Jake Diekman was just the "throw-in piece" to the Cole Hamels trade back in July, a gas can who came with a reputation of wildness and an inability to control his high-90s heat, and he had an ERA over 4.00 in Philadelphia to show for it.
What he's been since arriving in Texas has been something completely different. And what he was on Thursday in his postseason debut was something extraordinary.
Diekman entered to pitch the seventh inning in a 5-3 game and retired the side on six pitches. He came back out in the eighth and retired the side on 10 pitches with a strikeout. He was simply dominant and was a wonderful bridge to groundball closer Sam Dyson.
Diekman's cross-body delivery makes him incredibly hard for lefties to pick up, especially when the ball's coming at 98 mph, but he's not just a lefty specialist, and he showed that on Thursday.
The Rangers' bullpen was worn down to the bone over the final week of the season and maybe caused some folks to lose sight of just how good it is, but after a four-day layoff they showed it once again on Thursday, and it was awesome.