To learn about our efforts to improve the accessibility and usability of our website, please visit our Accessibility Information page. Skip to section navigation or Skip to main content
Below is an advertisement.
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...
Loading...

News

Skip to main content
Pedro pitches his heart out
Below is an advertisement.
10/07/2003  1:46 AM ET 
Pedro pitches his heart out
Ace tosses seven strong innings in exhausting outing
tickets for any Major League Baseball game
Pedro Martinez points skyward as he leaves the game in the eighth inning. (Ben Margot/AP)
OAKLAND -- When there's a critical game to be won, give Pedro Martinez the ball.

Excellent strategy. That will forever be the Boston pitcher's legacy, for even if he's not at his best, the 31-year-old veteran can rise to whatever occasion presents itself.

Especially in games that matter, and Monday night's Game 5 of the American League Division Series was, in a sense, the one contest that mattered the most -- a loss meaning The Curse would prevail yet again, but a victory hurtling the Red Sox to an Eastern dream matchup in the AL Championship Series against the New York Yankees.

And while his performance in Boston's 4-3 win over the Oakland A's was far from perfect -- Martinez gave up seven hits and three runs in a 100-pitch seven innings -- he never allowed the game to get out of hand.

    Pedro Martinez   /   P
Height: 5'11"
Weight: 170
Bats/Throws: R/R

More info:
Player page
Stats
Splits
Red Sox site

"Pedro pitched his heart out tonight," said manager Grady Little. "He gave us every bit he had. We couldn't ask for any more right there in the seventh inning."

The 31-year-old Martinez, a three-time Cy Young Award winner and a six-time All-Star, gave up only two runs over six frames before giving up another run in the seventh, then the bullpen staved off defeat.

"I trusted them," said Martinez of the relievers, especially Derek Lowe, who earned his first save of the series in a taut ninth inning, which supposedly caused one Red Sox fan to faint in the stands.

"I know how he feels," said Martinez of Lowe, who lost Game 1 but redeemed himself on Monday. "I know what it's like. I was there for him and he told me he was going to be there for me. He was, he truly was, and he deserves all the credit."


"He's been doing that all year. He really picked us up. I tell you what, we're a team. We pick him up when he needs it and everybody picks each other up -- that's why we're still playing."
-- Nomar Garciaparra on Pedro Martinez

Martinez hasn't spoken to the media since July, but he was a happy man in the Boston clubhouse, savoring this victory. He is now 4-0 with a 2.13 ERA in six career postseason appearances, lifetime. Against the A's in the ALDS, Pedro was 1-0 with a 3.86 ERA with nine strikeouts.

"Manny Ramirez getting that homer -- it's about time," said Martinez of Ramirez' crucial three-run homer in the sixth after the left fielder hit only .188 in the first four games and had struck out twice against Barry Zito before his big blow. "He said he would do it, and he did it. From now on, I'm going to believe everything he says."

Asked if this was the most special game in a career filled with incredible performances, Martinez replied, "I can't describe it, really. It was great. It was great being out there and competing, especially after having such a long trip and being up every day and being ready to pitch every day, even after throwing 130 pitches."

Now it gets tougher, of course, with the duel against the Yankees only two days away. Big rivalry right? No love lost there.

"You know what, I respect the Yankees and respect all the teams. I don't have anything bad to say about them," said Martinez. "We just have to go and play them as hard as we can."

The Red Sox gave Martinez his due. Little, particularly, was proud of the starter, who looked fatigued after the sixth frame but loved the way Pedro kept his composure and kept Boston in the game.

"I saw the look on his face coming off the sixth," said Little. "It showed us [the fatigue]. From there on, we were going to protect him. He pitched his heart out there and we couldn't ask any more from him."

Shortstop Nomar Garciaparra noted this was nothing new from the veteran right-hander.

"He's been doing that all year," said Garciaparra. "He really picked us up. I tell you what, we're a team. We pick him up when he needs it and everybody picks each other up -- that's why we're still playing."

Rich Draper is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.



More Coverage
Related Links
Red Sox Headlines
• More Red Sox Headlines
MLB Headlines