I have so many opinions on Edwin Diaz. So many that I can’t possibly fit them all into this one article. When the New York Mets traded for Edwin Diaz and Robinson Cano back in 2019, I thought this was the next best thing for the Amazins’. At the time, trading away our number 4 overall prospect in Jared Kelenic alongside starter in the making Justin Dunn didn’t seem like a big deal to me. I just could not fathom the fact that my team, the New York Mets, were actually going all in to win baseball games. Oh boy, was I wrong.
Edwin Diaz first year with the Mets could not have gone any worse
For most players, playing under the bright lights of New York can be a challenge, especially when you used to play in a smaller market city like Seattle. This is what I am not going to totally rip into Edwin Diaz’s first year with Queens. However, I will address just how catastrophic his first season was. Let’s take a look at the numbers first.
The stats behind Mets closer Edwin Diaz in 2019
Diaz’s stat line in 2019 consisted of a 5.59 ERA, surrendering 15 home runs in 58 innings pitched. 15 home runs! A starting pitcher can get away with allowing 15 home runs in a regular season. While that still isn’t great, if a starter can tally up good numbers for other facets of the game, they can get away with a higher number of home runs given up.
On the contrary, allowing 15 home runs as a closer is almost unheard of. To add on, in my opinion, any closer who wants to be successful in Major League Baseball cannot have an ERA above 3.50. Diaz’s ERA was 2 whole points higher than that mark. These are just unbelievably horrific numbers to have as a closer, especially in the bright lights of Queens where one will be looked at under a magnifying glass with no mercy.
Improvement, but ways to go for the Mets closer
In 2020, Diaz posted a much better 1.75 ERA tallying 50 strikeouts. Albeit, this was during the pandemic stifled 60 game season. However, this was still a much better year for the Amazin’s closer. In 2021, Diaz obtained a 3.45 ERA in just under 63 innings pitched, only allowing 3 homers. The 3.45 ERA is still on the higher end for a closer, but still, nothing compared to his horrendous 2019 season.
What Edwin Diaz needs to do to gain back trust in Mets fans
With all of the stat observing and examination above, I will follow my opening act with keys for Diaz to endear himself to Mets nation. Almost every outing the Mets closer has, something happens to put the flushing faithful on the edge of their seat. Regardless if it’s a 3 run lead, 2 run lead, or just a 1 run difference, Diaz always finds a way to keep Mets fans engaged in the game (but not in a relaxing way).
The keys to greater success for the Mets closer
Diaz needs to limit the wild pitches, throw more strikes, and stay consistent in order to win Mets fans’ hearts. The Mets closer just can’t have the New York faithful if he continues to be inconsistent with each outing he has. Every time Diaz comes into a game, my dad and I look at each other and say “here we go” with worried expressions all over our faces. I along with the vast majority of fans no longer want to have to worry in the 9th inning when our closer comes in.
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If Edwin Diaz can build off of his 2020 and 2021 seasons while lowering the number of walks and wild pitches and worrisome moments, then I have a strong feeling Mets fans will get behind their closer.