On Sunday afternoon, the first game of the New York Mets‘ game against the Yankees, the bullpen once again collapsed. The Luis Rojas-led squad got to the seventh and final inning leading by five runs, but a few moments later, they had surrendered that lead in what ended up being an 8-7 loss.
Edwin Diaz, once again, was in the spotlight, but not in a good way. He blew his third save of the season and tenth in his Mets’ tenure. Rojas brought Diaz in with two men on base and the tying run at the plate. Unfortunately, Aaron Hicks belted a two-run homer that evened the score.
One inning later, the Mets had lost the game on a Gio Urshela walk-off single in the eighth inning. Since coming over from Seattle, where he was one of the game’s most dominant closers, Diaz has a 5.80 ERA.
The Mets need him to perform
Nevertheless, Rojas says he still wants Diaz to be a key cog in the bullpen in the future. After all, the New York Mets invested considerable resources to bring him to New York, namely prospects Jarred Kelenic and Justin Dunn.
“We still trust him,” Luis Rojas said. “We still love his stuff. And that’s when he’s going to get the ball, when there’s tight situations, when there’s tense situations like that.”
Diaz explained on Sunday that his feel for his slider just wasn’t there, despite the fact, according to MLB.com’s Anthony DiComo, that he consistently threw it for strikes. Diaz, then, had to rely on his fastball, which was the pitch that Hicks connected over the fence.
“He only threw a few good sliders,” Rojas said of Diaz. “That was kind of the story of his outing today. When he has those two pitches working for him, that’s when it’s really tough to get a barrel on him.”
Mets starter Rick Porcello had allowed just a couple of runs in five innings of work. “It’s a tough one, that’s for sure,” he said. “You never like to lose. Especially when you’re winning a ballgame and end up giving it up late, it hurts. But this is something that you play baseball long enough, you deal with on more than one occasion and you know how to respond.”