Edwin Diaz’s music wasn’t playing as he ran down from the bullpen, so he hummed “Narco” by Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet.
Nothing can bring the Mets All-Star closer these days. Not the potent Braves. Not his manager asking him to get six outs. Not even his popular opening music is delayed.
“They did a promo or something,” Diaz said with a smile after delivering a 6-4 Mets win in the first game of a five-game showdown series against the Braves at Citi Field. “I thought maybe they don’t play my song here because they only play it in the ninth, so I tried to walk with the song [in my head].”
Diaz knocked out six of the seven batters he faced in the 28-pitch outing, knocking out three and making his 24th save. He lowered his ERA to a microscopic 1.44 ERA by recording the first six-out save of his career and extending his scoreless streak to a personal best of 16¹/₃ innings.
Diaz expected to get into the game during the eighth inning, in part because he last served on Friday. He figured Adam Ottavino would at least start the eighth after fielding the seventh, but with the meat of the Braves’ order looming, manager Buck told Showalter Diaz to start the frame. And since he had so few problems retiring Dansby Swanson, Matt Olson and Austin Riley and only needed 11 pitches to get through the inning, Showalter went to Diaz in the ninth as well.
“I was ready for it,” he said. “I feel good, I feel good. It was five days off.”
Showalter and pitching coach Jeremy Hefner checked him after the eighth, and Diaz wanted to stay in,
“Go out and win the game,” they told him.
Diaz struggled a little more in the ninth, allowing Eddie Rosario a leadoff single and falling behind Orlando Arcia by two outs. He admitted feeling a little tired as his pitch count climbed into the high 20s, but Diaz brought Arcia to a check swing groundout on a 3-0 pitch for the Mets’ ninth win in 10 games to end.
It was the latest brilliant performance from Diaz, who has gone from a dismal disappointment in his freshman year with the Mets in 2019 to one of the rocks of the NL East leaders. Fans are now enjoying the sight of him running out of the room instead of rolling into the fetal position.
“A lot of people don’t recover from it here or anywhere else,” Showalter said. “Remember it wasn’t always aesthetic for him here. That’s what I learned [about him]. He took that and grew from it and used it as a stepping stone.”