Detroit Tigers: Will Victor Martinez stay hot against Chris Sale?
In the last few years, not many batter-pitcher match-ups have been as fun to watch as Detroit Tigers Victor Martinez versus Chris Sale.
The Detroit Tigers DH has incredible numbers against the former White Sox ace.
Now that Sale is with the other Sox, will he continue to pitch batting practice for the switch-hitting Martinez?
We will find out tomorrow.
According to the numbers at ESPN, Martinez and Sale have faced each other at least 49 times. In those at-bats, Martinez has put up a slash of .429/.473/.735 and an OPS of 1.207. For comparison purposes, Miguel Cabrera has a slash of .286/.407/.551 with an OPS of .958 in the same number of at-bats against Sale. It is clear that Martinez and Sale have something special happening.
Where Martinez stands out against Sale is in the sheer number of hits. He has 21 of them, with 3 doubles and 4 home runs. He’s got 9 RBIs, with 4 walks, and 10 strikeouts. Keep in mind that Sale is a left-handed pitcher, so Martinez is getting these hits as a right-handed batter.
Sale and Martinez have more history than just Martinez getting a bunch of hits off of him. The controversy began in 2014 (yes, that long ago), when Sale accused the Tigers of planting someone in the outfield to steal signs on September 24. During that game, Martinez was intentionally walked in the first inning. Then, in the sixth inning, Sale hit Martinez. Of course, this resulted in a bench-clearing moment and the infamous “binocular-gate.”
In that September 24 game, Martinez did not get any hits. But, he did score a run after J.D. Martinez hit a double and Nicholas Castellanos hit a sac fly to get him across the plate. When it was all said and done, the Tigers won 6-1.
Did I mention that Sale is actually wearing #41 this season?
Victor Martinez had a few other good days against Sale in 2014. During a doubleheader on August 30, Martinez had five total bases and scored a run. Sadly, Sale and the White Sox got the win in that game. Martinez also managed to get four total bases in the form of a home run off of Sale on June 12 in Chicago. It was just too easy for Martinez that year – which also happened to be his last All-Star year.
Martinez continued his dominance over Sale in 2015. In the game on May 6, Martinez got two hits off of him, one was a home run. And, he earned four RBIs in the game. At this point in 2015, Martinez was only batting .217 – remember 2015 was NOT V-Mart’s year.
More from Detroit Tigers News
- Detroit Tigers: Victor Reyes finding ways to get the job done
- The Detroit Tigers must cut their losses and release Jonathan Schoop
- Detroit Tigers: Garrett Hill’s new role and changed delivery are excellent
- Detroit Tigers: Joe Jiménez has rebounded in 2022
- Detroit Tigers: Is it finally time to move the fences in at Comerica Park?
And, in 2016 , Martinez managed extra-base hits off of Sale. He had two singles on June 4 and a walk on August 3.
With the history between Martinez and Sale, there is bound to be some drama in Saturday’s game at Fenway Park. Sale was known for his attitude in Chicago and was suspended for a few games after cutting up his throw-back jersey. As a Red Sox pitcher, he has also been talked to about throwing behind Manny Machado. Hopefully, he’ll keep the bean balls to a minimum with the Tigers at the plate.
Next: Detroit Tigers on the DL due to the bean ball
Currently, Sale has an ERA of 2.89 and he is leading the AL with 119 strikeouts. Victor Martinez has a batting average of .267 with 5 home runs. Justin Verlander, who gets the start against Sale tomorrow, has an ERA of 4.63 with 66 strikeouts. Right now 2017, the numbers are in Sale’s favor, but history shows that Martinez could change that.