After 56 K's in only 28 innings, it's time to embrace the joy of Edwin Diaz's nigh-unhittable slider
At the beginning of the season,
That seemed to be the right move. After reaching the Majors on June 6, he's become an unstoppable strikeout wizard who tears through bats like they're made of nothing but the flimsiest of ideas. In 28 innings, he's struck out an absolutely unbelievable 56 batters. For those who hate math, that's two batters every inning! It's enough that Diaz has been handed the closer's role at the tender age of 22. Only 21-year-old
Here are some fun facts for you:
- He's struck out more batters than
- He has 10 appearances where he's struck out three-plus batters. That already ties him with
- He comes out to "Pour Some Sugar On Me" because his nickname is Sugar. Which is the best reason to ever play that song.
How's he doing it? Beyond the explanation that he's using telekinesis to manipulate both the baseball and the hitter's mind, he's got an upper-90s fastball that decimates hitters:
But his real weapon is a wipeout slider: 49 batters have ended their at-bats against the slider. In those ABs, they've struck out 34 times. Just watch how he struck out the Angels in order in the Mariners' 6-4 win on Friday night with sliders to all of them. Even
Of course, this is a very small sample size and so it would be irresponsible of us to suggest that he could break
At the same time, this is the kind of strikeout dominance that -- even in an era where high strikeout totals are the norm -- we just haven't seen before. Whatever happens the rest of the year, when the Mariners go into the ninth inning with a lead and "Pour Some Sugar on Me" blares from the speakers, you know fun is coming. And that's worth getting excited for.