How can you keep rooting for a guy that’s hitting just .202?
I’m not sure where to submit this amendment to the baseball community, but I’d like for people to start throwing around a new term. When any players hits a hard line drive right at a fielder, I think the best term to use is “Russell Martining it.” While the words “line out” is descriptive enough to let you know that the ball was roped to some fielder, it doesn’t encompass that deep aching pity you have in your gut because that hitter just can’t buy a hit.
With a 19.9% linedrive rate, a 48.7% groundball rate, and a 31.5% flyball rate, there is no logical reason that Russell Martin should be BABIPing .211. Looking deeper into the numbers, he’s batting just .623 on linedrive, and .138 on groundballs. Compare this to a .709 career average on linedrives, and a .224 average on groundballs. I’ve mentioned countless times before how unnatural a drop like this is, especially when you consider one of the slowest players in baseball, Jose Molina, has a career .194 average on groundballs. For Martin, it boils down to small sample size and a bad luck season.
Over the past few weeks, it seems like the whole team had been “Russel Martining it”. This offensive slump has been one of the worst I’ve seen in my lifetime. The Yankees desperately needed a win last night, and guess who came through? The one and only Russell Martin had two huge go-ahead hits, a 2 RBI double and a solo homerun. The guy is still hitting just .202, but with games like this, he just became a little more lovable.
The truth is, Martin can’t rescue his 2012 statistics, the amount of games left just isn’t enough. It’s a disappointing reality for a guy who was looking at his first big shot at free agency, and was in talks with the Yankees for an extension last season. But all is not lost Russell. Aside from Wade Davis last night, who was tearing everyone apart, Russell Martin looked great batting 5th in the order. If he finally gets that hot streak he’s been waiting for all season, he can rescue the Yankees in September.
It’s his last hooray in pinstripes if you ask me, but you can’t find a bigger stage than playoff-threatening September games in New York. A hot streak, similar to how he carried the Yankees in April of 2011, would most certainly bring him back into extension consideration when looking at his competition. It could save his season, as well as the Yankees’, so lets all start rooting for Martin again.
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