Jeurys Familia Defied the Odds Against the Cubs to Extend His Save Streak

Familia faced trouble immediately in the ninth but pulled out an improbable save.

New York Mets closer Jeurys Familia hasn't blown a save all season or a regular-season chance since August 1st of 2015, but his first gaffe of the season seemed guaranteed last night against the Chicago Cubs.

With a 2-1 lead, Familia and the Mets owned an 81% chance to seal the deal entering the ninth inning, according to FanGraphs.

Familia, who walked just 15 of the 174 batters he faced entering the game (an 8.6% walk rate) worked Addison Russell, a below average hitter against righties with a wRC+ of 96 on the year, to an 0-2 count before throwing four consecutive balls to put the leadoff man on first base.

That was just his third walk after an 0-2 count on the season (35 batters). The Cubs' chances of winning went from 19.0% to 32.3%.

Familia's problems compounded when he walked Miguel Montero, who is even worse with an 86 wRC+ against righties, on four pitches. This tilted the game in Chicago's favor, earning them a 50.9% chance to pull out the win.

The save machine threw a ninth consecutive ball when Javier Baez and his 73 wRC+ against righties entered the box, and Baez's no-out single two pitches later loaded the bases. Chicago's win odds shot up to 73.6%.

A Matt Szczur (94 wRC+ against righties, the fourth consecutive below-average righty Familia faced) grounder led to a fielder's choice, as Russell was thrown out at home. Chicago's win chances dropped to 52.9% with one out and the bases loaded.

But with Kris Bryant (and his monstrous 138 wRC+ against right-handed pitching) at the plate, a second (or third, fourth, and fifth) run seemed much more certain. After all, Bryant had grounded into one double play all season -- on June 2nd -- but wouldn't you know it?

Familia and the Mets hung on to give him his league-leading 33rd save -- his 49th straight (the longest active streak in the Majors) -- and all of us this beauty of a win probability graph.

CHC/NYM Win Probability

The Mets need every win they can get. With a 50-43 record, New York is very much a playoff contender, as they have a 46.0% chance to reach the postseason, 10th-highest in baseball, and their 2.5% chance to win the World Series also ranks them 10th, according to our algorithms.