Carlos Martinez wins Final Vote for Cardinals
It looks like the last start for Carlos Martinez may have put him over the top.
In Final Vote results announced just after 6 p.m., the St. Louis Cardinals starter was the top vote-getter among five finalists, and he will earn a spot on the National League roster as a result.
Martinez was masterful on Thursday as he struck out eight batters in 7-1/3 innings of work and led the Cardinals to a 4-1 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates in the first of a four-game series at PNC Park.
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A pair of two-run singles by Matt Carpenter and Yadier Molina were also key in the win, but let’s be real. Martinez pitches a bad game, and the Cardinals don’t go anywhere.
As a Cardinals fan, part of me was surprised to see Martinez earn the nod. After all, the game is in Cincinnati and Reds fans may have pushed Johnny Cueto to the top spot. And Cueto is an excellent pitcher, don’t get me wrong.
Martinez earned the win as he delivered the goods, with a 10-3 record in the first half.
The best news is he just keeps getting better.
Martinez is 5-1 with a 1.72 ERA in his last seven games, including wins against the Pirates and Chicago Cubs. Those are the teams the Cardinals need to win in order to establish themselves as the clear front-runners of the National League Central.
No doubt the team needs a little help, but Martinez has already helped by making Cardinals fans breathe easier about the loss of Adam Wainwright (Achilles). The tandem of Michael Wacha and Martinez, plus the good pitching from Lance Lynn and John Lackey, has made the Cardinals the top team in the NL at the moment, if not all of Major League Baseball.
Pat yourself on the back, Cardinal Nation. You sent another pitcher flying to the All-Star Game.