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Edwin Diaz has a unique nickname, loves the Lakers and is on pace to break the single-season saves record

(Lindsey Wasson)

It's no secret that the Mariners have made a living this year succeeding in close games. An incredible 30-14 record in one-run ballgames has kept Seattle in the thick of the AL West race with six weeks of regular-season baseball remaining. The most crucial contributor to the Mariners' narrow victories has been their fearless, fireballing closer, Edwin Diaz. The right-hander is making a legitimate run at Francisco Rodriguez's single-season save record of 62, while putting up even more eye-popping numbers than K-Rod in the process:

Diaz's latest remarkable feat was converting four saves in four days to help the Mariners sweep the rival Astros:

Now that he has clearly emerged as one of the elite closers in the game, here are six things to know about the Mariners relief ace chasing history:
His nickname is Sugar
Diaz got the nickname from his friends in high school who believed he resembled the star pitcher Miguel "Sugar" Santos in the 2008 film, Sugar
He made it to the big leagues because he was willing to move to the bullpen
Diaz was drafted in the 3rd round of the 2012 Draft as a starting pitcher. He started all throughout the lower Minors and had success, but struggled with his command and developing a third pitch. After six starts with Double-A Jackson in 2016, Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto told Diazthat if he moved to the bullpen, he could be with the big league club sooner. 10 dominant relief outings later -- in which Diaz threw 11 2/3 scoreless innings with 16 strikeouts -- Diaz was called up to the big leagues, making his MLB debut on June 6 against the Indians.

The rest is history. 
He was also the closer for Team Puerto Rico
One of the many highlights of the 2017 World Baseball Classic was the endless energy and excitement provided by the Puerto Rican team, which featured plenty of superstars. Diaz was right at the center of it, anchoring the P.R. bullpen for much of the tournament:

His historic performance may result in a haircut for his manager
Earlier this season, it was revealed that Diaz made a friendly wager in Spring Training with his manager, Scott Servais: If Diaz got to 50 saves, Servais would have get his haircut like Diaz.

It may have seemed unlikely before the season, but we now know that Diaz, who is already at 46 saves, is all but guaranteed to reach the new-haircut plateau. Now we'll have to wait and see if Servais indeed follows through on his preseason promise. 
He loves the Lakers and LeBron James
Diaz loves basketball, and in particular, the Los Angeles Lakers. He predicted earlier in the summer that the Lakers would land free agent LeBron James:

When his prediction came true, Diaz expressed his eagerness to see King James in purple and gold:

His fastball-slider combo is as deadly as they come
While his exceptional velocity has been the headliner in Diaz's arsenal since arriving in the big leagues, it's his improved slider that has helped boost him from great to excellent in 2018. Coming in at an average of 88.9 mph -- the third-fastest among all relievers -- Diaz's slider has been fooling helpless hitters all year long.