Cristhian Martinez’s rough week got rougher

SAN DIEGO — Cristhian Martinez’s difficult week took another bad turn late Monday when the Braves reliever gave up a two-run, game-ending homer to San Diego’s Ryan Ludwick in the 13th inning of a 5-3 loss to the Padres.

It was the second extra-innings walk-off homer surrendered by Martinez in five days, and the third homer off the right-hander in three relief appearances over six days. His manager came to his defense a day later.

“That’s not his role,” Gonzalez said before Tuesday’s game at Petco Park. “His role is the middle of the game, long relief. And now we’re putting him in [late innings].”

Martinez gave up a game-ending two-run homer to the Dodgers’ Matt Kemp in the 12th inning of a 5-3 loss in Thursday’s series finale at Los Angeles. He didn’t pitch during the Braves’ three-game weekend sweep of the San Francisco Giants.

The slender Dominican was rested and back in late-innings pressure Monday, when he pitched perfect 11th and 12th innings before a one-out walk to Nick Hundley in the 13th, followed immediately by Ludwick’s second homer of the game.

Martinez also allowed a fourth-inning homer by the Dodgers’ Andre Ethier in a 6-1 loss Wednesday, after starter Derek Lowe’s shortest outing of the season. Lowe was the starter again Monday, this time lasting six innings and allowing two runs and five hits, including a Ludwick homer.

Lowe also had an RBI single, the first hit this season by a Braves pitcher.

Martinez’s three homers allowed is the second-most by a Braves pitcher this season, after starter Brandon Beachy’s four in 29 2/3 innings.

St. Louis reliever Ryan Franklin, with four, is the only National League reliever with more homers allowed all season than Martinez has in his past three games.

Gonzalez said the extra-innings games had caused him to use Martinez in situations he wouldn’t otherwise.

“If that same inning [Monday’s 13th] is the sixth inning after a rain delay, now he’s got to go give you three innings, and that home run means nothing,” Gonzalez said. “But now his last two outings have been at the end of the game because we’ve had extra innings and we’ve run out of pitching, so now that gets magnified.”

19 comments Add your comment


April 26th, 2011
10:21 pm

First! And is there something wrong with mcann?


April 26th, 2011
10:21 pm

Martinez’s job isn’t late inning relief, but kimbrel’s is…and he was on the bench. sweet logic freddi.


April 26th, 2011
10:27 pm

homeruns allowed, failed bunts, lazy( inept? ) base running… Have I hit all the high points for
C. Martinez???? You got him, Sherill, Linebrink. Middle relief is a weakness that will cost them….


April 26th, 2011
10:38 pm

yeah right? his role is not the late innings, but i threw him out there anyway even though kimbrel was chilling in the clubhouse playing spider solitaire. you’re doing fine, fredi, just fine.

Say Hey

April 26th, 2011
11:14 pm

Gonzalez will play favorites. Braves in for a long season and even longer off season.


April 27th, 2011
1:30 am

Way to go JJ. You pitched a heck of a game tonite,now as some clammer for,you’re trade bait.I understand their reasons,you being a Boras client,but you except for last year have been at the top as for producing.I think we could come out better trading others ,but ask YE and he will tell you they forget in a hurry.A talk show host in middle Ga (Bill Shank) has been pushing to trade you the first time you went on IR.Some guys can’t go on IR or have a bad first half of a season,so beware JJ. You and your batterymate kicked butt tonite.GO BRAVES


April 27th, 2011
8:32 am

wow when i first read the headline i was hoping it concluded and was set to the minors today— where he belongs– same thing last year had a 4.58 era fro the braves–if we are not going to trade lopez then bring him up to pitch long relief– he is soooooooooooooo much better– does not hang sliders all the time. and while were at it why not bring up abreau and marek both 0 eras abreau in 8 apperances marek in 7 and marek has 13 strikeouts– and has come in twice and struck out the side say goodbye to sherrill and linebrink and have a great bullpen– because we canot just rely on 3 relievers until moylan gets back.

Jimmy Beam, you are my friend

April 27th, 2011
9:59 am

Billmaier — well said; I too, was expecting to read of him being sent down. And Fredi, don’t give me that stuff about “out of his role” — a reliever should be able to get thru without giving up 3 homers in 3 straight games.

Steven Lemon

April 27th, 2011
10:18 am

Right on, Jimmy Beam! Freddi says Martinez’ role is long relief, so he gives up a homer in the fourth inning last week. Isn’t THAT long relief?

God, I hope I don’t end up this year missing Bobby Cox!!!!


April 27th, 2011
11:06 am

Please send Cristhian Martinez back to Triple A. Just take a look at his stats for the last 3 years and you’ll understand why. 2009 26 innings pitched, 16 runs allowed 15 earned, 2010 26 innings pitched 14 earned runs allowed, 2011 14 innings pitched 7 earned runs allowed. ENOUGH SAID!


April 27th, 2011
12:18 pm

fredi is making cox look like a mangerial genius. I thought my days of saying “what the heck is coach doing” were over. with fredi its almost every inning. the other night when acesncio was left in after walking a guy with the bases loaded, might have been dumber than cox pulling kimbrel against san fran in the playoffs after giving up one hit with a one run lead in the 9th(i think it was the ninth)


April 27th, 2011
12:18 pm

Really people? Put in a closer when there is nothing to close? If the Braves would have scored in the top half, you would have seen Craig in the bottom – know your baseball. Rarely do you waste a closer for a hold or more than an one inning. Remember what happened to Wilson in his second inning of relief for the Giants? When it comes to closers, the general rule is they go in for one inning and either get the save or a blown save – bullpen status is the only factor that may change things.


April 27th, 2011
12:41 pm

Gee, Gwalk, good thing you weren’t managing Maddux and Glavine in their first three years (or any other time for that matter).Maddux went 2-4, 5.52 in his 1st season and 6-14, 5.61 his 2nd, while Glavine went 2-4, 5.54 his 1st and 7-17, 4.56 his 2nd… these are numbers that you and the other armchair managers would excoriate these players for, claiming that they sucked and should be sent back down… You and your fellow know-it-alls have no clue that it takes even the best of pitchers some time to fully develop and become consistent with their form. If these blogs existed when they began, all of you would be screaming to run them out of town… just another example of all of you crybabies whining about every single thing you can find… You folks should learn to UNDERSTAND the nature of the game… ENOUGH SAID!!! (for most rational people, anyway… you and the others like you, maybe not)…


April 27th, 2011
12:47 pm

jon your right about not using kimbrel- but it sure should have never got to that anway we had the game won 3-2 in the 7th– oflaherty was pitching the best ive seen all year had just struck outa righthander, hasa history of getting out righthanders his stuff esp the slider was great– where linebrink tends to groove fastballs in key situations, ohflalerty stays in game over venters eight kimbrel- night 4th straight win– i thought this stupid lefty righty thing went with bobby kimbrel being jerked in that playoff win butt freddi does the same thing to oflaherty- if a pitcher is on his game 2 outs pitching great why jerk him you go with your hot hand– not a washed up over 5.00 era last year this year linebrink

vermont 39

April 27th, 2011
2:37 pm

That’s pure nonsense…you pitch to every batter in any and every situation to get them OUT…he blew it…that’s that…don’t put him in those situations…apologists for poor performance are as bad as giving trophies to everyone in the soccer league. This is MLB…you get paid to WIN!!!


April 27th, 2011
5:37 pm

Do you people know anything? When you are on the road in extra innings you SAVE YOUR CLOSER FOR WHEN YOU HAVE THE LEAD!! So using Martinez in that situation was really the best option. How bout you lay off Martinez and get on the offense who couldn’t muster up a single run during those last what was it, 8 innings or so.


April 27th, 2011
6:11 pm

Actually vermont39, batters get paid to get a hit 3 out of ever 10 at bats and pitchers get paid to give up around 3 runs per every 9 innings pitched (Closer closer to 2 runs). I won’t even go near the amount of errors per year… Just wanted to give a different perspective.


April 28th, 2011
4:24 am

I like that Fredi came to Martinez’s defense. Protects his players, ala Bobby. I’m off Fredi’s back about the bullpen and his pitching changes. He’s right about Martinez. His role is middle and long relief. Someone had to eat up the innings in that 13-inning loss. Bad luck for Christhian the Braves couldn’t break through in extra innings for a run. He did pitch two scoreless innings before Ludwick’s game-ending, two run homer.

I’m hoping the Braves will send down Ascenio and keep Gearrin and Martinez.

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