With the Boston Red Sox down two runs in the bottom of the seventh inning, JD Martinez delivered.
If there is one player in the Red Sox lineup to pitch around, it’s JD Martinez. The former Tiger is hitting .354 on the young season, with 10 home runs and 29 RBIs. Those totals are refreshed as, for some reason, AJ Hinch opted to pitch to Martinez with first base open and a two-run lead. If you haven’t noticed, that lead evaporated quickly.
Hinch is a quality manager so we don’t mean to pile on him too much here, but it doesn’t matter if he’s throwing Bryan Garcia or Dennis Eckersley at Martinez, there’s really no reason to challenge one of the best hitters in all of baseball in that situation. With just the runner at second base, either intentionally put Martinez on or be sure to pitch around him.
JD Martinez is an AL MVP candidate for a reason
Martinez had a horrid 2020 season but has bounced back quite nicely in a normal 162-game campaign. The 33-year-old won MVP back in 2018, and could be a candidate to do so again should he keep up any semblance of these numbers.
The re-emergence of the Red Sox is among the best stories in all of baseball so far this season. Alex Cora is back at the helm, and all of a sudden Boston is an AL East competitor once again. Who would’ve thought?