J.D. Martin is never high on anyone's list of favorite Nationals pitchers, and with good reason. He's about as uncomplicated as they come, with a fastball that rarely reaches 90 mph and sentences that infrequently lapse into sound bytes. He's pitching on national television today, but only because Fox thought they'd be getting Stephen Strasburg today, not Martin.
So imagine the network's surprise when Martin came out dealing.
The right-hander has struck out five batters through four innings, holding the White Sox to a run and flashing an impressive curveball. The Nationals again are struggling on offense against Chicago starter Jake Peavy, and trail 1-0, but Martin has looked good through four innings.
He's got a sub-4.00 ERA this year, and might have been the Nationals' second-best pitcher last season. Just because he's not terribly exciting doesn't mean he's not effective. He has been so far today.