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#pounditThursday, October 28, 2021

Articles tagged: JD Martinez

Red Sox make history with grand slams in ALCS Game 2

Rafael Devers watches his ball

The Boston Red Sox made history on Saturday with their huge hits in Game 2 of the ALCS against the Houston Astros.

The Red Sox got a grand slam from JD Martinez in the first inning of the game to take a 4-0 lead.

Then in the top of the second, Rafael Devers slugged a grand slam to make it 8-0.

The dingers came off different pitchers — Luis Garcia and Jake Odorizzi.

The Red Sox became the first team in postseason history to hit multiple grand slams in the same postseason game. Amazingly, they did it in just two innings and left plenty of room for more.

Boston lost Game 1 of the series 5-4 and is looking for a split before heading to Boston for Games 3-5.

JD Martinez hosed by umpire David Rackley in Game 1 at-bat

JD Martinez called strike

Home plate umpire David Rackley heard plenty of complaints about his strike zone during Game 1 of the ALCS between the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros. There were several pitches that were well off the plate but called strikes, and three of them came in the same at-bat for J.D. Martinez.

Martinez was called out on strikes in the top of the fifth inning with the Red Sox trailing 3-1. The slugger took the first pitch for a ball before looking at a slider and two fastballs that were called strikes. All three strikes missed the outside corner, as you can see below:

Here’s the video of the called third strike:

Rackley appeared to be doing his best Angel Hernandez impersonation throughout much of the game, which the Astros won 5-4.

There were also several pitches that missed the strike zone high but were called strikes by Rackley. Typically, umpires won’t hear as many complains if their strike zone is consistent. However, there were a few pitches from Chris Sale in the first inning that appeared to catch the corner, but Rackley called them balls.

Overall, it was not a good night for Rackley. You won’t see him roasted as badly as Gabe Morales was for his controversial check swing call in the NLDS, but both teams had every right to be frustrated.

JD Martinez has monster game despite ankle injury

JD Martinez

JD Martinez is supposed to have an ankle injury that made him questionable to even be on the Boston Red Sox’s ALDS roster. But he sure didn’t look like he was dealing with much of an injury issue on Friday.

Martinez did not play in Game 1 of the series on Thursday against the Tampa Bay Rays. He was in the lineup as the designated hitter and batting in Game 2. And he made a huge impact.

Martinez went 4-for-5 with 3 RBIs and a run scored in Friday’s 14-6 win. He hit a double and a home run as part of Boston’s 20-hit attack. Enrique Hernandez had five hits, while Xander Bogaerts, Alex Verdugo and Christian Vazquez all added three hits.

After the game, Martinez credited the Red Sox’s training staff for helping to get him well enough to play in the game. Martinez also told FOX’s Ken Rosenthal that he could feel his ankle being a problem on the bases, but it was fine while he was batting at the plate.

If this were the regular season, Martinez would be on the injured list. But he’s pushing because it’s the playoffs.

His efforts paid off in a big way. Game 3 is on Sunday in Boston.

Video emerges of how JD Martinez suffered ankle injury

JD Martinez

JD Martinez was unavailable for Tuesday’s AL Wild Card Game due to an ankle injury. His status for the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays is not known at this moment.

So, how did Martinez hurt his ankle? We have video of the situation.

Martinez suffered his ankle injury when he twisted it while stepping on second base during the Boston Red Sox’s regular season finale against the Washington Nationals.

Martinez superstitiously steps on second base while heading out to his position. That’s not an unusual superstition for a player; many also jump over the first and/or third base lines.

Martinez had immediate swelling in his ankle and was unable to play on Tuesday. Jon Heyman reported on Wednesday that Martinez’s ankle does not look good.

MLB Network’s Jon Morosi shared video of Martinez testing his ankle at Tropicana Field on Wednesday ahead of Game of the ALDS.

Martinez also played coy regarding his status for the series.

The Red Sox have a difficult decision to make regarding Martinez. They need to finalize their roster for the ALDS against the Rays. They won’t want Martinez to use up one of the spots that could go to another player if he won’t be able to play. But if they get the sense that he will be available sometime soon, they will probably want him on the roster.

Martinez batted .286 with an .867 OPS this season. He slugged 42 doubles and 28 home runs for Boston.

Alex Cora has worrying update on JD Martinez ahead of AL Wild Card game

JD Martinez

The Boston Red Sox may be without star slugger J.D. Martinez for Tuesday’s AL Wild Card game after a freak injury he suffered in Sunday’s regular season finale.

Martinez left Sunday’s game against Washington with a sprained left ankle. He appeared to suffer the injury when he accidentally tripped over second base while jogging to the outfield to take his defensive position. The injury left him in doubt for Tuesday, and manager Alex Cora did not necessarily sound optimistic that Martinez would play.

Martinez would be a significant loss for the Red Sox if he can’t play. The 34-year-old is coming off a season that saw him hit .286 with 29 home runs, and he led the AL in doubles with 42. Martinez also has two career homers off Yankees starter Gerrit Cole, who is expected to start the game for New York.

If there’s any good news for Boston, it’s that Martinez won’t have to play defense if he plays at all. They could use him as a DH or a pinch-hitter if they have to.

JD Martinez shows up to spring training in hilarious Tom Brady shirt

Tom Brady drunk

Tom Brady stole the show at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ victory parade earlier this month, and Boston Red Sox slugger JD Martinez reminded us on Sunday that the seven-time Super Bowl champion may never live it down.

Martinez showed up to spring training wearing a T-shirt with a hilarious shirt featuring a photo of Brady. The shot was taken when Brady got off his boat and appeared to be quite intoxicated.

The Red Sox shared the photo of a smiling Martinez:

The Florida sun appeared to get the best of Brady during the Bucs’ boat parade. You can see the awesome video of him here.

Of course, Brady is a five-time Super Bowl MVP and deserves to have a good time. He had a hilarious tweet about his inebriation, and we’re guessing he’ll love Martinez’s shirt.

Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski have done it! Treat yourself or a friend with this great Tampa Fiesta shirt. You can buy it here.

JD Martinez reveals current stance on exercising opt-out clause

JD Martinez

Boston Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez seems to have made up his mind on whether he will opt out of his contract after the 2020 season.

Martinez said Friday that he does not intend to opt out, but did not shut the door completely on doing so.

Martinez’s stance makes sense, even though he hasn’t had a lot of fun playing for Boston this season. He has two years and just under $40 million remaining on his current deal after this season. It doesn’t make sense for him to opt out if he’s not confident he can at least match that in free agency. Given the economic uncertainties in baseball right now, he can’t safely assume he would.

Martinez will also be coming off a poor season for Boston. He’s hitting only .217 with six home runs during the abbreviated campaign. He’ll once again have the option to opt out after the 2021 season.

JD Martinez sounds off about Red Sox’s poor play

JD Martinez

The Boston Red Sox are playing some of their worst baseball in franchise history at the moment, and all of the losing is taking a toll on slugger JD Martinez.

Martinez was candid with his thoughts on the brutal stretch following Saturday’s 11-5 loss to the New York Yankees, which was Boston’s sixth straight.

“It sucks,” he said, via Christopher Smith of MassLive.com. “It’s definitely not fun. It’s not fun going out there and getting your head beat in every day.”

The Red Sox have been outscored 63-30 during the six-game losing streak. They’re just 6-15 since the season began on July 24, and they rank dead last in all of baseball with a 6.10 team ERA.

Martinez is hitting just .234 on the season, but Boston still ranks eighth in the American League in runs scored. He said he “(feels) our offense has been putting up runs” and indicated pitching has been the team’s main issue.

“It’s hard to hit when your offense is always on the field just tired,” Martinez said. “Whenever you’re out there for 45 minutes, 30-45 minutes before you’ve gotta get in there and hit, it’s not easy. It’s tough. It’s one of those things where I think we’ve got to kind of refocus and go out there and do the best we can do really. Keep putting competitive at-bats (together).”

Andrew Benintendi and Rafael Devers, two of Boston’s most promising young players, are both hitting below .200. The pitching has been horrendous, but it’s not the entire problem. While Martinez is right that poor pitching can impact the flow of a game, Red Sox hitters need to take accountability as well.

As for Saturday’s loss, the recent numbers from the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry show just how much the Bronx Bombers have dominated the series dating back to last season.

JD Martinez says he would take lie detector test defending Alex Cora

JD Martinez

Whatever Alex Cora did to help the Astros illegally steal signs in 2017, he apparently left it in Houston. There has been speculation that Cora may have implemented some of the same tactics when he became the manager of the Boston Red Sox the following season, but J.D. Martinez insists that could not be further from the truth.

In an appearance on the “Ordway, Merloni and Fauria” show on WEEI Thursday, Martinez enthusiastically defended his former manager. The slugger said Cora never spoke with Red Sox players about what went on with the Astros or pressured any of them to do anything illegal. Martinez even said he would be willing to submit to a polygraph if anyone thinks he’s covering for Cora.

Cora was painted as one of the masterminds behind the sign-stealing operation in Houston, but Major League Baseball is holding off on disciplining him until an investigation into similar allegations against the Red Sox is complete. The Red Sox have been accused of illegally using their video replay room to help steal signs, but numerous reports have indicated the sign stealing wasn’t nearly as egregious as it was in Houston.

Multiple Red Sox players have expressed confidence that the team will be proven innocent when MLB concludes its investigation. You would have to think that confidence is coming from somewhere.

JD Martinez is still not a fan of Boston’s Mookie Betts trade

JD Martinez

After a delay, the Boston Red Sox concluded the trade that sent Mookie Betts to the Los Angeles Dodgers on Sunday. While the prospect return looks better than the one they were getting before, that’s not enough to satisfy one player.

Outfielder J.D. Martinez, who did not hide his dissatisfaction when news of the initial Betts deal initially came out, did not feel any better about the restructured deal after news of the agreement was reported.

Basically, he’s still not a fan. Neither are many Red Sox fans, and it’s hard to blame them. The Red Sox may still be fairly good next year, but Martinez signed on to win titles, and trading an MVP is not the message you want to send a player with that mindset.

There has been some chatter that the outcry over the initial Betts deal stalled out because the Red Sox were put off by the negative reaction from fans and media. This one looks likely to go through, but don’t expect fans to like it any more than the first one.