Carlos Martinez

Carlos Martinez pitches in the 2011 Futures Game (Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

July 10, 2011: Carlos Martinez and Shelby Miller Pitch in Futures Game

Just a short post about this. Carlos Martinez had been called up to high-A Palm Beach by this time. He pitched for the World team and Shelby Miller pitched for the USA team in the Futures Game. This was Shelby’s second straight year in the game. He had played in it the year before when he was with the River Bandits. Notably, Bryce Harper also was on the USA team. Here is the Quad City Times article about it:

Former Bandit throws scoreless inning at Futures Game

Shortly after finishing off an extra-inning win, Quad-Cities River Bandits players huddled around the television in the River Bandits clubhouse Sunday to watch one of their former teammates take the mound in baseball’s Futures Game.

Carlos Martinez, who pitched his way to high-A Palm Beach with his work for the River Bandits this season, was one of three pitchers with ties to the Quad-City and Clinton franchises who worked scoreless innings in the game that spotlights the game’s top prospects.

The youngest player in the game at 19-years-old, Martinez uncorked a couple of 98 mph fastballs while working the fourth inning for the World team.

Martinez picked up a strikeout, hit the next batter he faced, and then took a seat after coaxing an inning-ending double play.

His effort came after Shelby Miller, a 2010 River Bandits pitcher now pitching for Double-A Springfield, worked the fourth inning for the United States team.

Appearing in the Futures Game for the second straight year, Miller recorded one strikeout and pitched around a hit and a walk in his run-free inning of work.

Martinez took the mound after James Paxton, a Midwest League all-star for Clinton this season who was promoted earlier this month to Double-A Jackson, needed just six pitches to work a perfect third inning for the World team.

The native of British Columbia recorded a first-pitch groundout and a fly out before getting Bryce Harper, the top pick in baseball’s 2010 draft, to ground out.

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Carlos Martinez

May 26, 2011 – River Bandits Play At Busch Stadium, Carlos Martinez Starts

The Cardinals were off this day for a travel day. Their record stood at 30-21. They had just won two out of three from the Padres and were on their way to Colorado to play the Rockies. This left Busch Stadium wide open for another special event: the River Bandits played a regular season game against the Kane County Cougars there on this date in 2011.

It has become somewhat of an annual tradition in the Midwest League teams to square off in a major league park. A number of games like this have happened at Miller Park in Milwaukee and Wrigley Field between Midwest League teams. However, this is the only time the River Bandits have played a regular season game in an MLB venue before or since. I made the trip down for the game. It was freakishly cold for that time of year, which was unfortunate. It kept the crowd size small, since they were relying almost 100% on walk-ups to attend the game.

Carlos Martinez pitching for the River Bandits in Busch Stadium

Carlos Martinez pitching for the River Bandits in Busch Stadium

Carlos Martinez started this game for the Bandits. He pitched well, but he did get the loss. He allowed seven hits and one run over five innings. He had five strikeouts against one walk.

It was a hard fought game. The Cougars led 3-0 through six innings. Geulin Beltre and Alex Llanos each had three hits for the Cougars, and Beltre had two RBI. Leonel Santiago kept the Bandits’ bats in check. He allowed only three hits and one walk over six shutout innings. The Bandits’ finally got on the board in the eighth inning when Robert Stock and Starlin Rodriguez each singled. Stock was advanced and scored on fielder’s choices. In the bottom of the ninth, the Bandits got a couple walks, a single and an error to score another run. But they left the potential tying and winning runs at second and third when Michael Swinson grounded out to end the game.

It was a surreal experience seeing the River Bandits’ and Cougars’ logos on the big screens and ribbon boards at Busch Stadium. Almost as strange was seeing Busch Stadium so empty while a game was going on. Seeing all the concessions stands closed save for one or two was also really strange.

Quad City Times – Bandits rally falls short in St. Louis

The Quad-Cities River Bandits just couldn’t get the big hit they needed in their first game in a big-league stadium.

Michael Swinson grounded out with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth inning as Kane County held on for a 3-2 Midwest League victory at Busch Stadium.

Quad-Cities, playing in a major-league stadium for the first time in franchise history, was limited to six hits at the home of their parent club, the St. Louis Cardinals.

Here are more pictures from the game (click for larger):