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Díaz saves Mets 1st series game Vs. Braves

Edwin Díaz pitched both the 8th and 9th innings for the Mets win. (Photo George Napolitano/Latinosports)

Flushing, Queens: Last week I asked Díaz how he controls his emotions when he is called out to pitch a game in the ninth and know that one bad pitch could lose a game for his team?

I asked him that question because he was called out to protect the second win for the Mets Vs. the powerful Yankee bats and preserve the second win for the home team. He struck out the last four Yankee batters, but not before committing an error on a slow grounder that could have ended the game on double play. Instead, his error allowed two Yankees to reach base and only one out. The Yankees bench is known to have dramatic finishes and it seemed this second game would be lost on another late inning come from behind win.

The majority Mets sellout crowd was shocked as well as all of us in the press room. The TV cameras scanned many of the fan faces and they all were in disbelief. I looked at Díaz as he asked for the ball, he waved his right hand to his catcher as to say, “no problem, I got this”.  He stood on that mound looked as if nothing had happened and struck out the following two Yankee batters to preserve that second Mets win and sweep of the Yankees.

Yesterday, Díaz was called once again to save another game, but for the first time he was not called in as the ninth inning closer. Showalter called his ace closer in the eighth inning to face three Braves sluggers, Dansby Swanson, Matt Olson, and Austin Riley who could tie, or win the first game of this crucial five game series. Díaz disposed of them with eleven pitches and that prompted manager, Showalter to bring his ace back to also pitch the ninth inning. That is something that Díaz has never done, but once again he showed what he told me when we spoke last week, “I don’t pay attention to the pressure of the game, or an error, or bad pitch. I just stay focus on pitching to the next batter” and that he did to preserve the Mets 6-4 victory and send much of the 38,693 fans home screaming with joy winning this first game of a very crucial five game series.

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