In professional baseball, the statistics, numbers, wins and losses don't always tell the whole story. That could not be closer to the truth than with Great Lakes Loons starting pitcher Jarret Martin.
Though the 3-5 deficit in the win-loss column may not have been acclimated to the rest of his statistics, having been named a Midwest League Mid-Season All-Star, Martin has done enough to warrant the praise of his peers. He currently ranks second in the Midwest League in strikeouts (73), but is also tied for first in walks allowed (44). In 15 starts, encompassing 72.2 innings pitched, he has amassed a 4.58 ERA. While not spectacular, by any stretch of the imagination, Martin's numbers fail to show the true scope of his performance.
When I spoke with Martin at the season's start, he was adamant that his goal was to "put up good numbers for the team and string a couple of good games together…" Stringing a few good outings is exactly what he has been able to do. Unfortunately, lack of team defense and run support had skewed the numbers detrimentally and were direct causes of why six of his nine non-recordable starts failed to reach the win/loss columns.
The Great Lakes Loons now find themselves sitting with a 34-36 record, ending the first half of the season in fifth place. If they hope to have any chance at reaching the playoffs, their improvement and consistency will rely on how well they can perform while Martin is on the hill.
Great Lakes ranks near the bottom in virtually all offensive statistical categories. The Loons are putting up nowhere near the run support necessary to become a playoff-caliber team. No matter how good Martin and the rest of the pitching staff can be, the offense must be overhauled in a quick, dramatic way. If the team doesn't improve, however, Martin may need to tap into something unseen and virtually superhuman.
Martin was adamant in our last conversation that going deep into games was his job as a starter, regardless of how well or poor the offense performs. He feels his stamina is great and his pitches continue to get better. That is a good sign for the Loons. He has the mechanics and pitch selection worthy of an "ace" pitcher. If anyone on the roster can provide a spark to ignite the remainder of the team into a productive capacity, Martin is the likeliest candidate to do so.
Personal, post-game interviews, Jarret Martin (Loons pitcher), April 3 / May 17/June 12, 2012The author, D. Benjamin Satkowiak, is a successful entrepreneur and published author, who has tailored works on various sports, health and fitness topics. He currently serves as a Yahoo! Contributor Network "Featured Contributor," covering the Detroit Tigers, Detroit Lions, Great Lakes Loons and Notre Dame football.