Man, I love watching Edwin Diaz pitch this season. His slider is sharp, and I saw his fastball hit 103 on the radar game during the Mets last road trip.
Now, I started writing this before the Yankee series – where Diaz was as dominant as anyone. And I started writing this article before he came inches away from an immaculate inning.
Diaz has been able to locate both his fastball and his slider much better this season. He’s been able to pick off each low corner with both pitches consistently this season.
There’s one pitch of his that I just love, and I’ve seen him start his outing a few times like this.
First pitch to start his night, to a right-handed batter, is just a sharp, little slider that pushes just off the low, outside corner. All this at 92-94mph.
There is no way a batter is barreling up a first pitch 92mph slider just off the plate.
And it moves just enough, that there’s no way an umpire doesn’t see that 92-94mph slider first pitch as a fastball strike, right on the corner.
Diaz owns both the batter and the umps. And I’ve mentioned how important it is to make good decisions as a big leaguer before.
But it’s not just his pitches that impress me this season. I think his mentality is Diaz’s biggest asset this season. I don’t know if it’s because he’s in a contract year, can smell the playoffs, or is just pissed off about his time here so far in Queens. Edwin Diaz certainly looks like a different pitcher on the mound.
Every time he pitches, he looks as if he’s thinking it’s game 7 of the World Series. He’s that focused while on the mound.
He looked like that when he was closing out the Mets combined no-hitter. Diaz looked like that when he was one strike away from the perfect inning, too.
There was a game about a month ago (longer now, since I started writing this). The Mets were up 2 in the top 9th, with 2 men on. SNY showed Diaz in the bullpen. He looked relaxed, waiting to see if the Mets tacked enough runs for him to sit down. Diaz was smiling, and looked normal, like he looks every day. Even after the Mets added one run one more run, making it a 3 run leas, and he knew he was coming into the game, Diaz looked calm and mellow.
Then Diaz got on the mound. He looked like a different person. He looked nasty. He had his “I’m not fucking around” face on. And he wasn’t fucking around. Three batters later, the game was over, a 3-run win for the Mets.
Diaz got off the mound, with a massive smile on his face, then motioned for someone to zip it, and to shut their mouth. And another big smile from Diaz.
This man is locked in already. Diaz looks like he’s pitching with a playoff mentality all season long. And it’s been great to watch.
Metallica free zone
It’s not Yoenis Cespedes walking out to a song about him. And it’s not Jose Reyes coming out to a song he performs. But Edwin Diaz has the best walk out song I’ve ever heard. This just adds to the excitement when he pitches.
I was at a game on a Wednesday afternoon, with a decent, but not full crowd. When Diaz came out of the bullpen, the trumpets played and his song came on, the crowd went wild! And that was a Wednesday afternoon in July.
I can just picture a packed Citi Field playoff game, just how electric the stadium will get when Diaz comes out. The song will get every fan there hyped, which will just get Diaz to a higher level. I think we got a taste of this during the Yankees series. The crowd was definitely into it when Diaz came out and the trumpets started playing!
I’m so happy Diaz has figured things out, both for himself and for the New York Mets. I hope all Mets fans can get behind Edwin for what should be a fun rest of the season.