Martinez was called up to make this start as a replacement for the ineffective Kyle Lohse, but Martinez didn't fare much better. He allowed three home runs and managed just three strikeouts as he wasn't fooling anybody. Martinez allowed four home runs in the three starts prior to his demotion, and with no sign that he's fixed the problem, his stay in the Rangers rotation could be a short one.
Gray has been shaky lately, as he has allowed fewer than three runs just once in his past five starts and has allowed six home runs in that span. However, Gray was nasty Tuesday night, as he induced 11 swinging strikes and set a season high with eight strikeouts. His ERA still sits at 5.43, but this start showed a flash of his superb potential.
Harrell now has three quality starts in his five chances in the Braves rotation. Most notably, he has allowed just one home run in his 29.1 innings with Atlanta. Home runs were a big reason why he struggled in 2013 with Houston -- he allowed 20 in 153.2 innings, a 1.2 HR/9, and finished with a 5.86 ERA. Turner Field is a favorable park for pitchers, so it might be the perfect place for Harrell to resurrect his career.
Santana now has two complete games and four quality starts in his last five outings as he is starting to round into form. He owned a 5.10 ERA after allowing five runs in five innings to the Angels on June 14. In six outings since then, he has allowed just 11 runs in 49 innings, good for a brilliant 2.02 ERA. The key has been keeping the ball in the yard -- opponents have managed just two home runs off Santana overt those six starts.
Wilson was very efficient, needing just 40 pitches to breeze through four innings. He was in consideration for Thursday's start before manager Buck Showalter plucked him from the bullpen Tuesday. It looks like he is back to long relief with the Orioles, though a spot in the rotation could open at any time with Ubaldo Jimenez back in the rotation. The Orioles figure to be looking to acquire a starter at the deadline, which would also bump Wilson from a shot at starting.
Cain didn't pitch particularly well, but helped his case with a second-inning three-run homer against winless rookie Cody Reed. While he managed to take advantage of a lucky matchup this time around, it's still tough to trust the veteran considering this was his longest outing since May 21. Tread very carefully when he faces a dangerous Nationals lineup Sunday.
Not only did Colon toss a gem, he managed to escape with only 87 pitches thrown, which could be critical given his next start Saturday against the Rockies will come on just three days rest. Colon was ultra efficient, as he tossed 65 strikes out of those 87 pitches. He simply pounded the zone -- he needed just seven swinging strikes to generate his eight strikeouts, which is sometimes how it has to be done with a fastball like Colon's -- just 87.8 mph on average.
Unfortunately for Garcia, three of those five hits went for extra bases, including Asdrubal Cabrera's RBI double in the third inning. Garcia was doing fine, as he needed only 77 pitches to get through five innings, 47 of which went for strikes, but the Cardinals decided to pinch hit for him to lead off the top of the sixth inning. Garcia hasn't recorded a quality start since he went eight innings and allowed just one run July 1 against Milwaukee.
Reed's dismal rookie season continues, as he now owns a 7.07 ERA and has eclipsed five innings pitched just twice in seven starts. Pitching on extra rest didn't do him much good on this occasion, so don't expect it to make a difference when he faces an even more proficient Cardinals offense in his next scheduled appearance next Tuesday.
Archer has demonstrated better control of late, walking two or fewer hitters in each of his last four starts after accomplishing that feat just four times in his previous 11 outings. The 27-year-old's dismal 1-7 record in his last nine starts stems in part from pitching for a Rays team that struggles to score runs, so his stock could get a boost should a trade to a contender come to fruition. If Archer remains a member of the Rays, look for him to next take the mound Monday against the Royals.