PHILADELPHIA — Can a reliever lead the major leagues in blown saves and still be having a strong season?
Success is defined in different ways, especially for relievers, and Edwin Diaz’s numbers for the Mets are hard to denigrate. Among them, entering Wednesday, were a 1.80 ERA and the best strikeouts-per-nine innings rate in MLB at 18.9. But then there was the fact he had blown four saves in only seven attempts.
“I know out of the four blown saves we won two of the games and we lost two,” Diaz said through an interpreter before the Mets faced the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. “So what I am trying to do is help the team stay in the game, so they can win that game and then eventually be able to help them make the playoffs down the road.”
This hardly resembles Diaz’s disastrous first season with the Mets, in which he surrendered 15 homers in 58 innings and pitched to a 5.59 ERA. Diaz returned home to Puerto Rico last offseason determined to improve, and has succeeded.
Overall, he’s been the strongest link in a bullpen that last month lost Seth Lugo to fill a void in the starting rotation. But it hasn’t helped Diaz’s cause that one of his meltdowns…