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Dodgers 2019 NLDS: Russell Martin Has Legendary Big Game

Don’t let the old guys get hot!

SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA - AUGUST 27: Will Smith #16 congratulates Russell Martin #55 of the Los Angeles Dodgers after defeating the San Diego Padres 9-0 in a game at PETCO Park on August 27, 2019 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images)

Russell Martin has been a steadying veteran presence for the Dodgers this season. Relegated to a bench role for the first time in his career, he ultimately produced a .220/.337/.330 triple slash line with 6 home runs and 20 RBI in 83 games.

Beyond “veteran presents,” the 36 year-old also proved to be a key ingredient to Hyun-Jin Ryu’s Cy Young worthy season. When working together, Martin and Ryu produced a 1.52 ERA in 20 regular season starts.

Despite a career .185 average in postseason play, his stellar work with Ryu was enough to earn Martin the game 3 start.

While the pitcher/catcher stat line wasn’t as sterling after game 3 (2 ER, 5 IP for a 3.60 ERA), where the veteran backstop proved to be a difference maker is at the plate. He went 2-4 with 4 RBI and 2 runs scored. Both of hits were of the extra base variety, which — add it all up — etched Martin’s name in elite company.

Paul Richards — incidentally also a 36 year-old catcher at the time — played in 523 games over 8 seasons in the 1930’s and 1940’s. The 1945 World Series was definitely the highlight of his career. However the big name that stands out alongside Russell Martin is a fella by the name of Babe Ruth.

George Herman “Babe” Ruth achieved the feat during the 1932 World Series, which would ultimately be the final postseason of Ruth’s career. Now Martin is at the end of a lucrative 5-year contract and could potentially be looking at his final postseason run.

While time will tell where Russ ends up after this season one thing is certain now, he is a playoff legend.

The Dodgers will go for the series win with Rich Hill on the mound against Nats ace Max Scherzer on Monday in Washington.

Written by Clint Pasillas

Clint is the lead editor of Dodgers Nation, and a host and analyst on Dodgers Nation's own Blue Heaven podcast live stream.

He's been writing, blogging, and podcasting Dodgers since about 2008. He was there for Nomar, Greg Maddux, and Blake DeWitt, and he'll be there for Walker Buehler, Alex Verdugo, Dustin May, and any Dodgers of the future.

He's also a sandwich enthusiast, a consummate athlete, and a friend.

10 Comments

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  1. Sanchez, with the exception of Muncey in the 5th, dominated. But that 7-run 6th inning was the Dodgers at our best. Clutch… clutch…. and more clutch. Good to see Bellinger get his first post season hit. Not gonna lie….2 outs… I did initially believe that the inning would end with Cody left on. But our Dodgers kept pulling it together by getting consecutive hits/home runs Freese, Russell (are you kidding me) Martin, Taylor, Kike and JT. Unfortunately, Kelly completely imploded in the bottom of the inning (and was kept in too long for comfort), but I am glad Urias was able to get us out of that mess. Anyways, on to game 4 where I do hope that we can take care of business against Scherzer. The thought of us facing Strasburg again in a game 5 is so unappealing. Let’s go Dodgers!

    • Hi Barb!……Kelly is Kelly….give him a lead and he will walk or hit the first batter he faces……it’s maddening…..you were not surprised he tried to give the lead right back right? I wasn’t. But Urias, he can pitch for me anytime. Starter or reliever, the kid can pitch…..I know he’s not perfect, but I trust him WAY more than I do Kelly.

  2. Now most of us Dodger addicts were well aware that Russell was in there because it was a Ryu start and the ERA stats say Ryu pitches better with Martin then he does Smith. Point is most of us knew that was a pitching matchup thing……..and we all know Martin in the lineup also weakens the hitting strength of the lineup…….so (at least I can admit) no one saw this one coming, not even Russell. Let’s put it this way, he was not in the lineup for his bat. I was so happy for him & us! Congratulations Russell! Normally I would also give compliment to our manager for having the smarts to start Martin instead of Smith, but the end result of that decision was dumb luck IMO.

    • Smith takes worse at bats he’s not ready for October it’s wise to ride Martin atleast one more game

  3. You won’t print what should be done with Kelly and Polluck, so I will just say – Don’t Play These Two Losers Again! Both are being overpaid by the Dodgers and by someone else to throw the postseason games.

    • I don’t know if you paid attention but Kelly had a great few months after his bad start and Pollock wasn’t horrible like he has been in this series and Kelly was lights out in game 1

  4. I really would like the Dodger front office to consider relieving Manager Doc Robert’s and his entire staff from his duties after the outcome of this post season. Rookies don’t start over great veterans in the post season. AJ Pollack should ride the pine along with Lux, Beatty. Kike Hernandez is a clutch player along with JT and Freese. Drop off Shaky Joe Kelly he has some mental concerns that require attention. Bring back Verdugo and Gonsolin. This post season performance stinks. Fans are worn out with the same ol crap. Dangling the carrot is old hat. Doc Robert’s needs to be fired. Pick up Joe Madden before he gets away pkease SOS were in trouble. JT you are the true competitor.

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