Edwin Diaz collapses again, yet Mets still see him as their closer

Edwin Diaz
Edwin Diaz (Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports)

There is no greater representation of a walking anomaly than Edwin Diaz.

The Mets closer strikes out roughly half of the batters he faces, yet he’s one of the worst closers in baseball.

Chalk it up to bad luck or just bad pitching, but the 26-year-old right-hander continues to find ways to not close out games when put in those high-leverage situations — even if his outings aren’t necessarily high-leverage in the first place.

Sunday was just the latest instance of Diaz’s brutal run with the Mets as he blew a five-run seventh-inning lead in the first game of a doubleheader against the New York Yankees.

A two-run single, a wild pitch, and a two-run home run to Aaron Hicks was the 10th blown save of Diaz’s Mets career compared to just 28 saves during his time in Queens.

He had just 12 blown saves in the previous 188 appearances of his career.

Moreso, the Mets added insult to injury by letting Diaz go out to pitch the eighth inning, which is the first of extra innings during doubleheaders during this shortened campaign.

While he got the first two outs of the frame with the automatic runner on second base, he surrendered the game-winning single to Gio Urshela, capping off his day of misery in an 8-7 loss.

Talk about a horrible return on investment: He had 57 saves alone in 2018 as a member of the Seattle Mariners.

Maybe it was the move to a big market that did Diaz in, but time and time again, it’s abundantly clear that he can’t be the guy to close out games for the Mets. Yet he continues to get the ball, regardless.

Part of that has to do with the false hope that came with a strong August from Diaz. In 10 appearances from Aug. 2-28, he allowed just one run in 9.2 innings of work while striking out 23.

It’s amazing how quickly a good run can disappear in one catastrophic outing.

Still, Mets manager Luis Rojas views Diaz as his guy for the ninth (or seventh in doubleheaders) inning.

“We still trust him. We still love his stuff,” Rojas said on Sunday. “And that’s when he’s going to get the ball, when there’s tight situations.”

That collective groan you just heard came from hundreds of thousands of Mets fans.