Mets star closer is losing confidence after giving up four-run lead: ‘I’m open to anything’

May 18, 2024; Miami, Florida, USA;  New York Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) reacts as he leaves the mound after giving up four runs against the Miami Marlins in the ninth inning at loanDepot Park. Mandatory Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Rhona Wise-USA TODAY Sports

New York Mets star closer Edwin Diaz is going through it at the moment on the mound. Diaz just coughed up a four-run lead on Saturday against the Miami Marlins after allowing four hits and four earned runs in just 0.1 innings of work. The Marlins went on to win the game 10-9 in a 10-inning battle.

Mets’ Edwin Diaz’s mighty struggles of late have damaged his elite numbers in 2024

MLB: New York Mets-Workouts
Credit: Jim Rassol-USA TODAY Sports

The Puerto Rican flamethrower now owns an inflated 5.50 ERA. As it stands, that marks the second-highest earned runs average for the 30-year-old in his career, coming dangerously close to the forgettable 5.59 ERA he posted in his first season with the Mets in 2019. His -0.5 WAR also indicates that he has ground to make up to prove himself more valuable than a back burner option at his position.

Diaz labels hit to his confidence as the reason for his prolonged struggles

He is not looking like himself of late. He’s “open to anything” regarding a potential slide down from the ninth inning role as he’s not feeling like the Edwin Diaz that Mets and MLB enthusiasts are accustomed to seeing, as he said following the loss to the Marlins, per ESPN:

“I won’t lie, my confidence I feel is down right now,” he said. “I’m making pitches. I’m throwing strikes. I’m trying to do my best to help the team to win. Right now I’m not in that capacity,” Diaz admitted.

“Physically, I feel 100% right now.”

Despite the shot to his confidence, Mets manager Carlos Mendoza proclaimed that Diaz is still their closer. They won’t be making a knee-jerk move amid his struggles. However, entertaining a temporary shift for the two-time All-Star from ninth to eighth inning work could help take pressure off of Diaz and allow him to round back into form.

Mets have several options to spell for Diaz in the closer spot until he comes out of slump

New York Mets injured pitcher Edwin Diaz in the dugout before a game against the Cincinnati Reds at Citi Field
Credit: Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets’ bullpen has five other relievers that have notched one or more saves this year. Reed Garrett and Jorge Lopez both have two, while Adam Ottavino, Jake Diekman, and Drew Smith all have one to their name. Outside of Smith who is currently on the 15-day IL, all of those contributors could be in line to briefly spell for their franchise closer while he gains his mojo back.

Garrett in particular is also undefeated at 5-0 on the year with a pristine 0.72 ERA and Ottavino serves as a seasoned veteran that can be relied on in big situations to hold on to leads and prevent late surges, though, Lopez and Diekman have finished many more games for New York with four and five respectively.

The Mets are 21-25 in the 2024 campaign. As tough as it may be to bear, Diaz is one of the main reasons why they’ve fallen away from hovering around .500, owning a 3-7 record over their last 10 games.

It’s not all bad though. Diaz has shown his prowess in several games this year, which is what Mendoza and New York are holding on to in hopes that the two-time Reliever of the Year will bounce back in short order.

Mentioned in this article:

More about: