The Arizona Diamondbacks have a monster pitcher. Ha-Sung Kim (28-San Diego Padres) was frozen in place. Justin Martinez, 22, a right-handed pitcher from the Dominican Republic, unleashed a monster, throwing a fastball up to 102.7 mph (165.3 km/h) for his first career save.
Martinez entered with the bases loaded and no outs in the eighth inning of a 3-1 road win over San Diego on Aug. 18. With Kim at the plate, Arizona manager Torrey Lovullo pulled left-hander Kyle Nelson and brought in the right-handed Martinez.
Martinez, a rookie with an 18.90 ERA in four starts this season, proved why he was brought in as the closer. After getting Kim on a first-pitch outside slider for a strike, Martinez followed with a 99.6 mph (160.3 km/h) four-seam fastball on the second pitch. Kim swung at it, but his timing was off and he fouled it off toward first base.
He followed with a third-pitch splitter low to the body for a 1-2 count. Martinez followed with a fourth pitch, a 102 mph (164.2 km/h) four-seam fastball. It was high and away in the strike zone, but Kim couldn’t get a bat on it and froze. He struck out looking. Kim held the bat with his head down and walked into the dugout with a disappointed look on his face. There’s no denying it.
Kim wasn’t the only one who got hit. In the ninth inning, Manny Machado was also struck out by Martinez with one out. The 102.5-mph (165.0-kilometer) four-seam fastball came in high, but the bat went wide. With a slight smile on his face, Machado swung again at a splitter low to the body in the second pitch. After fouling off the third pitch, he struck out swinging at a splitter on the fourth pitch.
Martinez gave up singles to Fernando Tatis Jr. and Zander Bogaerts to put runners on second and third with no outs, but struck out Jake Cronenweth on a splitter to preserve Arizona’s 3-1 victory. Martinez earned his first save in four major league games. 메이저놀이터
Martinez’s line on the day was 1 1/3 scoreless innings with two hits, three walks and three strikeouts, throwing 15 strikes out of 29 total pitches. His command was shaky, but he mixed in splitters (eight) and sliders (three) around a four-seam fastball (18) that topped out at 102.7 mph (165.3 km/h) and averaged 101.6 mph (163.5 km/h). His five-pitch offering to Cronenwirth measured 102.7 mph.
Martinez, a 6-foot-2, 190-pound right-hander from the Dominican Republic, signed an international amateur contract with Arizona in May 2018 as a 17-year-old. He spent the next two years in the minors, then switched to the bullpen last year after returning from Tommy John surgery and rehabilitation in 2021.
In all 37 games (40 innings) for Triple-A Reno this year, he went 2-1 with a 4.28 ERA and one save with 55 strikeouts. He made his major league debut on May 8. He was sent back down to Triple-A on the 23rd after hitting the big league wall with an 18.90 ERA in four and a third innings, giving up eight hits (one homer), five walks, one hit batter, four strikeouts and seven runs. He was recalled 26 days later and had a day to remember, earning his first save in his return. He lowered his season ERA to 13.50.
“It’s a beautiful experience just to get a save opportunity, and to get a save is a blessing,” Martinez said after the game, according to local media, including the Associated Press. “I didn’t think about the outcome, I just focused on throwing my pitches. Even when I went to the mound in the ninth inning, I didn’t think about anything.” “I’m very proud of Martinez,” said Robullo. He flew in this morning and got here early. We didn’t have a lot of options in the bullpen, and he did a great job, and it was fun for us to watch.”