Slump buster? Polanco gets even with countryman

Slump buster? Polanco gets even with countryman

ST. LOUIS -- It is too early to have a very good idea of how well Gregory Polanco adjusts; the give-and-take between him and Major League pitchers is just getting underway.

But we do know he gets even.

Polanco is dealing with his first extended "slump," entering Thursday night's series finale with the Cardinals with three hits in his last 17 at-bats. A lot of those outs have come on offspeed pitches, the ultimate test for any young hitter.

However, those three hits came in as many at-bats Tuesday night, against Carlos Martinez.

That was the first meeting between the Dominican Republic countrymen since Dec. 28 -- when Martinez bounced a 99-mph fastball off Polanco's right knee, knocking him out of a Winter Leagues game.

Polanco shrugged off that incident.

"I actually stayed in that game after it happened and came out in the seventh inning," Polanco said. "We were leading, so I left just to be careful."

Six-and-a-half months later, Polanco slapped all of Martinez's repertoire -- the hits came on a change, a curve, a 96-mph heater -- all over Busch Stadium,. Just to make a point?

Tom Singer is a reporter for and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. He can also be found on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.