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.
The @Dodgers' Russell Martin has a 2-run double and a 2-run HR tonight.
Players 36 or older with 2+ XBH and 4+ RBI in a playoff game:
Babe Ruth (1932 WS Game 3)
Paul Richards (1945 WS Game 7)
Russell Martin (tonight)#LABleedsBlue
— Stats By STATS (@StatsBySTATS) October 7, 2019
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.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) October 7, 2019
While time will tell where Russ ends up after this season one thing is certain now, he is a playoff legend.