Based on the way Edwin Diaz pitched on Wednesday night, Jacob deGrom deserves a save.
Diaz struck out the side on 13 pitches in the eighth inning of the Mets’ 10-7 loss to the Cubs. The struggling former closer said he changed his slider grip to the one deGrom uses.
Manager Mickey Callaway said: “Diaz was the best I’ve ever seen him.”
Diaz said he approached deGrom recently and asked the reigning NL Cy Young award winner to show him his slider grip. Diaz’s once-fearsome slider has been AWOL this season.
“I was the one who went up to him one day during early workouts,” Diaz said through a translator. “Once I was able to start practicing it and throwing it a little more, I started feeling more comfortable with it.”
Diaz hadn’t appeared since leaving Saturday’s game with tightness in the trapezius muscle in his neck and back.
“Today, I felt 100 percent,” he said.
Brandon Nimmo went 2-for-4 with a home run in a rehab game for Triple-A Syracuse. Jed Lowrie, playing in the same game, went 1-for-3.
McNeil bats leadoff, plays 3B
Jeff McNeil was back in the leadoff spot instead of Amed Rosario and started at third base instead of Todd Frazier against Cubs righthander Kyle Hendricks on Wednesday night.
Frazier, who was playing ping-pong in the clubhouse before the game with Luis Guillorme, went into the night having hit .185 (31-for-168) in July and August.
Rosario, who had been leading off even after McNeil returned from the injured list, was dropped to seventh.
“This is going to be a fluid thing,” Callaway said. “It might revert back tomorrow when we face [lefthander Jon] Lester. But we’re just really trying to take advantage of our ability to score runs. It’s been hard lately. Let’s see if Jeff can start the game off, get on base.”
Source: D'Aloia out after season
The Mets are dismissing senior director of professional scouting Jim D’Aloia after his contract expires at the end of the season, a source confirmed to Newsday.
D’Aloia was hired by the Mets as a scout in 2010 under then-general manager Sandy Alderson and was promoted to director of professional scouting in November 2011.
The Athletic was the first to report the news.
Gimenez to play in Arizona Fall League
The Mets announced that top shortstop prospect Andres Gimenez will be among seven organization minor leaguers who will play for the Scottsdale Scorpions in the Arizona Fall League.
Gimenez, 20, is batting .243 with eight home runs, 35 RBIs and a .682 OPS at Double-A Binghamton.
The other players who will be heading to Arizona for the Fall League season that runs from Sept. 18 to Oct. 26 are pitchers Ryley Gilliam, David Peterson and Thomas Szapucki, catchers Patrick Mazeika and Ali Sanchez and infielder Luis Carpio. The Mets will add an eighth player to the Scottsdale roster at a later date.
— With Mike Rose and David Lennon