It has become increasingly common for teams to use position players to pitch in blowouts. Russell Martin has become the Dodgers’ go-to guy for that sort of duty, and he’s done a pretty good job of it. He’s made four appearances in that role this season, tossing four innings, and he has yet to allow a run while giving up two hits, not walking a batter and striking out two.
His latest appearance came last night, taking the mound in the Dodgers’ 9-0 win over the Padres, preserving the shutout by pitching a clean ninth inning. In so doing he made a bit of history, albeit an obscure bit: according to STATS, Inc., Martin became the first position player, excluding two-way players, to pitch in a shutout win for his team since October 3, 1917. That’s when a very young George “High Pockets” Kelly pitched five shutout innings in the Giants’ last game of the season, a 6-0 win over Philadelphia.
Check out Martin with the high, inside heat: