Pitcher of the week: LHP Riley Martin (25 Years Old)
2 G, 3 IP, 0.00 ERA, 0 H, 1 BB, 7 K, 1-1 SV
This is an extension of the Anthony Kay choice for AAA pitcher of the week, but Martin was even more dominant. Much like Kay, Martin went multiple outings this week without allowing a run.
However, Martin also went multiple outings without allowing a hit and only allowing a single baserunner while striking out seven of the ten batters he faced. Like I said before, getting batters out is the name of the game, but it also matters how you are able to get those batters out.
Jeremiah Estrada is a player that Cubs fans have wanted to see get some higher-leverage opportunities, especially considering his numbers on the stat sheet to start the season. What some of us didn’t see by looking at the box scores, is that many of the outs he was getting were on barrelled balls that were statistically unlikely to result in outs, essentially implying that he was getting (at least a little) lucky. We’ve seen that luck run out his last few times coming out of the bullpen and that is a problem.
So how do you avoid needing luck? Strike them out. If they can’t get the bat on the ball there is no need for luck with BABIP because if you do your job the ball never needs to be caught by an outfielder or picked by a shortstop. Riley Martin struck out 70% of the batters he faced this week and didn’t allow a hit. Only two of the batters he faced put the ball in play. That’s a recipe for success.