familia also became the goat (not G.O.A.T.) of the 2015 World Series, somewhat unfairly, as he was tagged for 3 blown saves. The first one was probably his fault, the other two he was surrounded by defensive miscues, inherited runners, etc.
For better or worse this reputation has followed Familia in terms of his pitching ability. Even this season when statistically he was dominate there was still a feeling, a shadow among Mets fans about his pitching ability (important to note that in my experience, the Mets fans who devalue Familia as a pitcher are NOT the same Mets fans who question the Mets and MLB’s treatment of his domestic violence allegation, which in my opinion has still not been dealt with correctly).
The Mets traded Familia away for an incredibly weak return of prospect this year (although hard to tell half a season out), there is still a high chance the Mets and Familia will reunite.
If Familia comes into the game late today, how will the story of his post season success progress? Does he blow the save today? Is he is dominate 2018 self? Can he help end the Yankees season, sitting the Bronx back down? Will he give the major networks what they want? A Red Sox / Yankees ALDS?
I guess we’ll find out in probably 15 hours.
15 hours later and the Athletics find themselves out of the playoffs, but this time it wasn’t Familia’s fault. The Athletics went with a bullpen game and ended up allowing 7 runs to the Yankees but Familia, he ended the game with a shutout inning. While it wasn’t a high leverage situation, at least it wasn’t bad.