Edwin Diaz’s brief appearance Saturday might have been a reflection of how he was feeling.
The closer came on in the ninth inning, gave up a home run and promptly exited the game with tightness in his upper back after facing just three batters as the Mets fell 9-5 to the Braves at Citi Field, their second consecutive loss.
“When I was warming up, I was feeling a little bit uncomfortable right in my neck area. I thought I could loosen it up eventually, but it just tightened up [more] when I was pitching,” Diaz said through an interpreter.
Diaz registered one strikeout, which was sandwiched between a home run by Freddie Freeman, the first batter he faced, and a walk, before he called catcher Wilson Ramos to the mound. The two waved over trainer Brian Chicklo and manager Mickey Callaway before Diaz was removed from the game.
“He kind of wanted to keep pitching a little bit, but once he said that, it just made no sense with this game score and everything,” Callaway said. “We’ll evaluate him in the morning and see where we’re at with him.”
The 25-year-old said he never has felt this kind of discomfort before but isn’t concerned it could become a long-term problem. He plans to confer with the team doctor and other trainers Sunday morning.
Diaz said he felt he was finally starting to get things going after his 10th-inning performance in the Mets’ 2-1 loss Friday. After hitting the first batter he faced with a pitch in that outing, Diaz gave up a sacrifice bunt, then struck out two straight in a 13-pitch inning. He was disappointed it didn’t carry over into Saturday.
“Regardless of whatever pain I have, I have to go out there and do my job,” Diaz said. “I didn’t feel 100 percent at the time, but I have to try and go out there and execute my pitches.”