Big League Stew - MLB

Photo: Victor Martinez hits big homer, gets solemn reception

A screencap may be worth a thousand words, but this shot of Victor Martinez(notes) entering the Detroit Tigers dugout during Tuesday night's 5-2 victory over the Texas Rangers doesn't come close to telling the whole story.

It was only moments earlier in the fourth inning of ALCS Game 3 that Detroit's designated hitter had pulled a Colby Lewis(notes) pitch into Comerica Park's right field stands. A game-tying homer like this one would normally set off a raucous celebration among his teammates, but Martinez's reaction — he fell toward the ground after hitting the homer and then labored around the bases — immediately turned the Tigers' mood tense.  

Photo: Victor Martinez hits big homer, gets solemn receptionMartinez greeted Don Kelly(notes) in the on-deck circle with a subdued fist bump that suggested he had just hit a routine sac fly in the middle of July, then made his way down the stairs where pitcher Justin Verlander(notes) withdrew his fist offering when he saw that Martinez wasn't in the mood.

[Y! Sports Shop: Show off your team support with playoffs garb]

Martinez then made his way toward the tunnel to the clubhouse where he angrily slammed his helmet into the ground before disappearing.

It's not exactly the type of reaction that you expect in the wake of such a momentum-changing hit, but you can certainly understand Martinez's frustration and his teammate's solemn reception. From Brennan Boesch(notes) to Magglio Ordonez(notes) to Delmon Young(notes) to Alex Avila(notes) (who is banged up, but still playing), the Tigers' power source has been sapped through injury. They can't afford to see another of their bats go down.

The good news —at least initially — was that Martinez was able to take his at-bat in the fifth inning and draw a walk. He hit again in the seventh without incident, lifting a fly ball to center field.

The postgame diagnosis was not as optimistic, however. Manager Jim Leyland said Martinez had hurt his intercostal muscle and that was he "concerned."

"He got through it tonight and hopefully he'll be able to get through it," Leyland said. "But if he can't? We'll play somebody else. That's who we are ... and that's what you do this time of year. You find a way to win."

Want more Big League Stew all postseason long?
Follow 'Duk on Facebook and Twitter!

Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
The most unique player in the NFL — punter Chris Kluwe
David Stern is manipulating the NBA lockout so the players take the fall
Kobe Bryant tells an unflattering story about Kwame Brown
Cardinals' Pujols makes a Brewer eat humble pie

Related Articles

Big League Stew

Add to My Yahoo RSS

Related Photo Gallery

Y! Sports Blog