Edwin Diaz’s fifth save of the season required the most work.
Summoned in the eighth inning Sunday as the tying run came to the plate, the Mets closer recorded the final five outs of his team’s 4-2 victory over the Diamondbacks at Citi Field.
The five-out save matched the longest of Diaz’s career — he had one with the Mariners in 2016. It also marked Diaz’s first save of more than one inning in his three seasons with the Mets.
“My plan of attack doesn’t change,” Diaz said through an interpreter, when asked about the extended appearance. “I always go out there with the same plan, which is to go batter by batter. Lately, I have been doing it more pitch by pitch just to see how to execute those pitches.”
Diaz got David Peralta to hit into a double play to end the eighth. In the ninth, the right-hander struck out the first two batters before Nick Ahmed reached on a pop-fly single in front of Jonathan Villar. Diaz recovered to strike out Daulton Varsho for the final out.
It was a third straight solid performance from Diaz since May 2 when he struggled in Philadelphia, where he allowed three runs in the ninth inning and left the game before getting the final out.
Diaz’s four-seam fastball velocity has averaged 98.9 mph this season, up from 97.8 in 2020. For that, Diaz partly credits his offseason approach, in which he says he gained about 10 pounds.
“I think that played a part into it,” he said. “But the biggest thing was the mechanics. I’ve learned how to use my legs, how to strengthen my legs, because that is where the power comes from to take some stress off the arm. That’s really what I credit that to.”
Barnes, Trevor May, Aaron Loup, Jeurys Familia, Miguel Castro and Robert Gsellman are among the other relievers largely responsible for the Mets’ 1.71 ERA from the bullpen since April 22. Entering play, the Mets were seventh in the major leagues with a 3.07 ERA from the bullpen.
“We have a great bullpen out there,” Diaz said. “We go out there, we compete hard every single day, and that is what we have been doing. We go out there and I am happy how the guys are working. I am happy how the guys are competing and if we stay healthy and continue to do what we are doing we are going to go a long way.