Russell Martin hopes for September redemption

Russell Martin connects for a three-run homer in Friday’s 8-5 win over the Orioles. (AP Photo)

The Yankees had a conversation with Russell Martin around the All-Star break, telling him to pitch his offensive numbers out the window and start over. His stat lines were too badly damaged by a sluggish start to be of much use, and so the Yankees wanted Martin to hit the reset button.

The back of Martin’s baseball card will not be pretty next year, no matter what happens in September, but a hot month just might help the Yankees when they need it most. Martin’s three-run homer last night keyed a five-run fourth inning for New York and the backstop is showing that he has stored up some good luck from the first five months of the season.

“I’m a lot more comfortable,” Martin said. “Really, I feel good. It’s hard to describe. I feel like I’m seeing the ball well, feel like I’m taking good swings. Offspeed pitches, fastballs, whatever – I’m just seeing it.”

Martin said that the first five months of the season were a grind, but he feels like he has been swinging the bat better for the last month or so. He added that his body and the calendar are telling him two different things, which is a good thing for the Yankees.

“I’m not really worn out,” Martin said. “I’ve got give credit to Joe [Girardi] for resting me adequately and got to tip your cap to Stewie [Chris Stewart]. He’s been doing a great job when he’s behind the plate. I feel great. It doesn’t feel like September at all. I’m used to feeling a lot worse than I do right now actually.”

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