When you think about it, everything about the 2017 D-backs’ season is unbelievable. Outside of the standouts in Paul Goldschmidt and Zack Greinke, most of these players had no extended success at the MLB level. Mike Hazen was a first time GM, with plans to build sustainability after years of futility and upper management failures. And management was expecting another drop-off after 3 years of below expected performance. But here they were in June in the midst of a playoff race.
Like most of the 2017 team, J.D Martinez should’ve never been on this team. Superstars become available all the time, but never do they end up being traded for peanuts with multiple suitors interested in the player. It all culminated in his best performance for the team playing their best stretch of baseball over the year. Coming into that August 27th game, the D-backs had rattled off 10 straight, keeping pace with the Dodgers and Rockies for playoff contention.
You might have forgotten, but Martinez actually struck out to lead off the 2nd inning and the pitchers for the evening, Rich Hill and Robbie Ray, were in something of a pitcher’s duel, keeping things scoreless before J.D. launched a moonshot into the bleachers in CF for his first homer of the game in the 4th.
The offenses reverted back to normalcy, going scoreless until Martinez again blasted his 2nd homer into right field off Pedro Baez in the top of the 7th. The offense kept it up allowing Martinez another appearance in the 8th, and he responded again with another homer off Josh Fields, his 3rd of the game.
He’d need some luck to get a 5th plate appearance in this one, appearing 5th in the order in the 9th inning. Rey Fuentes walked, David Peralta popped out but after a Kristopher Negron double, that all but secured another opportunity for Martinez in the 9th. Pollock singled in front of J.D. and then magic happened.
We all know what happened after, the D-backs were swept in 3 games by these same Dodgers and despite wanting to stay, the team didn’t want to pay J.D Martinez and he signed with Boston getting a World Series ring with them in 2018. But for a brief moment, this D-backs team was the talk of the baseball world, with championship aspirations and an offensive powerhouse in J.D. Martinez to match.