Make that hitless for Seattle. That’s Edgar Martinez.
After bludgeoning New York Yankees pitching over the course of the best-of-five Division Series, the American League batting champion has gone strangely silent against the Cleveland Indians.
Silent, as in silent. Martinez is 0 for 7 in the first two games of the ALCS. He has walked three times twice intentionally.
By contrast, he hit a lusty .571 against the Yankees - 12 of 21 - with two home runs in Game 4 and 10 RBIs,
“I’m not swinging the bat any differently,” Martinez insisted. “I’ve just faced two great pitchers.”
Indeed, in 40-year-old Game 1 starter Dennis Martinez and 37-year-old Orel Hershiser, the Mariners have gone up against two of the savviest throwers in baseball.
“They have an idea of what they want to do against you,” Edgar said, “and they don’t do the same thing twice.”
That, Hershiser insisted, is the key to pitching Martinez.
“You’ve got one of the best hitters in baseball and you can’t just throw him the same pitches,” Hershiser said, “because he’s going to make an adjustment.
“When you have great hitters - (Ken) Griffey, Edgar, Tino (Martinez), you can’t use the same pattern all the time. They’ll catch on and that’s why they hit so high for average and for so much power. You need to keep thinking of a new way to get them out and another place to go and what they’re trying to do now that they’ve seen that.”
With his early oh-fer, Martinez joins an exclusive club. In their three game sweep of Boston in their Division Series, Indians pitchers held Red Sox sluggers Mo Vaughn and Jose Canseco a combined 0 for 27.
The M’s aren’t struggling that bad. Griffey is 4 for 7 in the two games, with a home run and a double. Jay Buhner also had a double and a home run in seven trips, but Tino Martinez is also 0 for 7.
Though Edgar came into the series on fire, he’s had his troubles with Indians pitching all season. He hit just .258 against the Tribe in nine games, with a single homer and five RBIs. Nine times he was walked.