The Mariners bullpen is starting the second half brilliantly
Take Friday’s game first. The Mariners got six solid innings from the starter James Paxton before needing to give the ball to the relievers.
First to the mound out of the Mariners bullpen was right-hander Tony Zych. He faced three batters, and sent two back to the bench via the strikeout. Zych has posted a 1.14 WHIP on the season that compliments his 2.25 ERA quite nicely.
After the solid inning from Zych, the Mariners called on the anchor of their bullpen, Nick Vincent. Now, if you don’t realize just how good Nick Vincent has been this season, let me tell you. He currently has an ERA of 1.91.
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If that doesn’t already slap you in the face as impressive, let me just put that in perspective for you. Vincent is one of only eight qualified relievers with sub-two ERAs.
His 2017 WHIP is currently 1.01. As long as the one walk or hit he gives up each inning isn’t a home run, he’s pretty much lights out. His last six outings (5.2 innings) have been scoreless, but the best part is, in 34 of his last 36 outings he he has escaped unscathed.
Vincent will be a huge part of holding the bullpen together as it tries to lock down critical wins over the coming weeks.
Finally Friday was Edwin Diaz.
Now Diaz has been quite the story in 2017. He absolutely domin
ated the World Baseball Classic, but come the regular season, his command disappeared and he was rendered ineffective. After blowing a few high-pressure situations, he was removed from the closer role, but reinstated shortly after.
He’s been relatively up-and-down ever since, and the Mariners will need him to be the dominant pitcher he was in 2016 and in the WBC if they want to see the postseason this year.
He shut the door on both Friday and Saturday respectively, and that is a good sign for Mariners fans and the young fireballer himself. If he can build some confidence coming out of the break, I venture he will be more like old Diaz than the newer shadow of himself.
Next: Mariners Analysis: Friday a good sign
The only difference in Saturday’s game was the King Felix only made it through five innings, thus opening up one more inning of work for the bullpen. Steve Cishek stepped up, and although he walked a batter, he made it through quickly and effectively, getting a hold, and kept the Mariners in the drivers seat of the game.
If the Mariners bullpen can build on these first two games out of the break, it will be fun to see what they can do as the team tries to put together a run to vault them back into contention.