3) The Mets have done a better job this season at holding late leads than the Braves, thanks to one powerful Edwin Diaz.
Entering Saturday’s action, the Mets have an 83-5 record this season when leading after six innings. They are also 84-3 when leading after seven frames and 85-0 when leading after eight. The Mets’ success holding leads is unheard of in franchise history.
In fact, if the Mets don’t blow a ninth inning lead over their last 11 games, it would mark the first time in team history they went a whole season without blowing a game with a lead entering the ninth inning. And it has to do with the confidence of baseball’s premier relief pitcher, Edwin Diaz.
You know in your heart the game is over when No. 39 enters the game in a save situation. And it hasn’t been that Diaz has always entered the game in the ninth. Buck Showalter will bring him in earlier if it means the other team’s best hitters are due up. It is a strategy that is being copied by other teams.
But it hasn’t been just Diaz that has been effective. It’s been Seth Lugo and Adam Ottavino that have formed a great back end of the bullpen that has proven to be difficult to beat.
Meanwhile, Atlanta’s Kenley Jansen has been shaky as of late in shutdown situations. They must consider putting Raisel Iglesias in the closers’ role; he has thrown 18 straight scoreless outings, dating back to August 10.
And here are the Braves’ records this season through Sept. 23 when leading after six, seven, and eight innings respectively, in case you're wondering: 76-11 when leading after six, 80-8 after seven, and 83-4 after eight.