BOSTON -- Victor Martinez, who was behind the plate when the Rangers broke a club record with nine stolen bases on Tuesday night, was not in Red Sox manager Terry Francona's starting lineup for Wednesday's game.
Martinez has been struggling with his throwing mechanics this season, as 24 of 25 basestealers have been successful against him. Many times when Martinez doesn't catch, he either plays first or designated hitter. But Francona didn't dispute that a complete night off might be good for Martinez.
"It was a difficult night, and that would be the hope," Francona said. "That's what we're always trying to do -- let him have a good workday where you don't have the game hanging over your head. There's always a lot of stuff that we do prior to the game. But when the game is hanging over your head, this way you can work and kind of take a breath."
During batting practice, Martinez spent some time with his 5-year-old son, Victor Jr. In fact, when the clubhouse opened after batting practice, MLB Network's batting practice camera was on television in the Boston clubhouse, and the younger Martinez happily watched video of himself taking BP. The elder Martinez laughed with his son on his lap as they surveyed the scene. Perhaps the light moment was a nice source of relief for Martinez, who takes his responsibilities very seriously on both sides of the ball.
"I'm the one who has to catch the ball and get it out there," Martinez said after Tuesday night's 7-6 win. "I'm not doing it right now. But like I say, it's a long season and I still have a lot of work to do. Like I've always been [doing], I'm never going to give up. I'm going to keep working on it and see what happens."
What are Martinez's throwing problems stemming from?
"Probably a little bit of everything," Francona said. "Again, and [Tim Wakefield] is a special breed. That was kind of the perfect storm last night. He's rushing, and when he rushes, he's going high on the arm side, which we all see. At the same time, the one guy, when Wake pitches, you can't come get the ball. It has to come to you or he's going to end up chasing it. We had a bunch of hits, we had a bunch of walks and we had guys on base that we were having a tough time stopping. It was difficult."
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.