Flushing, NY: Sunday and prior to the Mets snapping a 7-game losing streak with a comeback 8-5 win over the Atlanta Braves, Pete Alonso and Jeff McNeil were appointed to the NL All-Star team.
Combined they drove in four runs in a five- run eighth inning. And out of the bullpen Edwin Díaz quickly got the three outs and recorded his 17th save.
Early Sunday afternoon, Diaz received his 2018 Latino Sports AL reliever of the year award at the San Juan Restaurant in Spanish Harlem. Díaz, who has been struggling out of the pen for the Mets fanned two of three that came to bat with a perfect ninth inning.
Was the award an incentive to get his saves back on track?
“Yeah for sure that’s an award that’s given to great latino players that recognized me for what I did last year,” Díaz said through an interpreter after his latest save.
And when asked if the award gave that extra inspiration, Díaz said, “I want to be more consistent. To get this award on the same day I got the save I’m super excited. To get the award and get us a win is motivating,”
Díaz wants to improve and this could be a start to getting back on track. His record 57 saves with the Seattle Mariners earned him the prestigious Latino Sports MVP Award that he received.
Manager Mickey Callaway is also keeping a positive spin on things. The Mets bullpen concluded the month of June with an ERA of 7.62 which is good for last in the National League.
“I’m happy, excited more so about communication,” Díaz said. “Just to be more aggressive with my fastball and slider. I just stay positive all the time.”
After blowing another save opportunity at Philadelphia last week, allowing a career high five runs and two home runs in a Mets loss, there was that skepticism about his trade to New York with Robinson Canó.
And there were questions that Edwin Díaz was not a good fit for New York. The questions of mechanics and mentality were also there.
He went to the mound Sunday night and that game against the Phillies was in the past.
“I keep working,” Díaz said. “Yeah for sure I was excited to get out there and close out the game for us It was something we needed.”
He thanked Latino Sports for the award and the luncheon in his honor.
“I enjoyed the day and I am very proud to represent what this means,” he said. “So many great Latino players and what they represent now and over time.”
But the award was inspiration and there is that definite feel of motivation. Díaz on the mound looked like a completely different pitcher going after Ronald Acuña, Dansby Swanson, and Freddie Freeman.
Congratulations again to Edwin Díaz from Latino Sports.
The LatinoMVP Award is the oldest and most prestigious award given to Latino baseball players. It started in 1989 when many in the Latino community believed that Ruben Sierra playing for the Texas Rangers was overlooked for the AL MVP honors. Since then, Latino Sports has consistently recognized Latino players. In 2018, MLB became the official sponsor of the LatinoMVP award.
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