Pedro gets the ball in Game #2

There wasn’t much surprise to the announcement when you consider some of the variables. Pedro Martinez will start Game 2 in New York because, 1) he’s pitched better than Cole Hamels recently, 2) he used to pitching in hostile Yankee Stadium, and 3) Hamels pitches better at home than on the road.

Martinez pitched seven shutout innings in a no-decision to the Dodgers in Game 2 of the NLCS. He is 8-4 with a 2.95 ERA in 16 regular-season starts and 0-1 with a 5.40 ERA in two postseason starts at Yankee Stadium while with Boston. The most memorable of those games was Game 7 in 2003 when Grady Little stuck with him in the eighth inning with a three-run lead. The Yankees tied it and eventually won on Aaron Boone’s homer.

MARTINEZ: Money pitcher gets the ball in Game 2.

MARTINEZ: Money pitcher gets the ball in Game 2.

Undoubtedly, there will be the “who’s your daddy chants,” in reference to a statement Martinez made about the Yankees being his daddy.

Martinez vs. the Yankees is one of the more intriguing storylines of this World Series, made so because the veteran pitcher is a grinder and the expectations are of a close game. And, in the Series, you’ll always take close because you never know what might happen. Back then, the Red Sox were snake bit by the Yankees with the Curse and all, but there’s none of that with the Phillies.

“He’s been in the big moment, and I think that his performance the other day in Dodger Stadium, how good he pitched, he deserves another chance to go back out there,” Phillies manager Charlie Manuel said of Martinez. “I think he’s still got quite a bit left. I was watching those playoff games that he pitched in [for the Red Sox]. I noticed his velocity on his fastball was sitting at like 87 to 91 mph.

“He was even better than that over there at Dodger Stadium. He knows how to pitch. He uses all of his pitches. His command is absolutely outstanding. He doesn’t rely on throwing the ball by people anymore. He’s a pitcher.”

While it is true Martinez has pitched well for Philadelphia, it must not be overlooked he’s worked a minimum of innings and is fresher than he normally would be this late in the season. To look at Martinez’s success it is easy to say the Mets made a mistake, but it must be remembered, 1) he did have an injury history with the Mets, 2) Martinez did not want to come back in the secondary role he eventually settled with in Philly, and 3) the Mets had expectations from their rotation that never materialized.

I thought the Mets did the right thing with Martinez in not bringing him back. It was time to move younger, but who knew Maine, Pelfrey and Perez would all hit the skids for one reason or another?

As well as he pitched for the Phillies, the full season work load will still be a question when he goes on the free-agent market this winter. Martinez has given indications he wants to continue, but should he pitch well in the playoffs and the Phillies win, he might find it a good time to call it quits when he’s on top.

10 thoughts on “Pedro gets the ball in Game #2

  1. I can’t imagine the Yankees not lighting him up when they face him. And the Mets did do the right thing in letting him go without a doubt.

  2. So we passed up the guy who is 6th all-time in won/loss percentage (100 decisions, a list that includes three 19th century pitchers) to sign Tim Redding and that is a wise decision?? I was in favor of it at the time but I’m a Mets fan. Wrong decisions are wired into my DNA.

    Johann Santana is 11th on that list.

  3. (3) Dan, you forgot to add the “LOL” or a smiley face to the end of your comment. Because you can’t be serious in your hindsight Pedro evaluation. Funny part is that Tim Redding the last two months of the season pitched as well as Pedro did.

  4. I think they would need to actually sign him to a contract. Given how he pitched the last two months, certainly there would be another MLB team that would take a flier on him for a year guaranteed. If the Mets could sign him to the same deal as last year, I would do it.

  5. #3 Not totally serious but I sometimes wonder if we are too quick to dismiss talented players if they have an off year. For about ten years people have been worrying about Andy Pettitte’s health and effectiveness-the Yankees even told him not to let the door hit him on his way to Houston in 2003. Looked pretty good to me this post season.

  6. But Pedro hadn’t been healthy in years. And was quoted as saying he wanted to be paid (in a knock at Glavine, who took a cheap deal).
    The salary he agreed to with Philly was actually the same % as if he had signed for his full season demand.
    I had, and still have, no problem with the decision to not sign him.
    I will be very upset if they sign him this offseason.

  7. I am glad Pedro is happy.

    I am glad we did not sign him for 5 million so he can say there are two aces on this staff. How long has he been with us? He had only one decent year where he was not on the shelf.

    JD is right on him.

  8. Dan(6) I was one of those who hoped and prayed that the Mets would be wise enough to sign Pedro. He has not been ‘sick’ for years, he was recovering from some surgery when his Dad got a fatal illness and he stayed in the Domincan to nurse and be with his Dad during his last days. Since then, he has been working out and has regained much of his pitching talent. Of course, the main part of his pitching – His knowledge of all facets of it – was never in doubt.
    He will not be available in the off season – did you see that game he tossed in Philly? They will keep him.

  9. 9.Annie I wouldn’t put money on Pedro being in Philly next year— Lee, Hamels, Happ, Blanton, Moyer has another year on his contract, Kendrick is probably ready to be a 5 th starter at minimum salalry and Kyle Drabek their top prospect is supposed to being very close to being major league ready. And they also can re-sign Brett Meyers as a starter or releiver. Not a lot of room at the inn for Pedro. I think tey’ll be more concerned with finding a real closer for next year.