Red Sox slugger J.D. Martinez made sure his team got off to a great start in the postseason, coming up big early in Game 1 of the American League Division Series against the Yankees on Friday night.
Martinez came to the plate in the bottom of the first inning, with runners on first and second. And — like he’s done so many times this season in big spots — he delivered, in his first career postseason at-bat.
The 31-year-old star has been seeing the ball extremely well, and that didn’t change on Friday. He took the first two pitches from Yankees pitcher J.A. Happ — both balls — then teed off on the fastball that followed. It proved to be the right decision, as he crushed the ball over the left-field wall for a three-run homer.
The ball had an exit velocity of 107 mph, and the powerful blast was Martinez’s 26th home run at Fenway Park this season. It was an important one, giving his team the lead right out of the gate.