CHICAGO — In a previous life, Jeurys Familia must have been a magician. Called on to protect a one-run lead in Tuesday’s 2-1 Mets win over the Chicago Cubs, he turned frayed nerves and agony into exhilaration.
He walked the first two batters he faced. The next batter, Javier Baez, beat out a bunt. The novice third baseman Jose Reyes, who scooped up the ball and threw it to first, said later that he should have let it roll to see if it would go foul. Familia remained unfazed.
“I just try to believe and think I can do it,” Familia said. “I talk to myself.”
Familia coaxed a ground ball out of Matt Szczur that first baseman James Loney fielded and threw home to get a forceout. Then Familia got the Cubs slugger Kris Bryant to hit into a game-ending double play.
Reacting to his improbable save, Familia screamed on the mound, clenched his fists and bounced up and down.
“I don’t feel nerves anymore, like when I…