Since Carlos Martinez entered the majors part of the narrative surrounding him has been focused on the young player's high ceiling and seemingly limitless potential. But another, more nagging narrative that had reared its ugly head is centered not on the Carlos's physical gifts, but something more subjective: his emotions. The narrative reached its peak four starts ago after two starts that saw Martinez give up sixteen hits, two home runs, eight walks, and fourteen runs. Some of this speculation was fair, Martinez is young and he is coping with a situation more tragic than many people could imagine. But this minor two game bump would not stop El Gallo. Carlos Martinez is not mentally fragile.
Since those two starts, coming into Friday's game, Carlos Martinez had pitched four games, twenty-five and one-third innings, allowed two runs on seventeen hits and nine walks, and struck out twenty nine (!!!), the past twenty and one-third innings he pitched scoreless. Tonight, Carlos further impressed in what was one of his best starts to date. El Gallo was brilliant going seven innings allowing only three hits and reaching a new career high in strikeouts with eleven.
In other words:
The rest of the night was equally thrilling. After loading the bases with no outs, Carlos was able to escape the jam with only one run scored by striking out Brett Anderson and getting Jimmy Rollins to ground into a double play. After that, Martinez matched Anderson zero for zero. But it looked like it would not be enough, until...
The Eighth Inning
The inning began with Yadier Molina working a four pitch walk. Pete Kozma came in to pinch run for Yadi, which proved crucial the next play. Jason Heyward hit a ball sharply up the middle. Rollins made a diving stop, but the only play was to try to back hand the ball to second. Rollins was not quick enough. Kozma was safe. Tony Cruz bunted the runners over. With runners on second and third and one out, Wong hit a grounder to Gonzalez, but was able to beat it out for an infield single somehow. Kozma scored and tied the game, and Heyward was able to advance to third. Matt Carpenter hit a drive to right field, good for a sacrifice fly to give the Cardinals a one run lead.
THATS IT IM GOING TO CLOWN COLLEGE #stlcards— alex fritz (@boxcar_fritz) June 6, 2015
I am what you might call a Carlos Martinez enthusiast.— Aaron Finkel (@Aaron_Finkel) June 6, 2015
Randy Choate and Kevin Seigrist teamed up to tackle the eighth inning and Trevor Rosenthal slammed the door in the ninth.
LIL SCOOTER'S PLAYER OF THE GAME
VIVA EL GALLO!!!!!!
At 9:10pm this evening, it is a battle of the southpaws as Jaime Garcia takes on Clayton Kershaw.