Victor Martinez tied the game for the Tigers last night, powering a solo home run over the right-field wall in the fourth inning. Unfortunately, all that torque was too much for his body to handle, resulting in an intercostal strain on his right side.
Martinez, who felt a sharp pain in his right side as he left the batter's box, said rounding the bases was "uncomfortable" -- he took so much time that he admitted asking Rangers catcher Yorvit Torrealba to assure Colby Lewis that he was hurt and not showboating. After returning to the dugout, he slammed his helmet down in disgust, immediately retreating to the clubhouse to receive treatment.
It seemed likely at the time that Martinez would be sidelined for the rest of the game, and perhaps even longer. But he returned for his next at-bat, and vowed after the game that he wouldn't miss any time.
"The only way that I don't play tomorrow is if I wake up and I'm dead," he said, as reported by the Detroit Free Press. "That's going to be the only way that I don't play tomorrow."
Martinez, the Tigers' DH, used the time between at-bats to receive treatment and stay loose. "We did some work in the training room, and I was able to go down to the cage and take some swings before I went out there," he said. "I took some pretty decent swings."
Having already lost Magglio Ordonez (ankle) for the rest of the postseason and not knowing from game to game whether Delmon Young (strained oblique) is available, the last thing the Tigers needed was another injured hitter in the middle of their lineup. In fact, that's exactly what Martinez was thinking about when he realized he was hurt.
"Definitely," he said. "Like I said, this is an opportunity that you don't get every day to come and play in the championship series. I was frustrated. We've been going through a lot of stuff, tough moments. We just lost Magglio and Delmon. We don't need another one. That was my frustration."
So long as Martinez can stay in the lineup and provide protection for Miguel Cabrera, the Tigers are frustration free.