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2016 Seattle Mariners Advent Calendar - Day 21

Fuego dulce from Edwin Díaz against the Cubs, for all the world to see.

Jose Rivera

Let’s start with the unsatisfactory: this is the first result I found of Edwin Díaz’s electrifying series against the World Champion Chicago Cubs.

A few pieces of this particular clip stand out. Yes, that is incontrovertibly a ball. Yes, we all know what comes afterwards, as Sunday Night Baseball became the Travis Wood Experience and Jon Maddon’s medulla oblongata earned .893 WPA for subbing in a pitcher to bunt. These are facts and they can get bent.

The far more pleasant memory of this series is the dumbstruck state the best team in baseball was put in by a man who was playing against Biloxi and Chattanooga a month earlier. He was not perfect, and looked as excited as I would be to be pitching in Wrigley Field, which is appropriate considering he was born ten days after me. That didn’t stop him from putting the fear of god in an MVP candidate and an All-Star.

Anthony Rizzo had a 154 wRC+ against right-handed pitching this year. Adorable. Dexter Fowler had a 137 wRC+ facing righties. Good joke.

He might as well have just not brought a bat to the plate.

Fuego, interno y externo. Me encanta.

The Mariners lost the three-game series against the Cubs two games to one, but were moments away from flipping those numbers. Being a good team doesn’t mean you have to dominate other good teams. The Cubs were a superior team to the Mariners, and everyone in baseball last year. If you beat the teams you are better than and are competitive with those who you match up with, you are going to put yourself in the hunt for the playoffs. You bridge that gap with players like Edwin Díaz, who can stomp on the POW button and reset the entire level of the game. He’s already shown he has what it takes to hang with the best. Next year, hopefully, we can see him continue that brilliance.

Jose Rivera

Más fuego y Sugar por favor, ahora y para siempre.