Puerto Rico knocked the pre-tournament favorite Dominican Republic out of the World Baseball Classic to advance to the quarterfinals on Wednesday night, but what happened after the final out was the story of the night.
During the postgame celebrations, New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz injured his right knee and was carried off the field by teammates before being taken into the clubhouse in a wheelchair.
Diaz struck out the side to secure the win over the Dominican Republic, fanning Teoscar Hernández to close out the game. Teammates rushed to the mound and embraced Diaz, who was hurt in the euphoria. The Mets announced Wednesday night that Diaz would undergo imaging Thursday.
Diaz became a national sensation last season for the Mets, being summoned out of the bullpen to the sound of trumpets from the song “Narco” by Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet.
The 28-year-old had a 1.31 ERA in 2022, receiving Cy Young and MVP votes for a New York team that won 101 games. In the offseason he signed a new five-year, $102 million deal with the Mets – the largest contract ever for a relief pitcher.
Diaz’s brother Alexis, also a pitcher on the Puerto Rican team, was in tears as Edwin was taken off the field.
“[Edwin Diaz] is one of the glue guys in that clubhouse,” Puerto Rico’s Kiké Hernandez said after the game. “He has a really big bank account but his heart is way bigger than his bank account. He’s one of the really special human beings we’ve got in that clubhouse.”
“I didn’t know how to act, I didn’t know how to … what to say. I mean, I didn’t know. It got me for a surprise,” Puerto Rico manager Yadier Molina said afterward.
“Like I said in the dugout, it sucks, sorry, but when you see a guy that works so hard like Edwin, I mean when you see him on the ground like that, I mean it just is sad.”