Win, Nick Martinez. Save, Greg Maddux?
During the Rangers’ last road trip the 24-year-old sidled up next to the Hall of Famer and picked his brain during an entire game. Maddux’s advice was to throw strikes early in the count, then rely on his best pitch – his fastball – as his out pitch. In other words, patience.
Hey, the man didn’t win 355 games by accident.
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Last night in Arlington Martinez took Maddux’s words to the mound and picked up his first home victory of the season in a 2-1 win over the Astros. Martinez indeed threw more variety early in the count and left with a lead after 101 pitches in the 7th.
“I think I was pressing a little bit to get quick outs,” Martinez told reporters after the game. “That's where those long innings come from so early, and they mount up. This time I attacked people and threw strikes and relied on my fastball with two strikes.”
The rookie has blossomed into a potential bright spot in an otherwise dark season. He’s allowed only seven runs in his last 30 innings – with one final start in the season finale Sunday against Oakland – has at least earned the chance to compete for a rotation spot in next year’s spring training.
A native Texan who was born in Duncanville and graduated from UT-Arlington, Richie Whitt has been a mainstay in the Metroplex media since 1986. He’s held prominent roles on all media platforms including newspaper (Fort Worth Star-Telegram, Dallas Observer), radio (105.3 The Fan) and TV (co-host on TXA 21 and numerous guest appearances, including NBC 5). He currently lives in McKinney with his wife, Sybil, and two very spoiled dogs.