Chris Martin's bid for Red Sox record comes to an end against the Angels

Boston Red Sox v Oakland Athletics
Boston Red Sox v Oakland Athletics / Ezra Shaw/GettyImages

Reliever Chris Martin had an incredible 2023 season for the Boston Red Sox that flew under the radar. He carried his success into the beginning of the 2024 season.

Martin's 2023 ERA was 1.05, the lowest qualifying ERA in MLB last year. His performance received little fanfare from national media, likely because the Red Sox weren't in the running for any prizes. But Martin hadn't allowed a run from July 30 to the end of the season.

After four outings in 2024, Martin's ERA sat at zero and his push for the franchise record for the most consecutive scoreless relief appearances continued.

The veteran reliever entered a rollercoaster of a game in the bottom of the seventh inning with a 24-game scoreless streak. The Red Sox led the Angels, 6-5. With one out and nobody on base, Martin allowed a single to Taylor Ward and hit Brandon Drury with a pitch immediately after. This was out of character for the right-hander — he's been lights out in the majority of his recent outings.

Chris Martin falls short of Red Sox history after he allowed a run against the Angels

But Martin couldn't quiet the Angels' bats. Miguel Sanó singled to left field to score Ward and end Martin's push for a Red Sox franchise record.

Just three pitchers stood in Martin's way of the record. Daniel Bard logged 25 scoreless appearances in 2011, Josh Taylor had 26 in 2021 and Koji Uehara leads the charge with 27 straight zeros posted from 2013.

Martin also faltered in his last appearance to risk losing his scoreless streak, but he recovered perfectly. On April 3 against the Oakland Athletics, a single, a throwing error by Trevor Story and a hard-to-play ground ball placed a runner on third base with two outs. A bloop single or extra-base hit could have scored the runner from third and ended Martin's historic stretch. But he fanned Seth Brown to end the inning and keep his record bid intact until three days later.

Even without collecting Uehara's title, Martin is cementing himself as one of the more memorable relievers in Red Sox history. Every future Red Sox who attempts to break the franchise record for consecutive scoreless relief appearances will have to get past Martin and three others first.

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