As great a day as Opening Day was for Edwin Diaz Game #2 was brutal for him. He needed to get one more out to secure his second straight Met save but instead served up a homer to Marcell Ozuna to send the game into this newfangled extra innings process we now have in 2020 baseball.
Hunter Strickland entered the game for the Mets in extra innings and proceeded to give up 3 runs to the Braves which proved too much for the Mets as they only plated 1 run in the bottom half of the 10th inning giving Atlanta a 5-3 win.
Steven Matz pitched brilliantly surrendering only 1 run and 2 hits in 6 innings of work but the story on this day belonged to Diaz as those gremlins of a season ago resurfaced on Day 2 of the 2020 season. But Diaz remains confident as he said, “I am throwing my pitches where I want them to go but Ozuna is a tough hitter and I have tip my cap to him.”
That may be true but I am sure the Mets will keep a watchful eye on Diaz as I really do not believe they will put up with a plethora of cap tipping nights especially when they are other options in the pen to close games like Seth Lugo or Dellin Betances both of whom looked fabulous in their outings the past 2 days.
For now, Rojas is standing behind Diaz and even spoke to him in the dugout after that horrific ninth inning trying to make sure this blown save does not create a lack of confidence in the head of Edwin Diaz who might really feel like he is experiencing Ground Hogs Day because this effort reminded me of so many performances I saw a year ago.
And Rojas saw them as well as a coach under Mickey Callaway–and more importantly saw the havoc that could mount if wins become losses in an eyelash of a moment with Diaz on the mound. My opinion is that 2 games is far too small a sample to either rejoice over Friday’s game or back up the truck after today’s game.
But I do believe Diaz will be on a short leash because of the other options Rojas has in the pen. And that lease could a bit shorter today with an early season blown save to the Braves.