One of the pre-tournament favorites was knocked out of the World Baseball Classic on Wednesday night, as the Dominican Republic lost 5-2 to Puerto Rico, eliminating them from pool play.
The final out came courtesy of a strikeout, as Mets star closer Edwin Diaz painted the upper inside corner to punch Puerto Rico’s ticket to the quarterfinals. The celebration began immediately on the field, but disaster struck when the jumping circle of Puerto Rican players stopped suddenly after Diaz fell to the ground holding his right knee.
THERE IT IS
What a win for Puerto Rico to advance to the quarterfinals!! pic.twitter.com/3yVB0moeh4
— FOX Sports: MLB (@MLBONFOX) March 16, 2023
It was hard to see exactly what happens, but you can see Diaz, in the middle of the circle, suddenly ends up on the ground. His teammate immediately called to the dugout for medical assistance, as he grabbed at his right knee in pain, and he was unable to walk off the field under his own power.
We just had a WBC Bill Gramatica moment pic.twitter.com/72wH4G3PsB
— Timothy Burke (@bubbaprog) March 16, 2023
After initial efforts to help or carry him off the field, they eventually took him off in a wheelchair as the elation over beating their rivals quickly became concern for their star closer, with Mets fans looking on in horror as they saw their season flash before their eyes.
Edwin Díaz was placed into a wheelchair and rolled down the tunnel. As he left, he raised his arm to acknowledge the crowd.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) March 16, 2023
Diaz was a sensation in New York a year ago, with his Narcos walkout becoming a rallying cry for the Mets, as he gave up just nine earned runs in 61 appearances, including 32 saves. Now, they’ll wait for the update on Diaz, but it certainly seems as if, at the least, they’ll have to start the season without their closer.