Now down to three games remaining in the season the Seattle Mariners won their eighty-fifth game of the year Thursday night at Safeco Field against the Oakland A’s 3-2.
The Baltimore Orioles beat Toronto Blue Jays Thursday night where they are in a tie for the first wild card team in the American League. Both teams have eighty-seven wins going into the weekend. The Mariners really do need to win the final three games to make the playoffs however both of these teams have to lose at least two of the three games they have left. The odds are against the Mariners however they have made the playoff race interesting at the very least. They will have to continue fighting to make it in.
Thursday night they were leading 2-1 going into the eighth inning when Mike Zunino who has been struggling at the plate hit a home run to make it 3-1. The top of the ninth inning closer Edwin Diaz made it interesting struggling on the mound lately gave up a run to make it 3-2 with the tying run on third base when he struck out the final two batters. The success of Diaz over the final three games may be the telling story how the Mariners will do. This year is the only time he has been a reliever and he did not even start there at the beginning of the season at double A. General Manager Jerry Dipoto in his wisdom figured the fastest track for Diaz to make it to the major leagues was as a reliever and he was correct. He was called up to the Mariners in June after just a couple months in the bullpen. The Mariners made him the closer after Steve Cishek was struggling to save games. Now Cishek is one of the guys setting up for Diaz who now has eighteen saves. Diaz struggle primarily has been with his slider. Actually the major problem is when to pitch it versus throwing the fast ball. The slider is most effective when the batter thinks he is going to throw the fast ball along with the location of it. Although he can be dominating with the fastball and slider he may have to throw a third pitch as well. It could be a change up or a curve ball. Whatever the case Diaz should be the Mariner’s closer for years ahead. He has the attitude of a great closer where he doesn’t give in and his experience as a starter helps when he does get into any trouble.
What will be interesting to us all over the next three games besides winning and making it into the playoffs is who will be playing the starring role and the role players. Anyway let’s keep it alive. Go M’s.