“I’m A god. I’m not THE God, I don’t think.”
We’ve all seen the numbers. 27 innings, 53 strikeouts, 26 hits allowed, 8 walks allowed, and his 6th earned run allowed last night in a 3-1 victory. Most importantly, he’s yet to blow a single lead (both of his losses were in tie ballgames on the road). But, I’m not here to obsess about numbers. Read literally every other baseball-centric blog, because if they haven’t already opined about the genius that is Edwin Diaz, they will soon.
I just want to talk about how jacked up I am to have Edwin Diaz in my life. I haven’t felt this way about a Mariners pitcher since Cliff Lee dawned the blue, grey, and white for two healthy pre-trade months. I haven’t felt this way about a Mariners reliever since … ever?
So, you know what? Fuck it. When is the other shoe gonna drop? Let’s get real here! The Mariners can’t seem to have more than one season of quality closing before these guys turn into pumpkins (and in Cishek’s case, not EVEN a full season!). Let’s look back at the long list of crap:
- Steve Cishek (2016) – Great start, but lost his job after 4 months and 25 saves
- Fernando Rodney (2014-2015) – Great 2014, but lost his job HARD in 2015 to a combo of Carson Smith and Tom Wilhelmsen
- Danny Farquhar (2013) – Finished the season as the closer, replaced by FRE, was never good again
- Tom Wilhelmsen (2012-2013) – Finished 2012 & started 2013 as the closer, then fell apart
- Brandon League (2011-2012) – Was solid in 2010 as an 8th inning guy, was an All Star in 2011, fell apart quickly in 2012
- David Aardsma (2009-2010) – Was great in 2009, was okay in 2010, but ultimately much worse and eventually lost his job to League (and injuries)
- J.J. Putz (2006-2008) – Was legitimately great in 2006, had one of the all-time greatest seasons for a reliever in 2007, then had an injury-plagued 2008 before being traded
- Eddie Guardado (2004-2005) – Had an injury-shortened 2004, was rock solid in 2005, then fell apart in 2006 and was traded away
- Kaz Sasaki (2000-2003) – Was a 32 year old Rookie of the Year, then had two All Star appearances in 2001 & 2002, before falling apart in 2003 and leaving the country after his 4-year career. Put up solid all-around numbers, but I never really felt comfortable with him protecting a lead in a big game (particularly the playoffs)
Before that, it was all bums and The Sheriff. The point is, unless you want to count Sasaki (which I really DON’T), the Mariners have never really had a long-term solution to the closer problem. They have good, great, even epic seasons here and there, but ultimately nothing LASTING. I want LASTING, God dammit!
I want Edwin Diaz to be the real thing, and I want him here for the next decade plus, is that too much to fucking ask?