Martinez in lineup, ready to move forward
Astros outfielder J.D. Martinez, who was pulled from Monday’s game following his fourth inning at-bat by manager Bo Porter, was back in the lineup Tuesday against the Mariners, starting in right field. Martinez was pulled for what he deemed a “mental mistake,” and the outfielder said he and the manager had a good talk.
Martinez swung at the first pitch in his fourth inning at-bat and popped out, perhaps chasing a pitch out of the strike zone.
“Like I said yesterday to you guys, I understood the situation and we talked about it and put it behind us,” Martinez said. “We still have a lot more games left to play and it’s behind us and we’re ready to move forward. Today’s a new day.
“We settled it and [Porter] said, ‘You’re back in there today because it’s behind us. Time to move forward.’”
The Astros have lost six games in a row following an Opening Night win over the Rangers and are hitting .188 in that span. They’ve struck out 82 times in seven games, whiffing 13 or more five times a game.
“I feel like there’s a little bit of tension in the room,” Martinez said. “You want to win, you want everything perfect. I think it’s just go out there and play baseball, play for each other. They always say, ‘Play for the guy behind you,’ just going out there and enjoying it and having fun and getting the pressure and monkey off our backs.”
Martinez said one good game on offense could get the Astros rolling.
“Every game starts off great and then one things leads to another and then before you know it we have that pressure right back on us again,” he said. “Once we get that pressure off, we’re going to see this team start rolling because now everybody knows the guy behind you is going to pick you up. Now you don’t have that pressure on yourself. You can play and hit and do what you have to do.”