Photo from the Arizona Diamondbacks Official Twitter Account
There's no need to emphasize on how awesome Pedro Martinez's career was with the Red Sox. He's now officially forever inmortalized as a legend in the Hall of Fame, but it's always great to have a reminder of how phenomenal Pedro's time was with the Red Sox. From several awesome brawls to memorable strikeouts to the Yankees, Pedro had several amazing moments with the Red Sox so it's extremely hard to choose only 10. I had a hard time doing this because I didn't even know how to narrow it down, but here are the top 10 moments of Pedro Martinez's career with the Red Sox:
10. Immaculate Inning vs. Mariners. May 18th, 2002.
Maybe this moment is forgotten by many and it's not going to be named as a favorite memory if you ask a regular fan, but at the time Pedro was puting an exclamation point to a spectacular start of the season.
9. "Wake up the damn Bambino". May 30th, 2001.
Photo from Michael Dywer/AP Photo.
At the time, we hadn't been blessed with three World Series trohpies and the Curse of the Bambino was a recurrent topic with Red Sox and Yankees fans. However, Pedro was getting tired of the talk. He outdueled Mike Mussina in Fenway Park in a 3-0 pitching duel and in the post-game conference he said the following: “I’m starting to hate talking about the Yankees. The questions are so stupid. They’re wasting my time. It’s getting kind of old. I don’t believe in damn curses. Wake up the damn Bambino and have me face him. Maybe I’ll drill him in the ass, pardon me the word.”
There you go. Pedro Martinez at his finest by saying he was going to plunk one of the most iconic baseball players of all time.
8. A one-hitter after a brawl. August 29th, 2000.
Pedro plunked Gerald Williams from the Tampa Devil Rays without even recording an out. Williams charged the mound, and the first of five brawls against Tampa began. After everyone cooled down, Martinez retired the following 24 batters. He eventually allowed a hit to John Flaherty in the 9th inning, while striking out 13 batters. That shoud be the first sign about the rivalry with the Rays eventually being stronger than the one with the Yankees.
7. "Where is Roger? In the shower!" Game 3 of 1999 ALCS. October 16th, 1999.
Game 3 of the 1999 ALCS was one of the most anticipated matchups of all time. The Yankees had Roger Clemens to start the game, but the Red Sox attacked first by putting four runs in the first two innings. The Rocket was done after three innings and Red Sox fans chanted "Where is Roger? In the shower!". Meanwhile, Pedro was pitching a gem by allowing only two hits in seven innings and striking out 12. He would eventually finished 1999 with a streak of seventeen scoreless innings in the playoffs.
6. Sunday Night Baseball presents: Pedro vs. Roger. May 28th, 2000.
Roger and Pedro were facing each other again, but this time was a more dramatic duel. Both pitchers lasted nine innings and combined only 9 hits allowed, 1 walk and 22 strikeouts. Trot Nixon broke the scoreless score in the 9th with a solo-shot to right-field.
5. Yankee Stadium One-Hitter. September 10th, 2000.
There's no doubt that Pedro's 1999 season was the best pitching season of all time. One of the games that made his season so incredible was a 17-strikeout game against the Yankees. He hit the first batter he faced, Chris Knoblauch, but the Yankee was caught stealing base. In the second inning Martínez allowed a solo home run to the current Red Sox hitting coach, Chili Davis. The home run came in the second inning, so it eliminated any suspense and Martínez ended up facing only 28 batters. The Washington Post sportswriter Thomas Boswell has called this game as the best ever pitched at Yankee Stadium.
4. Hitless clincher coming out for relief. Game 5 of the 199 ALDS. October 11th, 1999.
Martinez left the first game of the ALDS against the Cleveland Indians with a back injury and his return if the Red Sox managed to move on was questionable. Bret Saberhagen started the fifth game of the series for Boston, but was knocked out with only one inning pitched and five runs allowed. Derek Lowe took over Saberhagen and the Red Sox tied the game in the third inning, forcing the Indians starter to leave the game. However, the Indians retook the lead when Lowe allowed three runs. Going into the fourth inning, Martinez replaced Lowe and provided and extraordinary pitching perfomance. He threw six hitless innings and struck out eight. The Red Sox won that game with a 12-8 score and moved on to the ALCS.
3. Pedro vs. Don Zimmer. October 11th, 2003.
Maybe it wasn't Pedro's classiest moment, but it is an instant classic. The 2003 ALCS was a Championship Series full with the rage of a rivalry. The Yankees were trying to reinforce their dinasty while the Red Sox were trying to break a Curse. In the fourth inning, Pedro almost plunked Karim Garcia in the head and both benches were warned. In the bottom half of the inning, Clemens threw a ball that some may consider it wasn't close to Manny Ramírez's head, but well, Manny was being Manny so he charged the mound. Big Papi stopped Manny, but Don Zimmer tried (and failed) to attack Pedro. Martínez threw him to the ground. In his book, Pedro describes the moment as his only regret in his career.
2. That's how you welcome the NL to Fenway Park. 1999 All-Star Game. July 13th, 1999.
Martínez was the first pitcher to face the National League lineup in the 1999 All-Star Game, and he totally dominated them. He struck out five pitchers in two innings and retired every batter he faced, and well it was in the peak of the steroid era. Pedro faced Barry Larkin, Larry Walker, Sammy Sosa, Mark McGwire and Jeff Bagwell and the fact that the managed to struck out five of them still amazes me. Pedro was chosen as the MVP of the 1999 All-Star Game.
1. His last pitching perfomance in a Red Sox uniform. 2004 World Series, Game 3. October 26th, 2004.
This is far from being one of his best pitching perfomances (still a good one by general standards) and it was during his "less excellent" season in Boston, but it was his World Series debut and the last time he pitched for the Red Sox. From a nice play from Ortiz at first base, to Manny rubbing his hair with Pedro, this game had it all. Pedro pitched seven innings while striking out six and recording consecutively his last 14 outs. Boston won the World Series for the first time in 86 years the next night, and it was the best farewell that Pedro could ever give to Red Sox Nation.
What are your Pedro's top 10 Red Sox moments? It's still hard to believe that he never threw a perfect game or a no-hitter. Leave your comments below and don't forget to follow us on Twitter at @RedSoxLife and once you're there, follow me at @iamjorgecamargo.