Is playing in New York City getting to another player?
Struggling New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz has been affected by the boos he's received from home fans while playing in New York, sources told Yahoo Sports' Matt Ehalt, but the reliever denies that's the case.
"Honestly, that doesn't affect me," Diaz explained. "I always try to keep a positive attitude. Fans can say or do what they want because they're the ones that pay for tickets, and the media is always going to talk because it's their job as well.
"I try to do my job the best I can."
The Mets acquired Diaz from the Seattle Mariners in December after his remarkable 2018 campaign that included 57 saves and a 1.96 ERA. In 52 appearances this season, however, his ERA sits at 5.32 while his WHIP has nearly doubled from 0.79 to 1.46.
But the 25-year-old insists he doesn't feel any more pressure pitching in a tough atmosphere like New York than he would if he was playing - and struggling - in Seattle.
"I think it's the same," Diaz said through a translator. "Us as baseball players know it's the same game anywhere. We just have to do our job anywhere."
Diaz's poor performance might have more to do with a lack of command and an ineffective slider, Ehalt suggests. The hard-throwing right-hander has walked 3.6 hitters per nine innings this season, and opposing hitters batted .417 against his slider in July, according to Brooks Baseball.