We know how hot J.D. Martinez can get. We've seen it plenty of times before, especially after he was traded to Arizona in 2017 and then his monster 2018 season with the Red Sox. So far in 2021, we're witnessing a renaissance.
Sunday, Martinez went 4 for 6 with three homers. The evidence:
Look at that. Spraying it to all fields with authority. You absolutely love to see it (especially if you are a Red Sox fan or have Martinez on your fantasy team).
Through eight games this season -- he missed one with an illness -- Martinez is slashing .472/.500/1.083 with seven doubles, five homers and 16 RBI. Quite a start, huh? Further, Martinez has at least one extra-base hit in every single game. This ties a major-league record.
Consecutive games with at least one extra-base hit to start the season, since 1901 (via Stathead):
- Sandy Alomar, 8 games, 1997
- Alex Rodriguez, 8 games, 2007
- J.D. Martinez, 8 games, 2021
The Red Sox closed the Orioles down on Sunday to run their winning streak to six games. It's been an odd start. They were swept at home by the Orioles in three games to start the season, but they haven't lost since, even sweeping the defending AL champion Rays. The offense is now humming with Martinez leading the way.
It's interesting that Martinez was one of the players in 2020 who discussed what an adjustment it was without being able to view in-game video. I mentioned him back on March 2 in a story about how players have gotten in-game video back in 2021. The drop from 2019 to 2020 for Martinez was .304/.383/.557 to .213/.291/.389. Even if we believe he's started his age-related decline (he's 33), that's far too drastic a drop without accounting for the possible effect of losing video had on him in 2020, not to mention it was a shortened, pandemic-altered season.
All small-sample caveats apply, but it certainly appears the old J.D. Martinez is back. Right now, the Red Sox are on fire, too.