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Edwin Diaz prospering in closer's role for Mets

Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz delivers against the

Mets relief pitcher Edwin Diaz delivers against the Rays during the ninth inning at Citi Field on Monday. Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

Admit it: When Edwin Diaz comes into a game now, you expect him to get outs.

The Mets’ talented but erratic closer has become something of a sure thing late in this short season. Maybe Brodie Van Wagenen’s first big trade as general manager will end up paying off in the long run, even if Van Wagenen isn’t around to enjoy it under the expected Steve Cohen regime.

Diaz went into Wednesday with a 2-1 record, 1.50 ERA and 48 strikeouts in 24 innings. After losing his ninth-inning role early in the season and sort of sharing it with Seth Lugo, Diaz has prospered since Lugo joined the starting rotation.

Since blowing a save to the Yankees on Aug. 30, Diaz hasn’t allowed a run in 10 appearances. Diaz seems to be back to the pitcher who saved 57 games for the Mariners in 2018, not the one who had a 5.59 ERA for the Mets last season.

"I think one of the things is that he was willing to come in and pitch in any other situation," manager Luis Rojas said. "If we were going to finish in a game with him or Lugo — like we were using two closers at one time — there were particular situations where we were going to use him. He told us, ‘I need to pitch more.’ It was like, ‘OK, you’ll come in earlier in the game.’ So him embracing that and having to come into the seventh or eighth inning and pitching almost every other day, it kind of brought him back into a good tone for command of his pitches, feel of his pitches, and I think that’s what’s led to the results. He did a great job."

Betances back. The Mets activated Dellin Betances (lat strain) from the injured list and optioned righthander Corey Oswalt to the alternate site.

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