Edwin Diaz of Puerto Rico is helped off the field after being injured during the on-field celebration after defeating the Dominican Republic during the World Baseball Classic Pool D at loanDepot park on March 15, 2023 in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Eric Espada/Getty Images)
By Leif Skodnick
World Baseball Network
MIAMI- It was a magical performance, a 21-pitch, three out save that sent Puerto Rico pouring from the dugout, surrounding New York Mets closer Edwin Diaz.
Puerto Rico’s effort featured a four-run third inning that started with a home run by designated hitter Christian Vasquez and was punctuated with a two run single by Enrique Hernandez and what, perhaps, was the ultimate “bullpenning” of a game, with eight Puerto Rico pitchers combining to allow two runs on six hits.
The best thing that could possibly happen, a 5-2 win against their Caribbean baseball archrivals, the Dominican Republic, in a game Puerto Rico had to win to advance at the 2023 World Baseball Classic, had happened.
And then, the worst possible thing that could happen did happen.
In the midst of the celebration, a circle of Puerto Rico players were jumping up and down around Diaz, who had just iced the game, and suddenly he was on the ground, the jumping for joy had stopped and his teammates were frantically waving at the dugout.
They helped him up, and he couldn’t put weight on his right leg. Diaz was taken off the field in a wheelchair.
The tears of joy quickly turned to tears, especially from his brother and teammate Alexis.
In the postgame press conference, Puerto Rico manager Yadier Molina had no update, other than to say that he believed Diaz was undergoing tests and there would be an update later in the night.