Hey, everyone! Hope all is well. Been awhile, but the good news is that things have been going swimmingly in Jackson Generals-land. The team is about to wrap up a ten-game road trip having already won seven of nine. The team is a somewhat unfathomable 15-4 against second-place Montgomery including 9-1 in Alabama’s capital. Jackson is now atop the Second Half North Division standings by 2.5 games.
Pitching has powered this recent hot stretch from the Generals. For the first time since 2013, the team has thrown back-to-back nine-inning shutouts. Tuesday night, it was Andrew Moore going the distance on just 97 pitches. It was the first nine-inning complete game for a General since June of 2012.
And this was on the heels of a superb outing in Jacksonville in which Moore took a no-hitter into the seventh inning. I talked to Moore about his recent effectiveness and more (get it?) in a recent pregame interview.
Not to be outdone, Ryan Yarbrough followed on Saturday with a gem of his own. The tall southpaw allowed just one hit in six scoreless frames, retiring the last 11 men he faced in order.
Yarbrough has thrown 14 consecutive scoreless innings and the Generals have kept Montgomery without a run in 21-straight innings going into Thursday night’s series finale. A win and the Generals would earn their second sweep of the season.
Remember that Edwin Diaz guy? Yeah, the one who made ten whole relief appearances in Double-A before being promoted straight to Seattle. I’d say things are going alright for him.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 3, 2016
Yeah, he is striking guys out a rate not seen since the turn of the last century. I know there was some concern with the Mariners taking their best pitching prospect and putting him in the bullpen, but it looks as though the decision has paid off. Guys with an electric fastball and a wipeout slider don’t grow on trees, and bullpens have become increasingly important in the modern game.
He was once just our Edwin Diaz, but now it appears he is the world’s Edwin Diaz. The national media is taking notice, and with good reason. On Tuesday, all he did was strike out the side against the Red Sox to earn his first big league save.
The first of many, I would assume as he is now Seattle’s closer at just 22 years of age. What’s still surreal to me is we are barely two months removed from his first (and only) save in the minors May 26 in Montgomery. He made a grand total of 10 relief outings with the Generals before making Major League hitters look absolutely clueless at the plate.
Gary Hill of Mariners radio was nice enough to have me on the team’s official podcast Thursday. I talked about Diaz and more if you have the time to listen. I’m on for the last 10 minutes or so here.
Also on Tuesday, Guillermo Heredia got his first MLB hit as part of Seattle’s big eighth-inning comeback. I’d say he was excited.
— Mariners (@Mariners) August 3, 2016
That’s a great photo, but it will never supplant him during Jackson’s First Half Championship celebration in my eyes.
Miss you, Guillermo.