ARLINGTON -- The inspiring scene -- Rockies right-handed pitcher Chris Martin getting to pitch in his hometown and throwing a scoreless inning in Wednesday night's 9-2 victory over the Rangers -- almost didn't happen.
Martin was drafted by the Rockies in 2005, but a shoulder injury convinced him to give up the game and he worked in Arlington for UPS and Texas Warehouse until his arm seemingly magically snapped back. Martin pitched a year in independent ball for the Grand Prairie AirHogs before signing with the Red Sox organization. He was traded to the Rockies last winter, and he made his Major League debut May 2.
But with the trip approaching, the viral infection that landed infielder Josh Rutledge and catcher Wilin Rosario on the disabled list touched him. On Sunday, while the Rockies were playing the Mets, Martin (0-0, 2.70 ERA) spent the day in the clubhouse, medicated and sleeping. Martin feared he'd end up on the DL.
"It crossed my mind, but a good training staff got some good medicine in me and got me back out there," he said.
Martin, 27, pitched in front of a large group of family and friends.
"Coming out of the bullpen I could hear them cheering," he said. "Once I got to the mound I just locked it in and tried to get hitters out. When I got to see my family after the game, it was awesome."
Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.