Mets manager Mickey Callaway defended his decision not to use Edwin Diaz in a pivotal eighth-inning spot after Monday's 11-inning win over the Phillies, saying he wouldn't use his closer for a four-out save unless it was the playoffs.
Callaway said the Mets wouldn't have Diaz, who has a 1.35 ERA and 13 strikeouts in 6 2/3 innings this season, pitch more than one inning or enter in a tie game on the road.
After Jeurys Familia pitched into a bases-loaded, two-out jam in the bottom of the eighth in a 6-5 game, Callaway turned to Robert Gsellman instead of Diaz to try to escape the jam. Gsellman then walked in the game-tying run on four pitches to blow the save.
Entering Monday, the Mets' bullpen had the fourth-worst ERA in baseball. Without Diaz, the Mets' bullpen ERA entering Monday rose from 6.50 to 7.08.
Seth Lugo pitched two scoreless innings in relief of Noah Syndergaard before handing the ball off to Familia, who allowed a leadoff single and a walk. Jeff McNeil fielded Maikel Franco's frozen rope to turn a 5-4-3 double play, but Familia promptly walked the next two batters.
Gsellman walked Jean Segure for the tying run but got Bryce Harper to pop out to end the threat.
Luis Avilan pitched into and out of a two-on, two-out jam in the 10th by striking out Segura with the winning run on third.
But neither reliever was as dominant as Diaz, who struck out the side in the 11th on 11 pitches.