When the terms “Phillies” and “hero” are used in the same sentence, it is unlikely to find “Michael Martinez” in the middle of it, but July 20, 2011 was an exception. Mini Mart batted a season-high .247 in the month of July, which included arguably his most clutch hit of the year.
The Chicago Cubs took an early lead off Cliff Lee, which seemed to be all they needed. Matt Garza mowed down hitters, taking a no-hitter into the fifth inning. Once Garza was removed, the Phillies were able to capitalize.
The Cubs led 2-0 when Garza exited, but the bullpen failed to hold the lead. Chase Utley evened the score with an eighth inning double, but his “you are the man!” moment would be overshadowed by an unlikely hero.
With two on and two outs, Martinez blooped a double down the right field line. It wasn’t the hardest hit, but it was good enough to score two and take the lead. The Phillies went onto win 4-2, with Mini Mart’s hit being the difference.
The Original Chuck P, a frequent commenter on Phillies Nation, posted on the Gameday thread: “Mini Mart has had some big hits… I like him. He’s got a ton of speed and seems eager to prove. They obviously saw something to keep him as a rule 5… You need guys like that who will come [through] a few times a year. Even if he hits around the Mendoza line, if he contributes three or four game winners then he’s a nice addition.”
Indeed, Michael Martinez wasn’t one to light up the highlight reel, but his clutch hit against the Cubs proved to be a very memorable moment for the 2011 Phillies.