Nick Martinez needed to go six innings and allow three or fewer earned runs on Thursday afternoon to set a new personal milestone of having three straight quality starts for the first time in his career.
Instead, the recently turned 24-year-old, only got two outs in the sixth inning before exiting and picking up his fourth win of the season to complete a three-game road sweep of the free-falling A's. Martinez didn't make personal history, but he still fared well for himself, allowing just two earned runs on three hits and three walks.
He's now in the midst of a pretty nice four-start stretch in which he's compiled a 2.74 ERA over the course of 23 innings pitched.
Martinez is going to be in contention for a rotation spot in 2015, which is pretty remarkable considering his recent past. You have to remember, Martinez had pitched just five games above the Class-A level prior to this year when he thrust into the opening day rotation when Yu Darvish began the season on the disabled list. He still needs some polishing, but he's put up a decent account for himself in a year in which he should've been pitching at Frisco and perhaps Round Rock.
Most importantly, it seems his confidence is still intact after a couple of rough stretches which led to 11 losses, and with a kid his age and his lack of experience, that's a big thing.