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In three of the four games he’s been asked to pitch over the last two months, Davis Martin has posted the following lines:
- Aug. 9: 5.2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 3 K
- Sept. 2: 5 IP, 3 H, 0 R, 1 BB, 2 K
- Sept. 17: 6 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K
The White Sox won each of those games by one run despite scoring only 10 runs total.
Saturday’s gem came on short notice. He started Wednesday’s game for Charlotte, but he was limited to one inning because Johnny Cueto has been dealing with dizziness. That Martin threw just 10 pitches allowed everybody to call it a glorified side day, and while that’s usually just euphemistic talk for “our pitching plans are in shambles,” Martin actually made good on the audible.
There was one game in which Martin did not make good. He blew a quick 3-0 lead by allowing five runs in the second of his three unsuccessful innings against the Diamondbacks on Aug. 27, in what was a wholly unsuccessful series against the Diamondbacks.
It’s only worth mentioning that start to complete the accounting. Speak only of the games he helped win, and it’d invite the question about building the whole plane out of him, and while it’d be fun to call him Lockheed Martin, he occasionally reminds everybody why he wasn’t on preseason top-30 prospect lists.
Nevertheless, it’s remarkable that he’s been able to hold up as the rotation’s last line of defense. He’s the last new starting option the White Sox have used this season, and with 50 above-average innings and counting, Martin’s doing what he can to prevent the Sox from having to dig deeper.
The problem is that Martin can’t fill two rotation spots by himself. He bought the Sox an extra day for Cueto, but it turns out Cueto needs at least two. Meanwhile, Michael Kopech also went on the shelf with shoulder inflammation, and while he’d like to pitch again this season, it might not be possible and/or worth it.
So here comes Vince Velasquez, the team’s original sixth starter, to show that he still can contribute outside of mop-up and long-relief situations. He’ll be supplemented by Tanner Banks, who is back on the roster with Joe Kelly on family medical leave, so the Sox have an initial idea of how to piggyback through six, with an off day on Monday for recovery.
This is a bad time for the White Sox have to buy two days, but here’s a case where the offense could step up by showing everybody why the Detroit Tigers have been a colossal disappointment. Instead, they’ve responded by scoring four runs over the series’ first 18 innings in regulation. For all the obstacles the pitching staff has encountered, the failure of the 2022 White Sox always comes back a lineup that hasn’t done nearly enough to provide breathing room.