Puerto Rico eliminated the Dominican Republic in the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday night, but the winners — and the New York Mets — may have sustained a devastating loss in the process, as pitcher Edwin Diaz injured his right knee.
After Diaz, the closer for Puerto Rico and the Mets, struck out Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Teoscar Hernandez looking for the final out of Puerto Rico’s 5-2 victory in Miami that lifted the club into the WBC quarterfinals, many of the Puerto Rican players ran to in front of the mound to celebrate with Diaz.
But as the players circled around and began jumping up and down, the celebration quickly stopped and players began signaling for staff to come out to tend to Diaz, who fell to the ground while in the middle of the huddle.
Diaz’s right pants leg was rolled up to his knee as he sat on the ground. Eventually he was helped out and tried to walk off with his arms around a Puerto Rico coach and training-staff member, but after a couple of steps lifted his right leg off the ground, with his right foot appearing twisted to the outside.
As Diaz neared the dugout, he was placed in a wheelchair and wheeled down the tunnel.
Later Wednesday night, the Mets tweeted that Diaz sustained a right knee injury and would undergo further testing Thursday.
Edwin Diaz injured his right knee after tonight’s WBC game. He will undergo imaging tomorrow and we will update when appropriate.
— New York Mets (@Mets) March 16, 2023
His brother, Puerto Rico teammate and Cincinnati Reds pitcher Alexis Diaz, could be seen crying as Edwin Diaz was wheeled away.
Edwin Diaz, 28, is one of baseball’s top closers. He posted 32 saves in each of the past two seasons with the Mets, earning his second All-Star Game nod in 2022. He was an All-Star with the Seattle Mariners in 2018, when he led the majors with 57 saves.
Puerto Rico finished in second place in Pool D with a 3-1 record, behind 4-0 Venezuela. The Dominican Republic, one of the favorites entering the tournament, finished 2-2 and in third place in the pool.
Only the first- and second-place teams in each of the four pools qualified for the quarterfinals.
–Field Level Media