The Mets went to Edwin Diaz for the final three outs of 3-1 game against the Nationals on Thursday night, a usual look for the team when they've been in tight scores late.
Despite giving up two hits and run in the final frame, Diaz was able to retire the side and hand the Mets their most precious win of the season as they fight for a playoff spot.
As the team's closer this season, Diaz has shown improvements from a subpar 2019 campaign and slow start to 2020, and he feels that he's shown he's back to being the 2018, All-Star version of himself.
"I feel very good with what I've been able to do this season," Diaz said through a translator after Thursday's win. "2019 wasn't a good year for me, so I went this offseason and I worked 200 percent everyday to try to get back to my old form. And I feel like I've proved that the 2018 Edwin Diaz is back."
So far this season, Diaz has a 1.80 ERA, 1.28 WHIP, 49 strikeouts and 18 hits in 25.0 IP
Obviously the sample size is small, so comparing it to 2018 when his ERA was 1.96 and his WHIP was 0.79 over 73.1 IP is a bit hard. But just off the eye test, Diaz is looking closer to his 2018 self than his 2019 self.
"I think it's been my focus for me this season and it's been working for me on my mechanics every single day I come into the ball park," Diaz said. "This offseason I've started with that routine and ever since I got here, me, [Jeremy Heffner] and [Ricky Bones] were able to work on my mechanics every day, and that's what's led to my consistency and having a good season."
Even if the Mets don't claw their way into the postseason, the production out of Diaz in the second half of the year will be good to build off of going forward. If he can truly get back to his 2018 self, well, then the Mets will have struck gold.