Cincinnati fans remember the days when ninth innings were some of the most stressful times of every Reds game. The Cincinnati Reds had a span of time, after Raisel Iglesias was traded, when there was no closer to lean on.
Last season, the Reds had 10 different relievers notch at least one save, led by veteran right-hander Hunter Strickland and rookie pitcher Alexis Diaz.
The season before, the Reds spread the wealth even more, with the bullpen having four different pitchers with at least seven saves on the year.
Alexis Diaz is the Reds best closer since Aroldis Chapman.
This year, the job of closer has primarily been handled by one man, the dominant second-year reliever Alexis Diaz. Diaz is a perfect 15-for-15 on save opportunities this year, while the rest of the Reds are a troubling 4-for-10.
The Reds haven't seen this type of dominance out of the bullpen since 2015, when Aroldis Chapman held down the closer's role in the Queen City.
The Reds have seen other relievers like Mychal Givens, Raisel Iglesias, Lucas Sims, and Heath Hembree over the last few seasons, but none of those pitchers have been on the same level as Diaz and Chapman.
During his tenure in Cincinnati, Aroldis Chapman was 146-for-163 in save opportunities, good for save percentage of nearly a 90-percent. The Cuban Missile was voted to four All-Star Games and struck out over 15 batters per nine innings in across 324 games with the Cincinnati Reds.
Flash forward eight years and the Reds now have a closer that's just as dominant. Alexis Diaz has been one of the best closers in the game this season; less than a year after earning the closer role.
His "per 9" numbers have improved across the board, allowing just over three hits per nine innings while striking out nearly 17 batters for every nine innings pitched. His strikeout numbers are utterly ridiculous.
Alexis Diaz hasn't blown a save since August 23rd of last season. Diaz's consecutive save streak sits at 20 in a row, behind only his brother Edwin for the longest active save streaks in the majors. Edwin Diaz hasn't appeared in a game this year and Alexis Diaz is very close to surpassing his brother's streak.