BOB, GROZ AND TOM

Just call him ‘Bad Guy’: Mariners’ Edwin Diaz has a new mentality

Apr 17, 2018, 3:23 PM | Updated: 4:06 pm
Mariners closer Edwin Diaz: "When I am on the mound, I am the bad guy every time." (AP)...
Mariners closer Edwin Diaz: "When I am on the mound, I am the bad guy every time." (AP)
(AP)

Mariners closer Edwin Diaz already has a nickname: “Sugar,” reportedly a reference to a 2008 sports-drama movie.

He may have a new one before too long, though.

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“You know, I say when I am on the mound, I am the bad guy every time,” Diaz told 710 ESPN Seattle’s Bob, Groz and Tom on Tuesday. “I don’t care who’s in the ball game hitting, a friend of mine or another guy. I want to be the bad guy and get him out.”

“The Bad Guy,” huh? Kinda has a nice ring to it.

Diaz has certainly been a villain of sorts for opposing hitters so far this season. He is 7 for 7 in saves, has allowed just one hit and struck out 16 over eight innings. In fact, by registering seven saves in the team’s first 14 games, he has joined Kazuhiro Sasaki as the only Mariners pitchers to ever pull off that feat.

Diaz is off to a fantastic start this year, and he’s made some noticeable improvements from last season, which featured a short stint out of the closer’s role to work out some kinks.

“I play with more confidence. Last year, if I gave up a base hit or base on ball, I’d think I’d get in trouble. Now if I get a walk or base hit, I stay calm, keep making pitches,” he said. “I enjoy my time on the mound and have fun pitching.”

The 24-year-old flame thrower showed that confidence in Monday night’s 2-1 Mariners win over the defending World Series champion Astros as he recorded his seventh save, tying him for the MLB lead.

“They’ve got a great lineup but I trust in my stuff,” he said. “I say, ‘I’m better than them.’ I just make pitches. If I’m making pitches, I’ll be fine. That’s what I did yesterday.”

You can find the full interview with Diaz in the podcast of Bob, Groz and Tom’s Tuesday show.

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Just call him ‘Bad Guy’: Mariners’ Edwin Diaz has a new mentality