New York Mets manager Terry Collins wasn't all that impressed with Jeurys Familia's performance Thursday at Citi Field, where the right-hander returned from his 15-game suspension for violating the league's domestic violence policy with an erratic, 30-pitch ninth inning in his club's 6-4 loss to the Philadelphia Phillies.
"Rusty, to say the least," Collins told Fred Kerber of the New York Post. "Good velocity, good sink. Just hasn’t been out there in a while. You sit there and say, 'Hey do we take him out or let him work?' And we just had to let him work."
Familia, who was suspended following a domestic incident involving his wife in October, assured reporters he felt 100 percent, both physically and mentally, after walking two in his season debut, but admitted he was trying too hard.
"I got a little bit excited, trying too much," said Familia. "Other than that, everything is great. Tomorrow is another day. I get another chance to do better."
Rene Rivera, who was behind the plate for the Mets on Thursday, agreed.
"For the first time out, he was a little pumped up,” Rivera said. "He was overthrowing. But he'll be fine. We need him. He's one of our guys."
An All-Star for the first time last year, Familia - who owns a 2.20 ERA and has logged 94 saves since the start of 2015 - is expected to reclaim the closer's role at some point, though the timeline remains murky. In Familia's absence, Addison Reed has held down the ninth-inning job with aplomb, converting all four of his save chances while managing a 3.72 ERA and 34.3 percent strikeout rate in nine appearances.
"I'm very happy to be back with this team, to be back with my teammates. I've missed these guys very much the past two weeks,” Familia said before the game.
"I was happy to be back and get the support from the fans."
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