Mariners Insider Blog

Watchpoints: Diaz vows to `flush’ disappointment of Wednesday’s blown save

Edwin Diaz wants the ball Friday if the Mariners have a save situation in the ninth inning.
Edwin Diaz wants the ball Friday if the Mariners have a save situation in the ninth inning. AP

The oft-repeated cliche is that closers, like cornerbacks, need a short memory. That it is a cliche makes it no less true.

It’s no surprise then that Mariners closer Edwin Diaz isn’t dwelling on blowing a save in Wednesday’s 5-4 loss to Philadelphia. Instead, he’s refocusing on the Los Angeles Angels and Friday’s series opener at Angel Stadium.

"Oh, yeah, of course," he said. "Completely. I flushed everything. A couple of mistakes (on Wednesday), and that’s what kind of happened that inning, you know?"

You know what else? Diaz expects to get the ball Friday if the Mariners find themselves in a save situation when the ninth inning rolls around.

"Yeah, I expect to be ready on Friday to have the chance to win," he said. "I have to flush today. And I'll be ready on Friday."

Manager Scott Servais stopped short Wednesday from guaranteeing Diaz would remain as the club’s closer but, he also made it clear, the Mariners’ bullpen operates best when anchored by an effective Diaz.

"That’s kind of how we’re built," Servais conceded. "There are going to be times when he does give it up. That’s the roller-coaster ride that you get in when you sit in that seat. Eddie’s got great stuff. He’s got to execute better."

Veteran right-hander Steve Cishek looms as the likeliest alternative if the Mariners choose to give Diaz a brief reset. Cishek spent much of his eight big-league seasons as a closer and has 121 career saves.

Twenty-five of those saves came last season with the Mariners before a hip injury forced him to the disabled list and created an opening for Diaz. Better than anyone, Cishek knows importance of clearing your head after a blown save.

"I always went back to what I did best," he said. "My best outings. Watching them on tape. Kind of rehearsing it in my head. I’d usually remember how I felt and try visualize that before my next outing.

"Keep that fresh in my mind. That positive mind-set. Then you just go out there and trust your mind-set at that point. It’s a non-forgiving game. It’s a tough job, man. It really is.

‘Edwin’s been doing a great job. He’s been throwing really well. I don’t foresee this lasting very long. I think he’ll be just fine."

Other watchpoints:

***The Mariners used an open date Thursday to realign their rotation for the weekend series against the Angels. Lefty Ariel Miranda (6-4) with a 4.11 ERA is now scheduled to start Friday in the series opener. Sam Gaviglio drops back to Saturday, while James Paxton remains the Sunday’s starter.

***The Angels plan to start rookie right-hander Parker Bridwell (2-0, 2.95) in the opener, which starts at 7:07 p.m. Friday. It can be seen on Root Sports Northwest.

***Angels outfielder Mike Trout hasn’t played since May 28 because of a torn ligament in his thumb. He is nearing a return but isn’t expected to play this weekend. He was batting .337 with 16 homers and 36 RBIS in 47 games when injured.

***The Angels are 16-14 in Trout’s absence.

***Bridwell and Miranda each began their careers in the Baltimore organization. The Angels got Bridwell in an April 17 trade for cash or a player to be named later. The Mariners acquired Miranda on July 31, 2016 in a trade for lefty Wade Miley.

***Bridwell was 2-3 with a 4.28 ERA in six games at Triple-A Salt Lake. He is on his third recall to the big leagues. This latest one occurred June 17 as a replacement for injured Matt Shoemaker.

***Miranda is 3-0 with a 3.38 ERA in four career starts against the Angels. He is 1-0 while allowing three runs in 11 innings over two career starts at Angel Stadium. He held the Angels to two runs in seven innings in an 11-3 victory on May 4 at Safeco Field.

***But Miranda is 0-2 in his last four starts overall and has allowed 14 runs and 21 hits over 24 2/3 innings in that span.

***Friday is the Mariners’ first game at Angel Stadium since April 9, when they blew a six-run lead in the ninth inning in a 10-9 loss. The Angels’ comeback completed a three-game sweep. LA holds a 4-2 lead in the season series.

TIME CAPSULE

It was five years ago Friday — June 30, 2012 — that Chone Figgins produced one of the rare highlight moments from his three years with the Mariners when he hit a walk-off sacrifice fly in the 11th inning for a 3-2 victory over Boston.

Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners

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