LOS ANGELES -- When he walked to the plate in the ninth inning Monday night at Dodger Stadium, three home runs already under his belt, D-backs outfielder J.D. Martinez couldn't help thinking of the last time he was in that situation.It was June 21, 2015, at Yankee Stadium and Martinez
LOS ANGELES -- When he walked to the plate in the ninth inning Monday night at Dodger Stadium, three home runs already under his belt, D-backs outfielder J.D. Martinez couldn't help thinking of the last time he was in that situation.
It was June 21, 2015, at Yankee Stadium and Martinez knew he was on the verge of history that day.
A look at every four-homer game in MLB history
"In my last at-bat, I started thinking about it and that's when it didn't happen," said Martinez, who flew out to right in that at-bat.
Martinez is nothing if not a student of the game, taking meticulous handwritten notes after each at-bat. So, given a second chance at history, Martinez didn't miss this time as he sent a 1-0 slider from Wilmer Font into the left-field bleachers for his fourth homer of the game as the D-backs pounded the Dodgers, 13-0 for their 11th straight victory.
Martinez became just the 18th player in MLB history (and 16th of the modern era) to hit four homers in a game. Scooter Gennett did it for the Reds earlier this year, making 2017 the first time since '02 when the feat had been accomplished twice in the same season.
"This at-bat, I came up and I was like, just go up here and try to have a good at-bat," Martinez said. "Just keep doing what you've been doing all day. You know what, if it's meant to be, it's meant to be. It's going to happen. There's no point in trying to force it. Just go up there and have a good at-bat."
And what was his reaction when he saw the ball go over the wall?
"It's kind of one of those things where you're kind of laughing about it," Martinez said. "Was I shocked? No. Going up there and hitting it, it didn't really shock me. I was just happy it went over."
There was no doubt in A.J. Pollock's mind as he watched Martinez's final at-bat from the dugout that something special was about to happen.
"I'm watching his swing and I'm thinking if this is a strike I think this is a homer," Pollock said. "It's obviously the most impressive thing I've ever been a part of. It was awesome."
• Watch D-backs react to J.D.'s 4 homers
Martinez has been putting together good at-bat after good at-bat since joining the D-backs prior to the July 31 non-waiver Trade Deadline. The four homers gave him 34 for the season, 18 of which have come in 144 at-bats for Arizona.
The reaction when the fourth homer left the ballpark was subdued among fans, but in the D-backs' dugout and bullpen, it was jubilant.
Postgame, in the clubhouse, it was downright raucous.
"We went nuts down there," D-backs setup man Archie Bradley said of the reaction in the bullpen.
The bullpen guys raced to the clubhouse to join the position players in greeting Martinez when he came in after completing an on-field television interview.
"I think they were more excited than I was," Martinez said. "As it was going on they were so pumped up. If you guys would have been in here before, you would have been dying laughing. They were just going nuts. I've been saying since I got here, these guys are great. They make me feel at home here."
After he finished his interviews, Martinez and equipment man Roger Riley walked out to the visitor's bullpen where Martinez traded a signed bat and some other autographs with the young fan who retrieved the historic fourth homer.
Martinez posed for pictures with the fan and his friends, signed some more autographs, making sure to take his time.
Then he was off into the night to sort through the more than 400 text messages that had inundated his phone.
"It's a blessing," Martinez said. "I really can't say anything else."
Monday, his bat did all the talking for him.
Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.