Home Sports Mets’ Edwin Diaz blows another save in return to closer role

Mets’ Edwin Diaz blows another save in return to closer role

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Mets' Edwin Diaz blows another save in return to closer role

Edwin Díaz has not yet returned as the New York Mets’ closer.

Pitching in the ninth inning for the first time since being removed from the closer role last week, Diaz was asked to protect a 2-1 lead against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday.

Unfortunately for the two-time All-Star reliever, his ninth-inning woes continued. Diaz allowed hits to two of the first three batters he faced, including an RBI single by LaMonte Wade Jr. that tied the game. He ended the inning by getting Curt Casali to ground out, but the outing turned into another blown save for Diaz. He has already blown four saves this season.

The Giants won in 10 innings, 7-2, with Sean Reid-Foley allowing five runs (two earned), one walk and two hits. The bullpen wasted an excellent start by Luis Severino, who allowed one run and two hits with six strikeouts in seven innings.

Mets manager Carlos Mendoza placed Diaz in a “fluid” role in the bullpen after allowing seven runs on seven hits in his previous three appearances. The idea was for Díaz to regain his trust in lower leverage situations.

In his first appearance since then, Diaz pitched in the seventh inning on Friday night against the San Francisco Giants. He pitched a scoreless frame, striking out two batters and allowing one hit in an eventual 8–7 loss. That was apparently enough for Mendoza, who said Diaz would likely pitch in the ninth inning on Saturday.

“He’s our closer,” Mendoza told reporters before Saturday’s game. “Even though he’s going through it right now, I thought (Friday) was a good step in the right direction. I’ve been saying it: his work on the mound in Cleveland, even though he didn’t play in a game, in some The conversations we had with him there was more conviction; it’s about trusting his things.”

Diaz said he felt better, especially throwing his fastball down and away from right-handed hitters and down and toward lefties. But on the two hits he allowed Saturday, he left a fastball up and off the plate to Wilmer Flores and caught the middle of the strike zone to Wade.

“We have to continue to be with him, work with him and help him get through this.” Mendoza said after the game. “Because he’s a big part of our bullpen. He’s got to keep working, he’s got to keep fighting. We’ll continue to get him the ball and find some matchups for him.”

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