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Elephant Rumblings: Adrian Martínez on facing Trout, Ohtani

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MLB: Oakland Athletics at Los Angeles Angels
Sep 28, 2022; Anaheim, California, USA; Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Adrian Martinez (55) throws against the Los Angeles Angels during the first inning at Angel Stadium.
Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Happy Friday, Athletics Nation!

It would be a tad hyperbolic to say that Adrian Martínez pitched a masterpiece against the Angels on Wednesday night: he allowed three earned runs in just under five innings. But the 25-year-old righty told Martin Gallegos at that it was a “great experience” facing superstars Mike Trout and Shohei Ohtani for the first time.

Martínez struck Trout out twice and allowed just one baserunner through the first three innings. But the Angels’ centerfielder and three-time AL MVP got revenge the second time around, homering on a 2-1 changeup in the fourth inning. Ohtani followed up with a single on another changeup en route to a three-run frame for the Halos.

Gallegos observed that both changeups were well-located, but they didn’t fool the Angels’ best hitters. The A’s rookie starter took note:

“...when the fourth inning came, they knew where my changeup was going. They had a great sense of direction with my breaking ball as well.”

Martínez adjusted his pitch mix the third time he faced Trout and struck him out looking before A’s manager Mark Kotsay brought Sam Selman in for a lefty-on-lefty matchup against Ohtani.

Martínez, who came to the A’s last offseason from the Padres in the Sean Manaea trade, is fighting to get into a consistent groove in his rookie campaign.

  • Martínez, 2022 MLB: 6.08 ERA, 53⅓ IP, 48 Ks, 17 BB, 13 HR, 5.61 FIP, 4.11 xFIP

Kotsay commented on Martínez’s progress:

“I don’t want to say [Martínez is] right where he needs to be, but we’ve got a lot of young pitching right now, and they’re learning from their experiences out there.”

Hopefully young Adrian will pocket his experience against two of the league’s best and use it to good effect going forward.

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