Since going 0-for-5 with five strikeouts against the Rockies on May 27, J.D. Martinez has rebounded quite nicely.
Martinez didn’t stay down for long. Following that disappointing performance, the Astros' outfielder hit safely in nine of his next 10 games. That stretch included an unbeaten six-game road trip at Colorado and Anaheim.
And three days after going 0-for-5, Martinez collected a career-high four hits against those same Rockies. This time the game was at Colorado. The right-handed hitting Martinez has had 12 three-hit games in his three-year career in Houston.
“I feel like I’m really starting to hit like I know how to hit,” said Martinez, who has started each of the club’s last 19 games entering Saturday’s game at Kansas City. “I just cleared my mind and said I’m just going up there and hitting the ball.”
In last week’s 11-7 home win over the Orioles, Martinez had one of the Astros’ six home runs. It was a two-run home run, measured at 412 feet off Steve Johnson for his sixth home run of the season.
On May 22 and May 24, Martinez homered in consecutive games. Over a 10-game period during that time, Martinez hit .364 with four home runs and 10 RBIs.
Martinez, who is hitting .264 on the season with 24 RBIs and 10 doubles, has come on of late. He hit .299 in May.
And a good number of his hits of late have come on first pitches.
“I just caught on to kind of what they (opposing pitchers) were doing,” said Martinez. “They like to attack me early, get ahead and throwing a lot of junk afterwards. So I’ve just been cautious and to go for the first pitch. I feel like I’m locked in on my thoughts, and if it’s there, I’m going to swing.
“I’m not going up there with my mind already set that I’ll swing on the first pitch. It’s more of a controlled aggressiveness where I’m looking for a spot. If it’s there, we’re going.”