Alexis Díaz is quickly becoming "must see TV". The Cincinnati Reds reliever has earned David Bell's trust and is one of the most reliable arms out of the bullpen and last night, the rookie recorded his first career save.
The Reds took a 4-2 lead heading into the ninth inning last night in Cleveland. Unfortunately, Art Warren was unable to seal the deal and surrendered a two-run home run that knotted the game. The Reds and Guardians then went into the 10th tied at four runs apiece.
Cincinnati was able to scratch across a run without recording a hit, as the Guardians' reliever walked three consecutive batters and allowed the ghost runner, Matt Reynolds, to score the go-ahead run.
With veteran Lucas Sims on the Injured List and the high-leverage arms of Warren and Tony Santillan having already been used, Bell turned to his rookie who'd been lights out all season. Alexis Díaz did not disappoint.
Reds RHP Alexis Díaz recorded his 1st career save.
Alexis Díaz entered the 10th inning with the game on the line. Richie Palacios started the inning on second base as the Cleveland Guardians, but the Cincinnati Reds reliever struck out the first two batters he faced.
After a six-pitch battle with Myles Straw yielded a walk, Steven Kwan then drew a walk on four straight pitches to load the bases for All-Star third base Jose Ramirez. But Díaz, will the help of his battery-mate Tyler Stephenson, struck out Ramirez and secured his first of what will likely be many saves.
What Díaz is doing in no fluke. In 16 appearances, the right-hander owns a sparkling 0.52 ERA and has 21 punch outs over 17.1 innings of work. According to Baseball Savant, Díaz ranks among the best in the game at fastball spin, whiff-rate, hard-hit percentage, and expected batting average (xBA).
Alexis' brother Edwin is one of the best closers in the game. Will the Cincinnati Reds reliever join his brother? It's veery early in both the season and Alexis Díaz's career, but with things already trending in the wrong direction for the Reds in 2022, it can't hurt to see what the young hurler is made of.