JABO: Alex Gordon Proves Jeurys Familia Is Human

When Eric Hosmer misplayed an eighth inning chopper down the line, giving the Mets a 4-3 lead, the Mets had exactly what they wanted; the chance to watch Jeurys Familia finish off the final three outs of the game to preserve a lead. Given what they’ve seen from their closer over the last few months, having him hold a lead seemed like just about the surest thing in baseball.

As Jeff Sullivan noted two weeks ago, the recent version of Familia has been even better than his season numbers suggest. In mid-August, Familia added a split-finger to his repertoire after basically not throwing the pitch at all for the first four months of the year.

FamiliaUsage

Familia didn’t throw a single splitter from May 21st through August 7th, then started working the pitch in pretty regularly starting with his August 10th appearance. His numbers since that date, including the postseason:

Familia Since August 10th
IP H HR BB K ERA
34 21 1 8 39 1.06

In the equivalent of about half a season’s worth of work, Familia had been as good as any reliever in baseball, racking up five strikeouts for every walk while also inducing groundballs on 60% of his batted balls. With the splitter, he’d been the Mets version of Wade Davis, the kind of guy you just expect to blow every hitter away as soon as he steps on the mound. And after Salvador Perez grounded weakly to shortstop, a Mets victory felt inevitable.

Read the rest on Just a Bit Outside.





Dave is the Managing Editor of FanGraphs.

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Well-Beered Englishman
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Unrelated: in the FG Chat last night, I was really surprised by the Mets fandom of the FanGraphs readership. Something like 65% of poll respondents thought the Mets would win the Series, and 77% were cheering for the Mets.

I’m pretty impartial, rooting for the best possible baseball series. (Last night was a great start.) If anything I guess I’m pro-Royals. But the heavy Mets leaning of FG readers seems strange. Anybody want to weigh in on why this is?

free-range turducken
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free-range turducken
Alex Gordon's bomb
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Alex Gordon's bomb

Yet the Royals outdrew the Mets, 2.7M to 2.5M. That’s just sad for the Mets “fanbase”.

vivalajeter
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vivalajeter

Doesn’t that happen whenever a team makes the World Series? They get a bump the following year?

In 2014, the Royals drew 1.9M. In the years before that, it was 1.7M.

BrooklynBerger
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BrooklynBerger

Royals were coming off a WS appearance and the Mets came into 2015 suffering 6 seasons below .500. The attendance numbers are understandable.

Jon
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Jon

Trolls gonna troll.

Alex doesn't understand baseball attendance
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Alex doesn't understand baseball attendance

Alex, apparently you are very naive when it comes to attendance and baseball. The biggest bumps usually come in the year AFTER a team makes a big jump in the standings or earns postseason honors. The same effect works for attendance declines which mostly show up the year AFTER a team starts to stink.

This is why last year, when the Royals were in the WS and the Mets didn’t even make the postseason, they outdrew the Royals by more than 2,500 a game!

Guaranteed the Mets outdraw the Royals next year. It will be a sad reality for you.

KCDaveInLA
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KCDaveInLA

Also bad considering Citi Field has a higher capacity than Kauffman (almost 42K to 37K). That said, the Royals don’t compete with the Yankees for fan draw.

Well-Beered Englishman
Guest

Well I’m curious about how all the neutral fans made their decisions. Surely FanGraphs isn’t 77% New Yorkers. How did so many readers in California/Texas/Florida/etc. decide to cheer for the Mets?

thecodygriffin
Member
thecodygriffin

This is just one man’s opinion, so take it with a grain of salt. I think both of these teams are extremely likable for different reasons. In the case of the Mets, they have the “star” power in guys like Cespedes and Harvey (and then even with guys like Granderson and Wright still). In the case of the Royals, I feel as if they are still the scrappy underdog who continue to win against all odds.

thecodygriffin
Member
thecodygriffin

Forgot to finish my thought…

So I think it is just a matter of preference and chicks dig the long ball.

Phillies113
Member

The Royals uniforms are all blue, which is a soothing, relaxing color. Doctor’s offices are blue on the inside for a reason. However, it’s not a color that gets your blood really pumping.

Now, the Mets? They have blue, yes, but also ORANGE! That’s a PASSIONATE color. A real go-getter, orange. It stirs up the fires and makes you want to DO things and be EXCITED!

It may sound ridiculous (and it probably is!), but something as simple as the colors of their uniforms could sway the opinions of a third party, completely neutral observer. It may not be correct at all, but it’s an explanation that makes as much sense as any other.

Bronnt
Member
Bronnt

Honestly, I think it has to do with the coverage. Lots of the talking heads on ESPN portray the Royals the “old school” team that does things like “hit and run” and “take the extra base” and “puts pressure on the defense by putting the ball in play.”

There may be something to this, considering some of the analysis that’s being done on high-contact teams in the playoffs. However, the way it’s presented by the likes of Kruk and Reynolds makes these statements anti-analysis, trite commentary for people who don’t want to think.

The Mets’ success INVITES analysis, though, since they weren’t projected to do well, and even at midseason people expected regression. So people who are drawn to analytical thinking are going to like to Mets because their success as a team provokes thought in a way that a defending champion does not. So people who come here and want analysis are perhaps likely to prefer the Mets.

joser
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joser

Chicks also dig Noah Syndergaard’s hair.

joser
Guest
joser

As a neutral fan, I really didn’t make a decision. This is the first World Series in several years where I really don’t care who wins; despite that (or maybe because of it), I enjoyed the first game immensely.

I know mostly Royals fans, not Mets fans, but had the Royals won last year I’d be actively rooting against them this year, as I was against the Giants in 2012 and 2014 and the Red Sox in 2013 and 2007 (after rooting for those teams in 2010 and 2004, respectively).

cornflake5000
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cornflake5000

As a Cubs fan who just had his team snuffed out by a New York team (curses), I’m rooting for… the Mets. I’ve never disliked them the way I do other New York teams (mainly the Yankees, Giants, & Knicks). But it wouldn’t bother me if the fans in KC were able to enjoy a Championship either.

Eric Hosmer
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Eric Hosmer

How can a city 10x the size of another draw fewer fans? That’s pretty sad.

francis
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francis

Really ? This is a question ?

A stadium has limited capacity, and even if you built a bigger stadium, the added seats would be so far away from the field to make it worth watching.

The population of Met fans is bigger than the population of Royal fans, whether or not they actually show up at the stadium.

And also, the population of former NYers living outside of NY is much, much bigger than the population of former KCers living outside of KC. So many, many more Met fans exist that can’t physically make it to games.

Plus, it’s probably a lot easier to get to a Royals game than a Met game.

Eric Hosmer
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Eric Hosmer

How can 1 city 10x the size of the other draw fewer fans?