While the more famous of the New York baseball teams has seen its closer struggle to throw strikes and prevent runs over the past month, the New York Mets laughed at their relative good fortune. Right-hander Edwin Diaz entered the final game before the All-Star break with a 2.86 ERA, one blown save and nary a home run permitted in three-plus months!
A rough three rough outings later, Diaz now boasts a 4.30 ERA, four blown saves and the fancy goose egg in the home run column famously erased over the weekend when Pittsburgh Pirates catcher Jacob Stallings whacked a walk-off grand slam. Diaz allowed six earned runs to the lowly Pirates over consecutive appearances but had a chance for redemption Monday in a wild road game at Cincinnati. Instead, he blew a save for the third consecutive game. The Mets later won 15-11 in 11 innings.
Diaz has had rough stretches in the past, notably during his first Mets season of 2019 when he somehow found a way to permit 15 home runs in 58 innings, 10 of them against right-handed hitters. Diaz is similar to many hard-throwing closers that induce more fly balls than grounders, and some tend to fly very far, but Diaz has allowed only three home runs since the start of 2020, over 63 1/3 innings. That is not the problem. He still walks too many hitters, but really, Diaz may just be the unluckiest closer in the sport.