His return to rotation last season with a healthy shoulder was interrupted by a fight with COVID-19. He had fluctuating roles and results for several years. And after adopting the cutter in 2018 – nearly 18% of his pitches that year were cutters – he threw it away.
In nearly 70 innings, many of which he pitched as closer, Martinez pitched 21 cutters, in total. He pitched 57 in his last 15 1/3 innings. A pitch he pitched 3% of his career time was one of every three he pitched on Sunday.
The past two years, he said, gave him a chance to work on it, talk with Wainwright about how to use it, trust him, turn to it, and now he’s got it. released.
“It was a very high quality pitch for him,” said manager Mike Shildt. “It was a pitch that was really, really efficient for him and he opened up the rest of his arsenal. I think he plays on a lot of things. It depends on how you look at it, right? The cursor configures the knife. The cutter sets up the cursor. The knife installs the lead, the lead installs the knife and sprinkle in the change. “
This was the recipe for a lot of Martinez’s innings – a spoonful of fast balls with the cutter rushing in or out and the lead dancing down. Of the 33 cutters thrown by Martinez, eight were attacked, five were taken on strike and 10 were put into play, according to data compiled by Baseball Savant.