Mets’ Edwin Diaz exited Sunday’s game against Phillies due to back tightness

Edwin Diaz Phillies 5/2

The Mets survived Sunday’s 8-7 win over the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, but New York’s route to securing a three-game series was a roller-coaster ride, including RHP Edwin Diaz‘s near implosion.

Following the game, manager Luis Rojas revealed that Diaz — who exited with two outs in the ninth inning, after a would-be game-tying homer by Rhys Hoskins was ruled a two-run double, and RHP Jeurys Familia struck out Bryce Harper to lock up the victory — fought through back tightness.

“When (pitching coach) Jeremy Hefner made the mound visit, he told Jeremy that his back was a little tight but he could still pitch,” Rojas said. “So he wanted to pitch through it. He got tight throughout the outing. And after the double, when they were checking the replay, we decided to go in there … that’s when I noticed he was, it was tight. I mean, it was tough for him to really rotate with his core and get an extension on his pitches. And so, that’s when we pulled him out. So I know he was in the training room after the game. I mean, we’ll check him out. We’ll see how he is for tomorrow. But that’s what started happening in the outing — it just started getting tighter and tighter.”

Diaz (1-1, 4.22 ERA) threw 28 pitches (14 strikes), allowing three runs on two hits and as many walks while striking out one. Rojas turned to Diaz after clean innings from RHPs Jacob Barnes (1-0. 7.50 ERA) and Trevor May (2-1, 1.93 ERA).

“Well, four-run lead — you take in consideration it’s not a save situation, but it’s a grand-slam situation and we thought Diaz could shut the door for us,” Rojas said of Diaz, who entered the game with a 2.00 ERA after yielding three runs (two earned) on six hits while striking out 11 and walking three in nine innings over as many appearances. “And that was the decision then. Walking the first batter, that’s something that we didn’t foresee. I mean, Diaz has been throwing the ball so good. He’s been pounding the zone. He’s been getting swings. He also had batters with two strikes and then let the slider at one point, that’s when he gave up the triple to (Roman) Quinn.

“But we were going with him because the way he’s throwing the ball. We wanted to shut the door. We felt pretty confident that he was going to do it. And unfortunately what happened and how tight he got, back wise, and couldn’t finish his pitches and basically put him in a tough spot. So I’m excited that Familia came in in that spot against (Harper), who we think is the best hitter, right? One of the best hitters in baseball came in and got a strikeout and to get the save.”