Flushing, NY- The true emotions of baseball were on the brightest stage this week in Queens. That being none other than the Díaz family reunion. In the midst of Cincinnati and New York completing their season series, the Díaz brothers took to the field to show love and appreciation for one another. Older brother Edwin Díaz (NY Mets closer) and younger brother Alexis Díaz (Reds reliever) commenced a joyful series in a “battle of family foes.”
Leading into Tuesday night’s matchup between Reds and Mets, fans were introduced to the Díaz brothers exchanging lineup cards at home plate. “It’s emotional. I mean, it’s your brother, you happen to both be in the Major Leagues, but then you’re together on the same field,” said Reds manager David Bell during Tuesday’s postgame.
Bell added, “The best part of it is not playing against each other; it’s actually crossing paths in a busy Major League schedule where you get lucky and your teams play each other and you get to spend time together.”
Along with capturing photos together during pregame, Edwin and Alexis received loud, well-deserved applause from the crowd. Family members were in attendance dressed in alternate illustrated Díaz jerseys; one side representing Edwin and the other fully coated for Alexis. The authentic family jerseys appeared to be half Mets and half Reds lettering spelling out “Meds” with the respective logos on each side.
Mother of Edwin and Alexis, Beatrice Díaz savored the moment stating, “This was very emotional for me, to have the privilege to have both of my kids that I always was dreaming of playing in the big leagues, having them play against one another.” She added, “Even though it was the second time, I felt the same emotion and started tearing up.”
The dominance of New York’s Díaz continues to be an everyday headline. Let’s start off with his phenomenal 1.39 ERA and 26 saves this season. The Mets would not stand where they are today in the standings without the incredible performances from their All Star closer.
Out of the 172 batters faced this season, Díaz has fanned a total of 91 for strikeouts (52.9%). This marks the highest strikeout rate by a relief pitcher in MLB history through their first 45 appearances in a given season. In his last eighteen outings dating back to June 22nd, Díaz has not allowed a single run. His control of opposing hitters has become a spectacle unlike any other across MLB this season.
Yet, the trending storyline night in and night out at Citi Field is the closers notorious ground-shaking introduction. As Díaz enters from the outfield bullpen gates, “Narco” by Blasterjaxx and Timmy Trumpet begins to blast through the stadium. To add to his firepower on the mound, the trumpet blares and excitement from the crowd repeatedly creates intimidating sights for any visiting ballclub.
Continuing this level of dominance will put Díaz in pristine territory, one that he is well aware of. For his incredible 2018 season while pitching for the Seattle Mariners, Díaz was named the LatinoMVP for American League Relief Pitcher. He finished the 2018 season with 57 saves along with a 1.96 ERA.
Since 1989, the LatinoMVP has become one of the most coveted awards across Major League Baseball. The LatinoMVP award is the oldest and most prestigious award given to Latin ballplayers and is viewed by many across the industry as a “Latin Grammy”.
With such an impressive season so far, Díaz must be in prime contention for the 2022 National League Relief Pitcher LatinoMVP award.
In a unique fashion, the younger brother Alexis Díaz has become the go-to reliever out of the Reds bullpen. This year on April 8th against the Atlanta Braves, Díaz entered the home half of the 7th inning for a relief appearance marking his MLB debut. He completed the inning unscathed with no hits allowed and two strikeouts.
With 40 appearances on the season, Díaz has recorded a 1.94 ERA with 53 strikeouts in 41.2 innings pitched. Within his rookie year, the 25-year-old has proved to be a focal point in Cincinnati’s young bullpen.
Between the Díaz brothers, Edwin and Alexis have combined for 203 saves in their professional careers. This marks the second most saves totaled by brothers since the statistic became official back in 1969. Leading under the rare category, Todd and Tim Worrell combined for a total of 327 saves throughout their MLB careers.
Representing Puerto Rico, the Díaz brothers have achieved quite the accomplishments; however, their reign of dominance across MLB is only up from here.
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Robert Rizzo writes for Latino Sports
Follow on Twitter: @RobertRiz994
Watch Sports with Rich live on Tuesday Nights at 8pm EST on The SLG Network/Youtube with host Rich Mancuso and cohost Robert Rizzo.
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