As you heard last night, Russell Martin finally broke out of his extended power drought by launching a homer off of Jered Weaver in a 6-4 Dodger victory. To what does Martin attribute his bomb? Changing his batting stance after seeing Doug Mientkiewicz.
After holding a Thursday news conference to announce his involvement with the ONE DROP Foundation, while en route to the clubhouse, Russell Martin walked past injured infielder Doug Mientkiewicz, who was practicing his swing, which included the leg lift he uses to keep his body weight back.
“And that’s when it hit me,” Martin said Saturday night. “That’s it. That’s what I wasn’t doing. This is it.”
Martin stopped cold. He started talking to Mientkiewicz, mimicked his leg lift, took it into batting practice, then that night’s game.
On Saturday night, the leg lift launched Martin on his first home run trot of the year, first three-hit game in nearly a month and first RBI in three weeks.
(Holy hell, first RBI in three weeks? I hadn’t even realized that, just brutal). Now sure, I suppose it’s possible that a batting tip from a renowned power source such as Doug Mientkiewicz, what with his 66 homers in 12 MLB seasons, could be what was responsible for Martin’s homer. It could also be that Martin has had good success against Weaver (1.091 career OPS against him now), or it could be that Weaver simply grooved an 89 MPH fastball down the inner part of the plate. But see, none of that is as important as the post I wrote the other day detailing his problems, against fastballs in particular, because that put Martin on the fast track to getting the MSTI bump.
A little over 24 hours ago, I wrote an entire post about how disappointing James Loney has been this year, including how he hadn’t homered in seemingly a decade.
Since then? Two games, two homers. Oh, sure, some would like to kill my buzz by pointing out the fact that yesterday’s homer probably wouldn’t have made it out of any other park in the bigs, but still: Loney’s riding the MSTI bump. And he might still get another at-bat in this game!
Russell Martin, I’m looking in your direction. You’re next.
See? It’s foolproof! Stay tuned for later this week when I try to teach Clayton Kershaw how to last more than 5 innings in a game.