Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Facing Yanks like a homecoming for Martinez

Wednesday night's game between the Yankees and Rangers will be another homecoming for Nick Martinez.
Though he's a Miami native, Martinez also can call the Bronx home as he attended and pitched at Fordham University before he turned pro. As such, pitching in the Bronx is a special opportunity for him.
"It's like a homecoming to me," Martinez said. "Going to school down the road and going to Yankee Stadium. It's such a historic place. It's a new stadium, but it's still an iconic place because of the stature of the franchise. It's cool to pitch here."
This won't be the first time Martinez has faced the Yankees in New York, though. In two previous starts at Yankee Stadium, Martinez has allowed two runs in 12 1/3 innings. The Rangers went 1-1 in those games.
Things to know about this game
• Starting for the Yankees Wednesday will be fringe All-Star candidate Masahiro Tanaka. Though Tanaka's conventional numbers likely don't factor him into the All-Star discussion -- he is 5-2 with a 3.01 ERA -- based off advanced metrics, Tanaka should be deeply entrenched in the conversation. His bWAR of 2.9 is the third best of any starter in the American League and his FIP of 3.29 is the AL's fourth-best mark.
• One matchup to watch is how Martinez handles pitching to Yankees outfielder Brett Gardner. Gardner is 4-for-6 lifetime versus Martinez with a home run and two doubles. Gardner has been hot for all of June, hitting .345 with 19 runs scored and four doubles in 23 games.
• With singles in the first inning of Tuesday's game, both Ian Desmond and Prince Fielder extended their hitting streaks to 10 games. For both players, these hit streaks are the longest of their seasons.

No comments: