Edwin Diaz descends easily. The cardboard cutouts will remain quiet.
After a brutal debut season in Queens that consumed poison from Metz fans, Diaz quickly destroyed any optimism in the retreat campaign and potentially lost the confidence of new manager Luis Rojas, with his second straight nine-day crisis coming Thursday’s 4-2 loss to Red. Sox on Citi Field.
Diaz – appearing for the first time after rescuing a two-sided, double-tiered home game run by Marcel Ozuna of Atlanta on Sunday – was called to open the ninth with the Mets retiring from one. After throwing 34 pitches in his first two outings of the season, Diaz needed 35 pitches to record just one out, allowing one run, two walks and one hit before heading to busy bases.
Rojas would then not commit to using Diaz in high-liver situations.
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“Diaz is different from what I saw in the camp than what I saw on the first two outings,” Rojas said. “It’s not the same Diaz we saw recently.” We definitely need to talk, we need to work and make sure we get him back on the road right away.
“We have to work on that and fix it. We liked what we saw in the first two games, and in camp, and it’s different. “
In addition to problems with Diaz’s command and mechanics, Rojas discovered another problem.
“I saw some emotion tonight when he didn’t get results,” Rojas said. “He has to control his emotions, and those are some of the things we’re definitely going to talk about.”
Diaz’s latest failure began with a walk to Alex Verdugo. A single by Michael Chavis follows, followed by a four-step walk to Andrew Benintendi to load the bases. After hitting Rafael Devers, Diaz brought insurance to Boston, hitting Jose Peraza. Diaz left the game in charge of three runners on base, but Paul Sevald withdrew the next two strikers to prevent Diaz’s 7.71 ERA from jumping higher.
Just five days earlier, the 26-year-old Diaz opened the rescue season, triggering flashes of the Mariners All-Star, which posted a high 57 leagues and a 1.96 ERA in 2018. Now, more familiar images are back from closer who lost his job last season while recording the worst career 5.59 ERA with seven blown saves.
Since joining the Mets, Diaz’s 37 draws allowed in the ninth inning or later have been the most of all pitchers in the specialties.