Victor Martinez's tomahawk-like solo homer in the 4th inning last night at Target Field played a small part in the latest win and mirrored much of his hitting of late.
With a road trip to Oakland looking like the most likely start to the AL Division Series, Martinez's bat - which is hot of late, especially against the A's - will be a key to advancing Detroit beyond the first round.
While we questioned his health before the season and affirmed he was 100% in the field by late June, it was clear his bat speed wasn't entirely there through the spring, with the following slash lines:
AVG OBP SLG
APRIL .221 .290 .274
MAY .235 .257 .333
JUNE .240 .322 .400And then things changed in June. An excellent breakdown of his swing and the 2013 transition from the MLB Network.
If you haven't been watching of late (first of all, shame), Martinez is absolutely crushing the ball, becoming the X factor in the lineup in Jhonny Peralta's absence and Miggy's cooling off. Since July 1 Martinez's slash line is as follows:
AVG OBP SLG
JULY .390 .429 .581
AUG .386 .449 .491
SEPT .325 .375 .475This is even more notable when factoring in Martinez's slash line of .316 / .376 / .445 against right handed pitchers (Oakland's like to bring four, in Parker, Colon, Gray, and Griffin) and broadly against the A's, who he has hit the hardest of any Tigers opponent at an astonishing 2013 line of .464 / .500 / .571 (though he has gone 2-12 in Oakland Coliseum).