The Dominican right-hander has been virtually perfect against Seattle in his career, going 13-0 with a 1.30 ERA in 13 career appearances, including 12 starts. He’s been unbelievable at Safeco, going 6-0 with an 0.77 ERA in six outings.
Martinez has allowed just 54 hits in 97 career innings against Seattle, and has struck out 130 against just 24 walks, statistics that leave many of the Mariners dumbfounded.
“He has many pitches that he throws for strikes and they are ‘out’ pitches,” said outfielder Raul Ibanez, who is 2-for-15 with three strikeouts against Martinez in his career. “You just have to try to find that one good pitch you might get in a game and do something with it.”
In his last start, Martinez pitched well enough to win, allowing three runs and six hits over seven innings, but didn’t figure in the Mets’ 4-3 defeat to the Los Angeles Angels on Sunday. He is unbeaten in his last eight starts, having suffered his only defeat of the season in a 4-3 loss to Atlanta on April 26.
New York could use another dominant performance from Martinez following Friday’s 5-0 loss in the series opener. The Mets fell to 1-3 on their season-high 12-game road trip.
Struggling to score runs, the last-place Mets have lost seven of nine overall, scoring three runs or fewer in all of those defeats. They have been shut out six times this season.
Ichiro Suzuki’s three-run homer and season-high four RBIs gave the Mariners all the offense they would need in Friday’s win. Struggling right-hander Ryan Franklin hopes his teammates have another game like that in them Saturday when he takes the mound looking for his first home win of the season.
Franklin, 0-4 with a 5.74 ERA in seven games, including five starts, at Safeco, is winless in his last six outings overall.
Seattle second baseman Bret Boone went 0-for-4 in Friday’s win, and may be heading to the bench until he can figure out where his swing has gone.
“We’ve got to find a way to get Bret Boone back offensively to where he thinks he should be and where we all think he should be,” Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. “We don’t have the luxury of sending him down to find himself. But by bringing Jose (Lopez) here it gives us a viable option at second base. It may be that we give him four, five, six days off in a row to work with him extensively to get him going.”
Boone, 36, averaged 30 homers and 112 RBIs the past four seasons, but has struggled most of this year. He is hitting .231 with five home runs, 29 RBIs and 45 strikeouts in 234 at-bats, and has just two hits in his last 23 at-bats.
Lopez, recalled from Triple-A Tacoma, went 2-for-4 with an RBI in his debut Friday.