Diaz entered the frame with his team trailing 3-2 and quickly loaded the bases by allowing a single and two walks before hitting Jose Peraza with a slider to force in a run. He was finally pulled after throwing 35 pitches - only 19 strikes - in one-third of an inning; Paul Sewald escaped the jam, but the Mets lost 4-2.
Although it wasn't a save situation, Diaz's issues Thursday were enough to get manager Luis Rojas considering whether he'll turn to the 26-year-old again in high-leverage situations going forward.
"We need to talk, we need to work," Rojas said postgame, according to SNY's Alex Smith. "That's something that we're gonna do as a staff, me as the manager, and we'll talk with the player. We want to keep him in track to what he showed us in camp that he didn't show tonight. It's something from our coaching standpoint that we've got to detect right away, like we did from that outing, and just work on it, fix it quick because we liked what we saw in that first two camps and what we saw earlier in the season. Tonight was definitely different."
Diaz broke out as a star closer with the Seattle Mariners in 2018 when he saved 57 games and posted a 1.96 ERA, 1.61 FIP, and 0.79 WHIP en route to AL Reliever of the Year honors. He was traded to the Mets that winter as the centerpiece of a blockbuster deal alongside Robinson Cano for a package that included top prospect Jarred Kelenic.
But Diaz hasn't looked anything close to a superstar since arriving in New York. While he saved 26 games last year, Diaz's ERA ballooned to 5.59 over 66 games, and opponents owned a .948 OPS against him in save situations.
Through three outings in 2020, Diaz owns a 7.71 ERA and 2.14 WHIP.