Russell Martin got the New York Yankees flying high with a pair of home runs. All he needs to do now is learn how to stick the landing.
Martin's second homer was a solo shot to left against Jon Rauch in the bottom of the ninth inning that sent the Yankees to a 5-4 victory and a series sweep of the New York Mets on Sunday. Not since Nick Swisher in September 2010 had the Yankees celebrated a game-ending homer.
The only problem with Martin's performance was how he celebrated his winning home run. He tried leaping into the scrum of teammates waiting for him at home plate, but he fell awkwardly onto his butt. His leap to nowhere briefly reminded manager Joe Girardi of the tumble Kendrys Morales of the Angels took in 2010 when he broke a leg celebrating a game-winning homer. But Martin didn't hurt himself, at least physically.
He said in the Associated Press story:
''I tried to jump in the air to celebrate, and I got about 2 inches off the ground. But I still managed to touch home plate and it feels good.''
How athletic! Kidding. Martin didn't say, but if you Zapruder the video and watch closely, you'll see one of his Yankees teammates contribute to the spill:
And then Martin fell down. Robinson Cano meant well, surely. Other than the celebration, the Yankees are performing nicely of late, going 7-2 this month. The same goes for Martin, who was batting .173 on May 25 but has four homers and 10 RBIs over the past 10 games.
"I'm starting to feel pretty comfortable at the plate," Martin said. "I made a couple of adjustments and, hopefully, I'll just keep doing what I've been doing now."
Except for that jumping stuff.