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Mets rookie reliever Dedniel Nunez has another strong outing

On April 9, the Mets promoted 28-year-old rookie Dedniel Nunez.

He allowed runs in three of his first four games and at the time it didn’t seem like he was going to stick with the team long-term, especially since he still had minor league options remaining.

However, a funny thing happened on the way back to Syracuse.


Earlier in the season, Dedniel Nunez pitched two scoreless innings in the Mets’ 5-1 win over the Padres. Getty Images

Nunez wasn’t sent there, and instead the powerful right-hander became a key member of the Mets’ relief corps.

“He’s another big thing, a guy who can catch the ball and pitch multiple innings with a lead,” manager Carlos Mendoza said after Nunez pitched two scoreless innings in a 5-1 win over the Padres at Citi Field. “He’s done it two games in a row, which is not easy.”

Nunez hasn’t been hit much recently.

He has allowed just one run and four hits over his last 11 1/3 innings, striking out 16 and walking just one.

Most importantly, it gave him the ability to pitch multiple innings.

A former starting pitcher, Nunez can be effective for more than one inning.

When closer Edwin Diaz came off the disabled list on Thursday, some speculated the Mets might demote Nunez.

However, they instead selected long relief pitcher Danny Young.

That decision paid off on Saturday.

Nunez took over with a 3-1 lead heading into the seventh inning and retired six of the seven batters he faced.

The only time he reached base was on an error by Francisco Lindor.

“I think some parts [of my success] “It’s a little bit surprising, but not really surprising,” said Nunez, who signed with the Mets as an international free agent in 2016, was picked by the Giants in the Rule 5 Draft four years later and returned in 2021. “I’ve been working hard since the offseason and it’s just starting to show now. … I’m just fortunate and grateful for the opportunities the team has given me and I’m just focused on doing my job to help the team every time I step on the field.”

The Mets bullpen has really been on a roll lately.

The pitcher had pitched nine consecutive scoreless innings and entered the day leading the National League with a 1.89 ERA since June 3.

With Diaz and Drew Smith off the injured list, Nunez has become a player that Mendoza is beginning to trust.

“His arrival has significantly strengthened our bullpen,” the manager said.

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