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Russell Martin M.I.A.
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 10/15/2008 10:38:00 PM
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What happened to Russell Martin? He was good at one point, right? When did he start sucking so bad? He was downright awful in the NLCS -- at bat and behind the plate. Hey Russ, stop trying to hit a home run on every swing. And learn to block a ball in the dirt, please. I'm not blaming the Dodgers' stinkfest solely on him, but he earned his share and then some. That was gross to watch. And why did Joe Torre continue to bat him fourth? Congrats to the Phils.


I think we can now safely say Russell Martin isn't a true Dodger. A true Dodger would have come through in the clutch. Like Manny Ramirez.
Posted by cwmorgan at 10/16/2008 6:59:00 AM
Martin was hitting .286/.444/.571 in the playoffs prior to the last two games of the Phillies series. So I guess to answer your question, he was really dang good until the last two games.

The guy had a 1.016 OPS in the playoffs going into game 4 of the LCS and you're calling out Torre for not moving him down in the order? Even if you just want to reduce the sample size down to the LCS, he was 3-for-8 with a .615 OBP during the first three games of that series.

Yes, he went 0-for-9 over the last two games of the playoffs. It happens. It's really not that hard for any hitter to not get a hit in back-to-back games.
Posted by herbilk at 10/16/2008 8:16:00 AM
Martin played in 155 games this year which could be part of the problem. Singling him out however is grossly unfair.

Chad Billingsley - 0-2 with an 18.00 ERA

Andre Ethier - 5-for-22 with zero RBI

Rafael Furcal - 4 errors, including 3 in one inning

Matt Kemp - zero RBI

Blake DeWitt - 1-for-13, though the one hit was a biggie

Joe Torre - mismanagement of the bullpen in Game 4, mismanagement of Derek Lowe, and inexplicable use of Juan Pierre

Kudos to the Phillies - the better team.
Posted by vtadave at 10/16/2008 8:19:00 AM
Check your stats. Martin was 2-for-17 in the NLCS. He was 1-for-12 with runners on, 0-for-6 with RISP. His OBP in the first three games (to go by your metric) was .538, not .615, and if you subtract his two HPB (which are entirely the pitcher's fault), his OBP in the first three LCS games was .384. In the division series, where he did all of his postseason damage (4-for-13), he hit SECOND, not fourth, in front of Manny. And, yeah, of course slumps happen, but in the playoffs a manager doesn't have the time to wait for a player to bust out of his slump. Martin was also horrendous behind the plate. As I said, I'm not putting the Dodgers' NLCS loss solely on Martin, but he was a big part of it, and it's not "grossly unfair" to call him on it. He sucked.
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 10/16/2008 9:46:00 AM
Sorry, I counted his run in game three as a hit. That is the complete difference between the OBP that you list.

I honestly don't care if he got hit by a pitch or not. (Which aren't entirely the pitchers fault, by the way. If that were the case then you wouldn't have the same players near the top of HBP in the league each season.) It still helps the team and has a positive effect on scoring runs.

Regardless, Martin had an .837 playoffs OPS heading into the final game of the LCS. FORBID!! Bat him eighth!! In game one he was 1-for-3 with a walk, in game two he was 1-for-4 with a walk, in game three he was 0-for-1 while reaching base three times. I'm sorry, but that doesn't suck and there's no way that you can read the tea leaves and know that he's going to go 0-for-5 in game five and 0-for-4 in game six.

Posted by herbilk at 10/16/2008 10:39:00 AM
Agreed Herb. Martin has certainly had far better five-game stretches in his career, but I don't get the singling out. Where are the "Billingsley M.I.A." and "Ethier M.I.A." posts? Ethier hit in front of Manny in four of the five games.
Posted by vtadave at 10/16/2008 11:01:00 AM
Well, I guess we saw different games. Martin swung from his heels on every pitch, trying to a hit a home run every time up. How about just moving the runner over? Or going the other way? That's partly why he went from striking out once every 7.8 PA in the regular season to once every 3.1 PA in the LCS. His defense, which neither of you defended by the way, was awful. And why call him out and not some of the others? He's an All-Star.
Posted by Jason Thornbury at 10/16/2008 1:13:00 PM

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