St. Louis Cardinals: Carlos Martinez is trending upward

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Jun 10, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez (18) and catcher Eric Fryer (41) congratulate each other after the Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 7-0 at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports
Jun 10, 2017; St. Louis, MO, USA; St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez (18) and catcher Eric Fryer (41) congratulate each other after the Cardinals defeated the Philadelphia Phillies 7-0 at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Scott Kane-USA TODAY Sports /
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After starting the season with a span of inconsistent play, St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Carlos Martinez has put it together over recent outings.

Carlos Martinez’s first career complete game shutout, against the Philadelphia Phillies, defined a recent stretch of pitching for the young right-hander.  He followed that up with several strong outings.  It was good to see the St. Louis Cardinals’ Opening Day starter grow into the caliber of pitcher as expected.

Earlier in the season, when Martinez was experiencing troubles, I took the time to look at his mechanics to try to figure out why he couldn’t find consistency.  He would be a different pitcher by inning.  With his track record of success, there had to be something different.  Well, he worked it out recently.

It is not surprising to see Martinez put it all together.  There was little question he would.  He is back to what I consider a confident bet to get a win more often than not.  Before this stretch, however, I would not have said that.  A guy who changes inning by inning is a scary one to have on the mound.

His last couple of starts instilled some confidence in this writer. Lets take a look.

June 10th, 2017

This was the complete game shutout of the Phillies.  The St. Louis Cardinals won this game 7-0. It was very important to getting the team back on track, after losing seven in  a row.  The ace  should be the one to deliver an important game like that. Martinez certainly stepped up.

With a total of eleven strikeouts, one walk, and only four hits, this is almost undoubtedly the best game of Martinez’s young career.  What this game did, more than anything else though, is instill confidence in a young arm.

Regardless of his success, Martinez is only 25.  If things had gone seriously downhill, there is no telling what could have happened.  So a nice, easy shutout played the role of getting him back into a dominant mindset.

June 16th 2017

In his follow-up to a shutout, the St. Louis Cardinals’ ace tossed six innings of four hit ball against the Baltimore Orioles.  It was quite the sequel.  While he only stuck out eight batters, along with surrendering one run, he still got what matters most: the win.

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However, a stat that matters even more is that this is the first time, this season, Martinez has pitched back-to-back games allowing one run or less.

It is even his first set of back-to-back outings where he allowed two runs or less.

That is important to look at going forward. It shows the lack of consistency to this point in the season.

Over his last two starts, he is 2-0 and given up only one run.In those two starts he struck out twenty-one batters.

Those numbers look like the Martinez the St. Louis Cardinals were anticipating.

Next Start

Looking ahead, the next scheduled start for Martinez is on June 22nd. The St. Louis Cardinals square off against the Philadelphia Phillies once again.  It will be a fun game to watch as the Philly lineup will have their second look at CarMart in less than two weeks.

Based off of a couple of games of great pitching, the outlook is good as he toes the rubber against familiar faces.  With that, here are my predictions for Martinez’s line:

7IP, 6H, 2ER, 2BB, 9K

My method for coming up with this line is simple. I have none.  The point of trying to predict his line is to say one thing: Martinez is back.  He is going to consistently have the types of lines that will get the team wins on days he starts.

Next: Two writers debate Kolten Wong

Whatever was affecting Martinez at the beginning of the season looks to have gone dormant.  In all likelihood, it was some mental block that he needed to get over. Based on his last two performances, he has.

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