The indomitable Metros starter Judson Martel is back with a vengeance for 2018, curing all doubters with an incredible Opening Day performance, going the full nine against Louisville and holding them to just one hit and three walks, in a 4-0 shutout win.
“Fivespot” looked to be in peak condition, showing no signs of his elbow ligament injury from last August the ended his 2017 campaign early. He threw 121 pitches, with 73 of them for strikes, and whiffed 8 batters.
He did have to lean on his solid defense from time to time, and twice they came up big with double plays, including one initiated by Martel himself.
A cool spring day in Montreal, in front of 48,784 opening day fans, none were disappointed in the pitching dominated outing as Montreal gave them plenty of offense to watch as well.
David Chinchilla doubled in the sixth with two on and one out, sending Orlando Garza and Bill Heimberg over the plate to score, and starting a four-run rally. Chinchilla moved to third on a wild pitch from Sluggers’ Ricardo Perez, who then walked Alex Bueno on a 3-2 count a handful of pitches later. Again with two on and two out, Blair Caldwell hit a 2-1 pitch for a line drive over the head of Sluggers’ second baseman Chris Sulis, scoring Chinchilla from third.
It was then Carlos Escobedo’s turn to drive a run in, singling on a 1-1 pitch that he hit on the ground between first and second, scoring Bueno all the way from second base. The four runs scored would be plenty more than they needed as Martel allowed no more than one hit, a 5th inning line drive to center from Ed Langston.