The Mets and Reds found themselves again in a close game Wednesday night, but extra frames were avoided when Jose Iglesias connected on a 1-1 pitch from Edwin Diaz with two outs in the ninth. Mets bats were unable to recapture the magic of the previous evening in the bottom of the inning despite having the heart of the lineup bat.
A repeat of Monday’s game when Jesse Winker hit a solo shot off Diaz to win it for the Reds, today’s game had a dearth of offense until the Iglesias homer as the teams totaled a mere nine hits in the game.
Some questions certainly will be raised about these two outings for Diaz, although just two pitches shouldn’t worry fans too much when it’s the MLB saves leader from a season ago we are talking about. With these two home runs coming in non-save situations, perhaps Mickey Callaway has been smart to use him mostly in the traditional save role. The approach doesn’t make sense on paper but Diaz wouldn’t be the first closer to struggle in such situations. His overall stats do not seem to suggest this, so this week has probably just been an unfortunate occurrence.
Jacob deGrom pitched seven clean innings in the loss, with only one hiccup in the 4th when he was able to escape a bases loaded jam. Ryan O’Rourke took over for him and looked good in his Mets debut. Wearing number 61 and in his first MLB game since 2016, O’Rourke promptly struck out one of the hardest humans to strike out in Joey Votto, and it was a strike out looking on a nice slider. Hopefully he can be a nice piece in the patchwork mess that has already become the Mets bullpen, which still ranks third to last in the majors.
And also hopefully the Mets bats can get going again as they take on the Reds once more tomorrow afternoon.