Mets star closer staying confident despite recent struggles

MLB: New York Mets at St. Louis Cardinals
Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

The Mets‘ biggest offseason acquisition may not have been a player from another organization but regaining one from within their own organization.

Edwin Díaz was coming off his best season as a New York Met in 2022 when the Puerto Rico native pitched to a 1.31 ERA and a 1.062 WHIP with 118 strikeouts and 32 saves. 

For his efforts, the 30-year-old made his second career all-star appearance, made the ALL-MLB First Team, placed in the top 16 in both MVP and Cy-Young voting, and won the Reliever of the Year award. Díaz parlayed that success into a five-year 102 million dollar contract, the largest contract in history for a reliever at the time.

Díaz’s chance to replicate his magical campaign got interrupted as he tore his patellar tendon while celebrating a win at the World Baseball Classic last March.

Now, the 30-year-old has returned to the back end of the Mets bullpen but hasn’t quite been the same.

Díaz has been a liability for the Mets

Díaz entered Monday’s game with a 4-2 lead but allowed Bryson Stott to hit a leadoff homer before loading the bases. 

The 30-year-old recovered to get two outs and an 0-2 count on Alec Bohm before hitting him with the pitch and walking the tying run home.

That was the second blown save in his last three appearances and of the season for Díaz as the Mets went on to lose to the Phillies 5-4 in 10 innings.

MLB: Philadelphia Phillies at New York Mets
Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

 Díaz remains confident

Despite the recent tough stretch, Díaz is remaining confident.

“That’s part of the game,” Díaz said postgame.”I go out every day and compete (for) this team. I flush it right away. If they give me the ball tomorrow, I will be ready to give the team the chance to win. Those things happen a lot to a lot of pitchers, a lot of players. I stay with my face up and go out and compete every day.”

Díaz has pitched 16.2 innings this season across 16 appearances to a 3.24 ERA with a 0.960 WHIP and 25 strikeouts, alongside picking up five saves.

Hopefully, for the Flushing Faithful, Díaz will bounce back from this recent rough stretch, but the 30-year-old still having confidence in his ability is a good sign that he could return to form soon.

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