Edwin Diaz
AP Photo/Kathy Willens

New York Mets manager Mickey Callaway explains why he brought in Edwin Díaz during the bottom of the eighth inning Friday night.

With the New York Mets down 2-1 to the Kansas City Royals in the bottom of the eighth inning on Friday, recently-signed reliever Brad Brach made things worse. Brach loaded the bases with no outs, which forced manager Mickey Callaway to bring closer Edwin Díaz into the ballgame.

Díaz proceeded to walk in a run and then allowed Royals outfielder Bubba Starling to single in another run. Díaz then struck out first baseman Ryan O’Hearn and induced a double-play ball to end the inning. However, with the Mets falling 4-1, reporters questioned Callaway as to why he brought in Diaz

“Brach was struggling and we had Edwin, [Jeurys] Familia and [Paul] Sewald left, and I felt like Díaz could come in and get a big strikeout and you know what, he did a pretty good job,” Callaway said, per Kevin Kernan of the New York Post. “When you bring somebody in bases loaded, nobody out, if they get out of it with one they’ve done an outstanding job, if they get out of it with two, they’ve done a great job.”

The Mets threatened with baserunners in the ninth, but it didn’t conjure up any runs. They’ve now lost four of their previous five games. Entering Saturday, New York sits 2.0 games back in the National League Wild Card race.

“He got out of it with two runs and gave us a chance to tie it in the ninth,” Callaway said. “But it was really the availability of those three guys and I felt Edwin was the best matchup there.”

The Mets will continue their current three-game series in Kansas City on Saturday night at 7:15 p.m. ET.

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Ryan Honey is a staff writer and host of the Wide Right Podcast.