The Mariners defeated the Angels 8-5 on Sunday, bumping their record to 62-43. Closer Edwin Diaz got the final three outs, working around a leadoff walk with two strikeouts for his 39th save of the season, the best mark in baseball.
Diaz’s 39 saves through 105 team games puts him on pace for 60 over the 162-game season. There has been only one 60-save season in baseball, accomplished by Francisco Rodriguez for the Angels back in 2008. There have been just 16 50-plus save seasons since the statistic was created in 1969. Since 2012, only five closers have racked up 50-plus saves: Jeurys Familia (51, 2016), Mark Melancon (51, 2015), Craig Kimbrel (50, 2013), and Jim Johnson twice (50, 2013; 51, 2012).
All this is being said knowing full well the save statistic is garbage. If Diaz were to get to 60 saves, it would still be a fun achievement.
Diaz’s other stats are plenty impressive, too. He owns a 2.08 ERA with 87 strikeouts and 15 walks in 52 innings of work. His ratio of 5.8 strikeouts for every one walk is the 10th-best mark among qualified relievers. Only the Brewers Josh Hader (50.3%) has a higher strikeout rate than Diaz’s 44.2%.
Diaz is only 24 years old and will be under the Mariners’ control through 2022. It’s scary to think how much better he can potentially get.
Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will undergo Tommy John surgery and miss the rest of the season.
The reigning AL Cy Young Award winner announced the news Saturday on his Instagram account in a 1½-minute video.
“In my simulated game a couple days ago, I felt something in my elbow, and after looking at my MRI and conversing with some of the best doctors in the world, we’ve determined that Tommy John surgery is my best option,” Verlander said.
He threw to hitters on Wednesday for the first time since he was injured in the team’s opener on July 24. He threw 50 pitches in the bullpen before throwing about 25 pitches to hitters in two simulated innings.
“I tried as hard as I could to come back and play this season,” Verlander said. “Unfortunately, my body just didn’t cooperate.”
Verlander has been on the injured list with a right forearm strain. He went 21-6 with a 2.58 ERA in 2019.
“Obviously, this is not good news,” Verlander said. “However, I’m going to handle this the only way I know how. I’m optimistic. I’m going to put my head down, work hard, attack this rehab and hopefully, come out the other side better for it.
“I truly believe everything that everything happens for a reason, and although 2020 has sucked, hopefully, when this rehab process is all said and done, this will allow me to charge through the end of my career and be healthy as long as I want and pitch as long as I want and accomplish some of the goals that I want in my career.”
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