10:59pm: Atlanta’s “likely” to replace Martin with Teheran, per Bowman.
9:20pm: The Braves lost Game 1 after a bullpen implosion, and it appears they’ll have to go the rest of the playoffs without Martin. Expectations are he’s done for the postseason, David O’Brien of The Athletic tweets. It’s not known yet who will replace Martin on Atlanta’s roster.
7:22pm: As of this writing, Atlanta’s bullpen just blew a late lead over St. Louis in the first game of the National League Division Series. The two teams are heading to the bottom of the eighth inning tied at three. The Braves had a 3-1 advantage entering the top of the frame, which turned into a catastrophe for the club. It began when right-hander Chris Martin, whom the Braves initially called on to preserve the lead, exited with tightness in his left oblique, Mark Bowman of MLB.com was among those to report.
Martin left prior to throwing a pitch, leading the Braves to turn to righty Luke Jackson, who struggled over two-thirds of an inning before they pulled him. His replacement, Mark Melancon, also failed to get the job done.
Considering oblique injuries often require absences of at least a few weeks, it seems possible Martin won’t pitch again this season. That would be an awful development for the Braves, who acquired Martin in July with the hope he’d carry his impressive first few months with Texas to Atlanta. It turns out the 33-year-old hasn’t been quite as effective as a Brave, as his ERA has climbed a full run from 3.08 to 4.08, though he did end the regular season in excellent fashion. Martin threw 5 1/3 innings of two-hit ball with no walks and eight strikeouts in September.
Between his two teams this year, Martin posted a fantastic 65 strikeouts against five free passes over 55 2/3 innings. Martin will try to parlay that production into a nice payday when he reaches free agency after the season. In the meantime, the Braves can ill afford to lose him as they attempt to push for a World Series. If Martin is in for a lengthy absence, though, they may end up having to call on one of Julio Teheran, Anthony Swarzak, Jerry Blevins, Kyle Wright or Bryse Wilson – all of whom were left off their NLDS roster.