A punch-drunk Mets loss with blame everywhere but the absence of Edwin Diaz

Everything but the absence of their star closer was the reason for the Mets losing on Friday.
New York Mets v Pittsburgh Pirates
New York Mets v Pittsburgh Pirates / Justin Berl/GettyImages

Edwin Diaz returns on Saturday from his 10-game suspension. In his absence, the New York Mets lost plenty of games where he could’ve been the major difference. This wasn’t the case on Friday when Luis Severino crumbled at the end of his outing only for Jake Diekman to have another cataclysmic outing.

In his last four outings, Diekman has combined to pitch 3 innings and serve up 5 earned runs. He has walked 4 batters, struck out 2, and watched as his ERA inflated from 3.65 to 5.06.

The Mets were in for a tough one with Pittsburgh Pirates rookie Paul Skenes on the mound. An early Jeff McNeil home run (he hit a couple of other balls well in the game, too) and a fielder’s choice groundout off the bat of Jose Iglesias had the Mets ahead in this one 2-0 before Severino immediately handed it all back by allowing two immediate home runs in the next inning.

The Mets lost for every reason other than not having Edwin Diaz available

Severino ended up charged with 7 earned runs even though it was Diekman who gave up the grand slam to Bryan Reynolds. The lone lefty in the bullpen has become unmanageable. If you’re going to give up big hits to left-handed hitters, what role do you have? Ty Adcock worked through the jam but before it was over he’d allow 3 home runs himself to match the number given up by Severino.

Scoring twice off of Skenes sometimes needs to be enough. It’s about the best a team could hope for.

But the Mets needed much more in this game because of the pitching. The top three in the order combined to go 0 for 10 with a pair of walks and 4 strikeouts. We witnessed the opposite in June. When the trio of Francisco Lindor, Brandon Nimmo, and J.D. Martinez is hitting, the Mets are winning.

Last year on July 3 the Mets traded for Trevor Gott and Chris Flexen with the latter being a player they immediately dumped. It was a bold addition to make to try to improve the bullpen without giving up much. Gott would’ve fit right in with last night’s game. He wasn’t the solution the Mets were looking for at the time. Could one reliever possibly change the fortunes of this team? You’re fooling yourself to think so.

When Diaz returns the Mets do stabilize. It does little to correct Diekman’s abilities against left-handed hitters. It won’t prevent the offense from going cold on consecutive days. The card David Stearns is more likely to pull from his sleeve rather than a trade is to call up Shintaro Fujinami and see if he has it figured out after a lengthy IL stint. If this doesn’t excite you, consider yourself human.