Results tagged ‘ JD Martin ’

Happy Thanksgiving: Enjoy Your Pies

There isn’t a better way of saying “great job” or “welcome to The Show” than getting a shaving cream meringue pie square in the face. It screams good job, leaving both eyes squinting, stinging and blurry to make sure you remember you were important tonight. It is the single game version of the playoff clinching celebratory champagne shower.


j. d. martin pie 2.JPGThe sour taste in the mouth and tears in the eyes are imperative, they are the robust rewards to make sure you –yes, you–know you won the game. It doesn’t taste like key lime or pumpkin pie–quite the opposite–but the shaving cream pie is a tasty treat in its own right.

Pieing has taken place in baseball for a while but there isn’t a documented beginning of the tradition. On the other hand, there is a start date for the pieing practice this season for the Nats. It began on April 20th after Jordan Zimmermann recorded his first Major League victory. Starting pitcher John Lannan is the Nationals pieing practitioner.

“I was the only pitcher in the starting rotation that wasn’t a rookie, so I took that role because of that fact,” Lannan said. “I get along with them so well that I want to be the guy that says here is a pie in the face. You did a good job. Welcome to the Big Leagues.”

Jordan ZimmermannFirst start, first win and victim No. 1. Bam. As Zimmermann finished his post-game interview with Debbi Taylor, Lannan with teammate Scott Olsen emerged from the steps of the dugout. Taylor slyly stepped out of the way and as Zimmermann turned around to walk into the clubhouse, Olsen delivered a devastating Joe Louis left-hook that had Zimmermann looking like baseball’s version of Two Face. Zimmermann tried to avoid the second pie–a half hearted run along the warning track–but Lannan reared back, grabbed his right shoulder and made sure the left side of his face felt the fury too. A typically emotionless Zimmermann beamed ear to ear in a post-game interview. 

“That was definitely shaving cream,” said Zimmermann that night. “It stung a little bit but I will be just fine.”

It didn’t stop there.

Craig StammenWelcome to The Show. Bam. Stammen had just pitched 6 1/3 innings allowing zero runs on six hits to get his first Major League victory at Yankee Stadium and handed the Nats a series victory over the Bronx Bombers. That has all the credentials for the pie platter. As Taylor distracted Stammen with a few post-game questions, Lannan locked in on his target, pitching a perfect pie game to the face has never been a problem.

Lannan isn’t known for his ninja like skills but he has an uncanny ability to successfully throw pie strikes each time.

“Debbi makes sure the interviewee is facing the field,” said Lannan conceding that Debbi is in on the pie prank. “So I come up through the stairs very secretively. I try to do it half way through the conversation because they know it’s coming but they forget because they are focusing on the question.”


garrett mock pie 3.JPGGarrett Mock
Your five o’clock shadow is showing–here let me help you. Bam.

The next day… J.D. MartinShaving cream is a great way to cool down. Bam.

Ross DetwilerYour 13th Major League start was memorable. Bam.

“I change it up,” Lannan said. “I do a little splatter. I do a little rub in the face and make sure it gets everywhere. My main goal is to make sure Debbi Taylor doesn’t get any shaving cream on her clothes.”

How can you get mad at someone who is that courteous? You can’t.

Lannan might have to change his tactics in 2010. Players adapt. Players get smarter. Players find a way to avoid the inevitable. Of course, not if you are always one step ahead of them.  He can always take a page out of the Mark Lowe pieing text book–it’s not for sale and I guess it’s not actually a book but it’s on YouTube.

Last year, Seattles’ Mark Lowe pied the usual culprit J.J. Putz after he made his first start off the disabled list. During his post-game interview in the dugout, Putz constantly looked over his shoulder expecting a pie in his face. Lowe took the U.S. Army Rangers approach to pieing–attack when they least expect it. When Putz made it back to his locker, he thought he had all his bases covered to prevent a pieing. 

“You guys need to make a wall so no one can get in here,” Putz said to the media members circled around him.

It turns out the Great Wall of China couldn’t have stopped Lowe. He was already inside the circle, nestled nicely in the cozy confines of Putz’s locker behind his shirts. Lowe emerged as Putz was answering his first question. We missed you… so here is a pie to your face. Bam.

“Welcome back big guy,” Lowe said.

Pieing is a treat best served quickly, unexpected and with shaving cream right between the eyes. Whip cream would make too much sense and actually taste good.

Lannan eventually worked outside of the pitching rotation. If your reputation is the “pie person”… you might as well make it a reality.

“Once I took over as the pie guy I had to get Justin Maxwell,” Lannan said, “after he hit the walk-off grand slam in the final home game.”

Justin Maxwell… that was an amazing way to close out the season at Nationals Park. Bam.


justin maxwell pie 1.JPGHis pie days are by no means done, they might just be starting. There isn’t a hit list or wish list, just a few people he might be pieing soon… Stephen Strasburg.

“I am going to throw a 100 mph pie at his face,” Lannan said with a smile. “I am just kidding. Hopefully I get to pie him this year.”

30 Players in 30 Days: Craig Stammen

Craig Stammen

The Nationals relied on their young guns all season long–they knew there would be growing pains and there were. Craig Stammen made his Major League debut on May 21 against the Pirates and went on to lead all Nationals rookies with 19 starts. He went 6.1 innings in that first start with three strikeouts and four earned runs. He received the no-decision in the 5-4 victory. He was one of three Nationals–Jordan Zimmermann and J.D. Martin being the others–to make their debut this season as a starter. The Nationals led the National League with 95 starts by rookie pitchers. That’s more than the Red Sox, Reds, Rockies, Royals, Dodgers, Brewers, Mets, Yankees, Pirates, Giants and Cardinals combined. Those teams only had 75 starts by rookies collectively–still 20 short of the Nationals.

A pitcher’s first Major League win is always a memorable moment but Stammen made it a magical moment. On June 18 at the new Yankee Stadium, Stammen kept the Bronx Bombers bats at bay pitching 6.1 scoreless innings. The win secured the series victory over the Yankees.

Stammen was drafted by the Nationals in 2005 and slowly worked his way up to the Majors. Before his call up this year, he pitched seven games for Triple-A Syracuse and was named the Syracuse Pitcher of the Month for April. In that time, he went 3-1 with a 2.35 ERA and .205 BAA in four starts.

Stammen struggled at times, like all rookies, but pitched well in July. If Stammen can pitch in 2010 like he pitched in July of 2009–2-2 with a 3.18 ERA (34.0 IP/ 12 ER)–he will be a force at the back end of the rotation. He also had a season-best K/BB ratio of 2.60 during that month too. The highlight of the month was on July 11 when Stammen threw a complete game in a 13-2 win at Houston. He scattered nine hits with two strikeouts and only one walk.

While Stammen didn’t have a winning record, he held his own in his first Major League season. Stammen did not get to finish the season and was shut down in September due to bone spurs in his elbow. He had arthroscopic surgery and should be fully recovered by Spring Training 2010.

 

Craig Stammen Final Major League Stats

W

L

ERA

G/GS

SHO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

HBP

BB

SO

AVG

WHIP

GO/AO

4

7

5.11

19/19

0

105.2

112

67

60

14

3

24

48

.271

1.29

1.35

 

 

Craig Stammen Final Minor League Stats

W

L

ERA

G/GS

SHO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

HBP

BB

SO

AVG

WHIP

GO/AO

4

2

1.80

7/7

0

40.0

33

10

8

4

0

8

14

.223

1.03

2.03

 
082309-129 craig stammen.JPG

30 Players in 30 Days: J.D. Martin

 J.D. Martin


j. d. martin2.JPGAfter pitching phenomenally well in Triple-A Syracuse, J.D. Martin made his Major League debut with the Washington Nationals on July 20. While his first few starts were a bit rusty he eventually garnered his first Major League win on August 9 against Arizona.

Prior to the 2009 season, Martin spent eight years in the Cleveland Indians system. He overcame a number of arm problems along the way which culminated with Tommy John surgery in 2005. The surgery was a success and in 2008 he was named to the Eastern League All-Star team. Following a stellar 2008 season, the Nationals signed Martin to a Minor League contract as a way to bolster their pitching staff.

Martin more than proved his worth while pitching with the Syracuse Chiefs this season. He went 8-3 with a 2.66 ERA which earned him an All-Star selection and his eventual call-up to the Majors. He was voted Best Control in the International League in Baseball America‘s annual Best Tools survey voted upon by league managers and earned the Nationals Triple-A Pitcher of the Month distinctions in May and June.


j.d. martin3.JPGOne place where Martin surprised many people was on the basepaths. In his second Major League start, after not having any plate appearances in his eight years with Cleveland, Martin drew a walk and went from first to third on a single by Nyjer Morgan, sparking a five-run rally (see what he had to say about it
here). While he didn’t bat enough to make any significant contributions to the Nationals offense, it was great seeing him contribute to the team on the basepaths as well as on the mound.


j.d. martin1.JPGIn the Minors, Martin was a serious strikeout pitcher with great command of the strike zone and a well-crafted curveball. In 88 innings pitched, he had a strikeout/walk ratio of 6.30 (63/10). These numbers dipped in the Majors where he had a K/BB ratio of 1.54 (37/24 in 77 IP) because of the difference in hitting ability between the Major and Minor Leagues. Martin was still a key asset for the club, going 5-4 with a 4.44 ERA. What his won/loss record doesn’t say, however, is that the team was 10-5 when Martin started, which is the best out of all Nationals starters this year. If Martin can continue his success into Spring Training, he will compete for the fourth or fifth spot in the rotation in 2010.

 

 

J.D. Martin Final Major League Stats

W

L

ERA

G/GS

SHO

IP

H

R

ER

HR

HBP

BB

SO

AVG

WHIP

GO/AO

5

4

4.44

15/15

0

77.0

85

40

38

14

6

24

37

.341

1.42

0.72

Lineups 9/29

Mets:

Pagan – LF

Castillo – 2B

Wright – 3B

Beltran – CF

Murphy – 1B

Francoeur – RF

Schneider – C

Valdez – SS

Pelfrey – RHP (10-12, 5.08)

 

Nationals:

Harris – CF

Dukes – RF

Zimmerman – 3B

Dunn – 1B

Morse – LF

Orr – 2B

Desmond – SS

Nieves – C

Martin – RHP (5-4, 4.71)

Nats News and Notes


Padilla compressed.JPG·        
  
It took Jorge Padilla 12 years, 1,165 games and 1,205 hits in the Minor Leagues to finally get his call to the Majors. It was worth the wait and… work. He jumped on the first pitch he saw in the bottom of the sixth inning on Sunday and lined a single to right, notching his first Major League hit in three pinch-hit at-bats.

“I’m not going to lie – I was torturing myself when I got home at night thinking, ‘When am I going to get a hit?’” Padilla said. “Thank God today I finally got it. It was unbelievable, like a dream come true right there. That’s what I was waiting for all my life.”


JD Marin compressed.JPG·
        
Nothing has ever tasted as sweet as a shaving cream pie to the face after winning a Major League game. JD Martin picked up his first Major League win and recorded his first hit, a single to left in the bottom of the second. Martin became the fourth Nationals pitcher to collect his first career “W” as a starter this season, joining Shairon Martis, Craig Stammen and Jordan Zimmermann. Martin was a first round pick in the 2001 First-Year Player Draft and spent eight years in the Indians organization before the Nationals signed him to a Minor League contract prior to this season. Martin went 8-3 with a 2.66 ERA in 15 starts with Triple-A Syracuse before getting called up on July 19th. He made his first Major League start on July, 20th.

 


8th win compressed.JPG·
        
The Nationals earned their eighth consecutive win with a 9-2 decision over the Diamondbacks. The eight-game winning streak is the Nationals second longest win streak since MLB returned to DC in ’05, and is the longest active win streak in the Majors. The Nats started the streak when their record was 32-72. According to Elias, the Nats now own the longest winning streak by a team that stood at least 40 games below .500 at its start since 1950, when the St. Louis Browns, 44-86 at the time, won eight straight. (The Browns’ streak came against four different teams, and included a four-game sweep of the Indians in Cleveland, beating the quartet of Mike Garcia, Bob Lemon, Steve Gromek and Bob Feller.) The longest win streak in Nationals history (2005-present) was a 10-game surge from June 2 to the 12, 2005.

 

·         Ryan Zimmerman is in the midst of his second hot streak of the season, a 13-game hitting streak. In the month of August (eight games), he is batting .567 (17-for-30) with four home runs, eight RBI and 14 runs.

·         Since being recalled on August 1, Elijah Dukes is batting .300 (9-for-30) with one home run and 12 RBI in eight games.

·         Cristian Guzman has hit safely in 15 consecutive games, going 29-for-63 (.547) with 5 doubles, 2 home runs, 16 RBI and 17 runs scored.

 

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