Mariners, Horse Racing, The Bullpen, and Alex Colomé
By Tyler Hogg
“What’s his name? It’s right on the tip of my tongue! You know who I’m talking about, right? Come on, the guy that played Spider-Man portrayed him in that one movie about that one horse! Ummm…uhhh, Seabiscuit! The guy that was the jockey for Seabiscuit, what was his name? Ahhh! It’s Tobey Maguire, wait, ugh no…”
“Siri…who was Seabiscuit’s jockey?”
“Sorry, I didn’t quite get that, try again later.”
When it comes to horse racing, why do we always remember the name of the horse and not the name of the jockey? Why does Seabiscuit, Secretariat, Seattle Slew, and Justify always come to mind, but the names of their jockeys don’t?
Some might say it’s because the jockeys don’t really matter, while others might say it’s because they don’t seek the fame, but what I think it comes down to is that the horses’ creative and catchy names are prominently displayed when you bet, before the race, during the race, and after the race. The horses get the glory, the horses get the movies named after them, therefore the horses get their names remembered.
Players’ weekend in Major League Baseball is quickly approaching, and all of the amazing (and not so amazing) nicknames that the players will wear on their jerseys were released. The Mariners nicknames did not disappoint.
We will be treated to seeing the likes of “Big Maple”, “Boomstick”, “Frenchy”, “Meetch”, “Sugar”, and many more. As I was looking through the list of the nicknames for the Mariners, there was one that really stood out to me, and no, I’m not talking about Zach Duke’s “Dukie” (excuse me, I just threw up a little in my mouth). What stood out to me was Alex Colomé’s simple, yet powerful nickname, “The Horse”.
While in horse racing, the horse gets all the glory, when it comes to the Seattle Mariners bullpen, that’s not the case. “The Horse” plays second fiddle to lights-out closer, Edwin Díaz. Now there’s some legit reason Díaz gets a lot of praise. His league-leading 43 saves and 15.1 strikeouts per 9 innings speak for themselves, but there’s something to be said for “The Horse”.
Since Colomé was brought over to Seattle from Tampa Bay earlier this season by Jerry Dipoto, he has been stellar. Colomé has already appeared in more games with Seattle than he did with Tampa Bay this year, and in Seattle, he is throwing up some great numbers.
In 23 games with Tampa Bay, Colomé had a 4.15 ERA, 1.477 WHIP, and -0.2 WAR. Just looking at those stats from Tampa Bay, you’d come to the conclusion that Colomé was not performing well, and the Rays must’ve felt that way too because they were okay with letting him go to the Mariners.
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Since joining the Mariners, Colomé has returned to his All-Star form, and he has been an essential piece of the Mariners bullpen. Thinking back to a time before Alex Colomé, a time where Juan Nicasio was the 8th inning specialist, makes Mariners fans tremble in fear. Since joining Seattle, Colomé has appeared in 29 games and has a 2.54 ERA, 1.024 WHIP, and 0.9 WAR.
These are exceptionally solid numbers, and Alex Colomé has completely earned the trust of Scott Servais and Mariners fans alike. When Servais calls on Nick Vincent in a tight situation in the 7th, Twitter erupts and fans beg for Alex Colomé instead. With the way Colomé is throwing the ball, can you blame them?
Since the All-Star Break, Alex Colomé has been one of the best relief pitchers in all of baseball. He’s appeared in 10 games and has yet to give up a run. With an ERA of 0.00 and a WHIP of 0.844, “The Horse” is running full steam ahead. In the biggest games, against some of the best lineups, Alex Colomé is shutting down hitters in the 8th inning. Colomé’s dominant 8th innings lead to the electric 9th innings from Edwin Díaz. Without “The Horse”, you don’t get “Sugar”.
The backend of the Mariners bullpen is downright filthy. The Colomé/Díaz one-two punch might just be the best in baseball, so the next time you admire a 99 mph fastball, or a laugh-out-loud defensive swinging strike, or a shake-your-head Edwin Díaz save, please, remember “The Horse”, because baseball isn’t horse racing, and “The Horse” doesn’t always get his due.
“Siri…who was Seabiscuit’s jockey?”
“This might answer your question: Seabiscuit’s jockey was Red Pollard, but most people just remember him as Seabiscuit’s jockey.”