One of the biggest surprises during the Braves' 2011 was the emergence of Cristhian Martinez as a dependable long-relief guy. In his forty-six appearances, Cristhian went 2+ innings twenty times- which was huge, given that manager Fredi Gonzalez overworked the O'Ventbrel. Perhaps his most memorable moment this past season was the six-innings he provided during the June 26th marathon against the Pirates- a 19-inning affair that Atlanta won. In that game, Martinez only allowed two hits, while striking out six. Martinez entered the game with runners on base in sixteen of those appearances, and for the season allowed seven of his 27 inherited runners to score. Not only was he fairly effective in preventing inherited runners from scoring, but he was also prevented hitters from getting on base: his K/BB rate was around 3, his WHIP at 0.966, and had a line of .197/.255/.331
I have had my eyes on some Martinez auto/relic cards on the 'bay for some time, but hadn't pulled the trigger yet. Thankfully, I found one at this past weekend's card show, picking it up for a meager $4.