Mets superstar closer adds to dismal months of May with fourth blown save of the season

May 13, 2024; New York City, New York, USA; New York Mets pitcher Edwin Diaz (39) delivers a pitch against the Philadelphia Phillies during the ninth inning at Citi Field. Mandatory Credit: Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports
Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports

Edwin Diaz’s struggles on the mound for the New York Mets are mounting. The Puerto Rican closer blew his fourth save of the 2024 MLB season, all of which have come in the month of May, after allowing one run and two hits in the top of the ninth inning against the San Francisco Giants on Saturday.

Edwin Diaz may need extended time out of ninth inning slot after blunder vs. Giants

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
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

The Mets entered the ninth with a 2-1 lead. Diaz allowed Wilmer Flores, the first batter he faced, to single to left field, and his pinch runner Ryan McKenna to steal second. With one on and one out, Lamonte Wade Jr. hit an RBI single to right field, knotting the game up at 2-2.

New York would go on to allow five more runs in extra innings, falling by a score of 7-2 in the tenth. They dropped the second straight game in their three-game set against San Francisco, before winning 4-3 in the series finale on Sunday. The blown save inflated Diaz’s ERA further to 5.40 in the 2024 season.

Diaz found success in seventh inning role where he could return in the Mets’ next game vs. Dodgers

The 30-year-old former All-Star has not made the most of his nine save opportunities on the year and his exacerbated pitching woes may stem from confidence issues he cited after his last botched save against the Miami Marlins on May 19. He also admitted that he’d be willing to slide into a different relief role to avoid jeopardizing the team’s leads late.

When Mets manager Carlos Mendoza held up that proposition by deploying him in the seventh inning against the Giants on Friday, he gave up a hit but did strike out two and forced a fly out to right in a scoreless showing. New York may need to give the former two-time Reliever of the Year more looks in earlier innings to get him back in rhythm and avoid more losses like Saturday’s.

The Mets are 22-30 on the campaign and desperately need reliability down the stretch of games to narrow their deficit in the NL East. Diaz’s next chance to right the ship will come in the first of the Mets’ three-game set against the Los Angeles Dodgers beginning on Monday.

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