Reed Garrett steps in for struggling Edwin Diaz to save Mets’ win

MIAMI — Life began Sunday without any drama for the Mets as Edwin Diaz was removed from the closer role due to his recent struggles.

Reed Garrett pitched eight scoreless innings to preserve a one-run lead, then returned in the ninth inning after the Mets gave up an extra run. He made two saves in the Mets’ 7-3 win over the Marlins.

Reid Garrett made a two-out save in the Mets’ win over the Marlins. AP

Manager Carlos Mendoza said he could allow Adam Ottavino to pitch the ninth inning if needed, but he kept Garrett because the right-handed pitcher struck out in the eighth inning.

Mendoza said he plans to use various relievers in the closer role until Diaz is deemed ready to return. Diaz allowed four runs in the ninth inning on Saturday, earning his third consecutive save.

“We all believe [Diaz] And we all know he’s coming back and he’s elite when he’s right, so we’re going to do whatever we can to get him right,” Garrett said. “He throws whenever his name is called, and we all believe in what he can do.”

It was Garrett’s second save of the season. He has a 0.72 ERA and 41 strikeouts in 25 innings pitched this season.

Edwin Diaz
Edwin Diaz was on a three-game save streak before coach Carlos Mendoza gave him a break. USA TODAY Sports (via Reuters Con)

Francisco Lindor will play his first game in his old hometown on Monday when the Mets open a three-game series against the AL Central Division-leading Guardians. The Mets shortstop last played in Cleveland in 2020 (with no fans in the ballpark due to the pandemic). After that season, he joined the Mets in a trade that sent Andres Jimenez and Amed Rosario to Cleveland, along with Carlos Carrasco.

“Cleveland saw me grow into a man,” Lindor said. “We are grateful to the city and its organization.”

Lindor, who was drafted and developed by the same team, was a central figure in the team’s advance to the World Series in 2016. He hasn’t visited Cleveland since he was traded to the Mets, he said.

This will be the Mets’ first series in Cleveland since 2016.

Starling Marte was left out of the starting lineup, and Mendoza, who did not want to start for the third straight day on the grass at Lorne Depot Park, came on as a pinch hitter in the sixth inning and remained in right field.

JD Martinez has been given one day off as he battles a bug that has spread throughout the clubhouse. Mendoza said Martinez will be available as a pinch hitter if needed.