I think the hope is that the more at-bats he gets, the more his timing will come back. And in the meantime, he finds a way to help us win a game, Francona said before Game 4. I know it’s not ideal.
It’s pretty obvious that he’s not like, midseason locked in. I still think he competes and he’s intelligent, and I bet you he’ll find a way to help us win, the manager added. There’s a lot of belief in him. And I know it’s not easy. He hasn’t played very much.
I kind of heard it from the guys on the Tigers, but definitely [Martinez] just shows up every day and every single pitch of every at-bat, taking it like it could be his last, Diamondbacks cornerstone Goldschmidt said. I think it’s motivated me and probably every one of our teammates as well. You see a guy who is going to give it 100 percent every day no matter what. If we’re winning, if we’re losing, tie game, doesn’t matter.
The paths of Darvish and Martinez have run parallel course for much of this season. With both in contract years, they were featured in countless rumors that eventually led to actual trades. Their paths took them both to the same division in the National League. After the season, those paths will lead them into high-level free agency, where they may be the best pitcher and hitter available, respectively.
On Monday, those paths will intersect in Phoenix. When it does, we can ask the question — the slugger or the stopper? — that a lot of teams should have asked a couple of months ago.