48 hours later, Edwin Diaz’ ​​brother Alexis is denied by Puerto Rico’s WBC final loss to Mexico

MIAMI — The game was over for an hour late Friday night when pitcher Alexis Diaz left the Puerto Rico clubhouse with his head bowed after the 5-4 loss to Mexico, trying to keep his composure.

He was trying to figure out how a beautiful dream could turn into a terrible nightmare just 48 hours ago.

It was only Wednesday night, on the same field at LoanDepot Park, that Puerto Rico defeated the Dominican Republic World Baseball Classicone of the greatest triumphs in his proud baseball history.

Edwin Diaz, Alexis’ big brother, had just hit the side in the ninth and was jumping up and down in celebration. Alexis and his teammates rushed over. They jumped into his arms and celebrated one of the most beautiful nights of their lives.

It was the first time the two brothers played together on the same professional baseball field, and now they were experiencing the same euphoria together.

Seconds later, Edwin Diaz collapsed to the ground, screaming in pain, his right knee buckled. Alexis stood to one side, tears streaming down his face, and watched his wheelchair-bound brother leave the field.

Alexis Diaz reacts after being pulled out of Puerto Rico’s quarterfinal loss to Mexico on Friday.

Now with his brother undergo knee surgery at the end of the seasonDiaz entered the game in the seventh inning on Friday, asking to defend a 4-2 lead.

Austin Barnes greeted him with a double. Randy Arozarena left. Alex Verdugo left.

Puerto Rico coach Yadier Molina rushed to the mound to take Diaz out of the game, but the damage was already done. He sat on the bench and watched Isaac Peredes hit a two-out, two-run single on Jorge Lopez to level the game, and then Luis Urias hit a run-scoring go-ahead single.

It was over just like that.

Mexico advanced to the WBC semifinals for the first time with the country’s biggest baseball win, Puerto Rico’s WBC title hopes were over, and Diaz planned to take a flight back to Arizona for the Cincinnati Reds’ spring training camp.

Baseball, man, that can be cruel.

“Honestly, it’s been really painful the past few days,” Diaz said. “I wanted to be out there with my brother, especially with what happened to him.”

Diaz paused, collected himself, and said, “But I’m a warrior. I have a warrior’s heart. I’ll do my best to have a great season and keep going.”

Diaz’s teammates comforted him. He spoke to his brother. Everyone gave the same advice.

“My teammates just told me that it’s part of the game, don’t keep my head down,” Diaz said, “just keep doing what I’m doing.”

And the words of the big brother?

“He said to just block out the outside noise,” Diaz said, “just keep focusing on me. These are things that happen in the game. …

“He went through a similar situation in 2019.”

That was Edwin’s first season with the Metsafter being traded from the Seattle Mariners, and he went 2-7 with a 5.59 ERA and was almost booed from New York. Today he is considered the most dominant closer in the game.

Maybe things would have been different if Edwin Diaz had never been hurt –

but Alexis argued that he was fine emotionally.

“I felt calm in that moment,” Diaz said, “I felt comfortable with my mechanics. It’s just things that happened during the game.”

Diaz will now have a long flight back to Arizona, still believing the WBC will make him a better pitcher, maybe even a mentally stronger one.

“I learned many valuable lessons from this experience,” he said. “I am someone who is quite inexperienced in my professional career. It’s something I’ll carry with me throughout my career. …

“I just want to let the kids know, whenever you meet adversity, keep going and don’t back down. Keep doing what you are doing, trust the process and good things will happen.”

Mexico is certainly a testament to that resilience at this tournament. They lost the first game to Colombia in a stunning upset. However, a day later they defeated Team USA, held on to beat Great Britain and sped past Canada to win Pool C in Phoenix.

“The most important game in the lives of most of these guys, including mine, is tonight,” Mexico coach Benji Gil said before the game. “God willing, we’re going to win tonight, and most likely some tequilas after the game, maybe a beer.”

Mexico fell 4-0 in the first inning with ace Julio Urias but then finished Puerto Rico by just four after the Dodgers’ left-hander left.

“The adjustment didn’t give up, keep looking forward,” Gil said, “no matter how hard the hit was. A hero I had is the idol in sports in Mexico [boxer] Julio Cesar Chavez. And in 1990 he lost to [Meldrick] He and Taylor kept fighting, fighting, fighting, fighting, and in the end he won that fight.

“Julio Cesar Chavez is a good friend of mine. He sent many messages supporting the team. I thought of him. The Mexican team will never give up when we have other Mexican warriors who never gave up.”

Now here they are, just two wins away from impressing the world and winning their first WBC.

“The most important thing, I think, is that we show what Mexican players are capable of at the highest level,” said Gil. “It’s a blessing to be able to be a part of it and have a little piece of it by leading them, by leading them as Mexican warriors.”

Their next game is against heavily favored Japan on Monday night.

Julio Cesar Chavez will be watching.

Follow Nightengale on Twitter: @Bnightgale

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Alexis Diaz falters against Mexico as Puerto Rico is eliminated from the WBC

Source : sports.yahoo.com

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