Edwin Diaz pitched a stress-free one-two-three inning Sunday. He was dominant with two strikeouts and a grounder back to him.
Mariners manager Scott Servais offered what could be interpreted as a defense of 23-year-old closer Edwin Diaz after Sunday’s 4-3 win.
Diaz picked up his sixth save of the season, and when asked if Diaz had taken a step forward the last two outings, Servais smiled.
“Depends who you talk to,” he said. “Some people say no, some people say yes. I think he’s throwing the ball very well. Part of the life of a closer is you are going to give up a home run once in a while that hurts you. That’s part of it. Eddie has shown the resiliency to bounce back. He has a very short memory, which you have to have as a closer.
“I love him. I love giving him the ball in the ninth inning. I feel good every time I do.”
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Diaz had allowed runs in two of his past three appearances and had also given up two home runs in two of his past three outings. His earned-run average hovered above four.
But Diaz pitched a stress-free one-two-three inning Sunday (He also pitched a scoreless inning Friday). He was dominant with two strikeouts and a grounder back to him.
Another roster move
The Mariners continued shuffling their roster Sunday. The club selected right-handed pitcher Christian Bergman from Class AAA Tacoma and sent right-handed pitcher Rob Whalen to Tacoma.
“Another day, another new guy,” Servais said.
That’s the way it’s been for the Mariners this season, whether because of injuries or performance.
In Sunday’s 4-3 win against the Rangers, Bergman replaced Dillon Overton, who filled in for injured starter James Paxton, and delivered crucial innings of relief. Bergman, 29, allowed one run and one hit in 32/3 innings.
Servais said Bergman “really settled the game down.”
“It was great to get in there and help out in whatever way I could,” Bergman said.
Bergman has impressive numbers with Tacoma this season: 2.17 ERA in five starts (he has a career 5.79 ERA in the majors). Bergman will serve as the Mariners’ long reliever.
“It’s the state of the union, the state of where we’re at right now,” Servais said. “Just trying to make the best of what we’ve got. That’s kind of why the roster was put together the way it was: You could shuffle some of these guys back and forth. And we’ve been doing it.”
Whalen, 23, was with the Mariners for one day and started Sunday for Tacoma, giving up four runs on five hits in 31/3 innings.
The Mariners also transferred right-handed pitcher Shae Simmons to the 60-day disabled list. The Mariners acquired Simmons from the Braves for a couple of minor-league pitchers, but Simmons has yet to appear in a game this season.
As far as all the shuffling, Servais said, “Instead of getting down about all the injuries or whatever, I look forward to saying, ‘What can this guy do? What can that guy do?’ So it’s more of like a tryout camp, and at the end of the day you know you’ll come away with something that maybe surprises you.”