Sox 'pen catcher snares Papi's homer as Torii topples
Martinez looks up just as slugger's grand slam, Tigers right fielder head over wall
BOSTON -- Red Sox bullpen catcher Mani Martinez couldn't see anything. But he could hear everything.
Martinez was wearing all of his equipment -- mask on -- while warming up Ryan Dempster in the eighth inning in Sunday night's 6-5 win over the Tigers in the American League Championship Series.
He knew David Ortiz was up. He knew the bases were loaded. He knew the Red Sox were trailing by four and had hardly generated any offense.
And then he heard, "Look up!"
In one swift motion, Martinez, turned his head and put his glove up. The grand slam Ortiz had just hit landed right in the glove.
"I didn't see it until it was right in my face," he said.
Tigers right fielder Torii Hunter had made a leaping effort.
"I went up, saw it, lost it in the lights for a second, and I saw it, I tried to give a last effort, and the next thing I know I was flipping over the wall," Hunter said.
Hunter tumbled head-first into the Red Sox bullpen. He laid there for a moment while Martinez signaled down to the trainers.
"It knocked the wind out of me a little bit," Hunter said. "My hip, it hit the top of the wall. It kind of just bruised it a little bit. But this is the postseason. I'd die on the field for this. They're not going to take me off this field."
Martinez had never caught a home run ball in the bullpen before, but he gave the ball to Ortiz immediately after the game.
Hunter only enriched his reputation as one of the game's best outfielders.
"He's one of the best outfielders I ever saw in my life," Ortiz said. "Torii can chase balls out there. This guy went from playing center field to right field, and I wouldn't be surprised if he got a Gold Glove again this year.
"I saw on the video and the reason why I think he didn't catch that ball is because the ball took like a left turn when he was going right. And it looked to me like he kind of touched it. But that's Torii. Torii is a trooper out there, man. And he's fun to watch."