Entering his last start, Nick Martinez was on Cloud Nine for the Texas Rangers after putting together two straight quality starts and taking a perfect game into the sixth inning of a game against the Los Angeles Angels.
Martinez was coming off consecutive quality starts — minimum six innings, maximum of three earned runs — against the Mariners and Angels — and had the best outing of his career in that game against the Angels on June 21, when he went seven innings and allowed two runs. You would've hoped he could have built on that momentum heading into his next start against the hot-hitting Detroit Tigers, but that was obviously not meant to be as he lasted just 2 1/3 innings and allowed four runs with five walks.
Martinez needs to get back on track for the Rangers on Tuesday night in Baltimore to give himself another shot of confidence moving forward.
Remember, Martinez was nowhere near being in the Rangers' plans for 2014 heading into the season, but the mass amount of pitching injuries forced him into the picture despite having thrown just five games above the Single-A level in Frisco last season.
But, despite his struggles this year — he's 1-5 with a 4.65 ERA — he's shown the mental fortitude and wherewith all to prove he belongs in the Rangers' plans, whether it be as a nice trade chip or as a member of the rotation moving forward.