It's always a good thing when the talk surrounding a pitcher in the majors is when he'll finally allow his first earned run of the season.
For Nick Martinez, that happened on Tuesday night in his third start of the year on the road against a hot-hitting Diamondbacks team. And after he allowed that one run in the second inning, the second-year pitcher tightened the screws on the Diamondbacks, lasting six innings while allowing five hits and the one run on 96 pitches — his third straight outing of fewer than 100 and at least six innings.
Martinez's stretch ended up lasting 15 innings before he allowed his first earned run of the season, falling four innings shy of the club record of 19 set by Jon Matlack in 1980.
Looking back at how Martinez closed last season, which saw him finish with a 4.55 ERA, this success might not be all that surprising.
In his last six starts of the 2014 season, Martinez pitched into the sixth inning in all of them, finished with three quality starts and fell one out shy two other times. He had a 2.29 ERA over that span of his last 35 1/3 innings pitched of the season.