Pedro Tosses 2 Strong Innings In Spring Debut; Boston Bats Start to Stir
Joe Kerrigan Fired -- Mike Cubbage Interim Manager
March 5, 2002
Atlanta v. Boston Red Sox
City of Palms Park, Ft. Myers, Florida
Box Score and Pitch-by-pitch
picks up victory in Boston's 4-2 win -- Pedro feels "great" as the Red
Sox down Atlanta
Ian Browne, mlb.com
Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez made his first start of the spring, firing two scoreless innings. The three-time Cy Young award winner -- who started only 18 games last year -- allowed one hit and struck out two. The Red Sox scored two in the second and fourth innings. Boston pitchers held the Braves scoreless until the top of the eighth. Travis Wilson sparked the two-run rally with a double to right. He scored on a two-base error, and then the second run scored on an RBI single by George Lombard.
Red Sox notes: Martinez said he felt "great" following his effortless outing. ... Third baseman Shea Hillenbrand smacked a pair of RBI doubles. ... Leadoff man Johnny Damon stole his second base of the spring. ... Jason Varitek caught his second game of the spring, reporting no ill effects from his surgically repaired right elbow.
aces spring debut: Overpowers Braves to pick up victory
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald
Joe Kerrigan liked to call the first Grapefruit League appearance by his pitchers "mulligans.'' Like a free do-over tee shot in golf, the ex-Red Sox manager preferred to ignore the initial results and focus on the adjustments that are made in each successive opportunity. Yesterday, however, Pedro Martinez' spring debut against the Atlanta Braves at City of Palms Park was different. Instead of a mulligan, the three-time Cy Young Award winner's appearance was more akin to the opening round of the Masters. If Martinez got off to an inauspicious start, the strong possibility existed that he wouldn't recover.
quality start to Martinez's spring
Bob Ryan, Boston Globe
''I feel great, and that's the best news,'' Martinez reported. ''It was just like I expected. I felt really great.'' This was not the case last year, not even when The Best Pitcher In Baseball was winning four consecutive May starts with a 1.20 ERA. No one really knew what was going on in Pedro's right shoulder but Pedro. ''I'd tell you I wasn't feeling so great,'' Martinez reminded the assembled scribes, ''and you'd say, 'But Pedro, you just struck out 10 or 12, how can that be?' It was experience. You learn to manage your way through the game.'' ...
The fastballs were all in the 93-94-m.p.h. range, which the lame-duck skipper said was plenty fast enough. ''I'd rather him sit at that speed,'' Kerrigan reasoned. ''He stays more in control. But with him it's all command, anyway. As [Greg] Maddux said, Pedro can pitch at 85. He's one of those guys who can pitch at 95 or 85. You want to talk numbers, fine, but with him, speed is 10 percent of what he does, or, I should say, who he is.'' ...
Anyone who follows this team has a sense of how good Martinez has been in a Red Sox uniform, but sometimes it's beneficial to peruse the numbers to come to a complete understanding of how special he is. In case you've forgotten, he is 67-20 with a 2.27 ERA with the Red Sox. If he is healthy in 2002, a fourth Cy Young Award is his to lose.
returns to form
Ian Browne mlb.com
The man who has the best view of the heat that explodes out of Pedro Martinez's right hand saw a most welcome sight on Tuesday afternoon. What Jason Varitek saw was the best pitcher in baseball, with vintage heat and command. ... "I don't think there's going to be a different Pedro if anybody is expecting a different Pedro," Varitek said. "We've got the same guy."
Same nasty stuff. His first pitch was 94 miles per hour. Just two batters in, Braves center fielder Andruw Jones looked a time zone behind whiffing at a high heater from Martinez. ... "It's totally different [from last year]," said Martinez. "I feel healthy. I haven't felt soreness or pain yet. I feel great. That's the best news. Throwing strikes has never been a problem when I'm healthy."
marks for Pedro in his 1st spring start
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal
Martinez was smiling after yesterday's start. "I feel great. That is the best news. I'm really positive. I haven't felt any pain or soreness yet. I'm healthy. My mechanics are getting better every day. I hope I continue to feel the same way. If I do, I'll be fine." ...
"Pedro looked like the Pedro of old," said Kerrigan. "His fastball had juice on it, a lot of life, especially up in the zone. His curveball was sharp, especially for this early in the year. And his changeup is always good. Everybody was on the bench for the first pitch, even the guys who weren't playing. There was electricity and excitement. There's no hiding that fact. He's a rare athlete. I feel lucky just to be able to watch that."
Pedro's 1st spring start pain-free, near-perfect
Bill Ballou, Worcester Telegram & Gazette
“I'm really excited, and I'm happy,” Martinez said. “If the work I've been doing pays off, I should be fine for this year.” ... Just eight of those 29 pitches were balls. He threw fastballs, curveballs and changeups. ... “Pedro looked like the Pedro of old,” said Joe Kerrigan, who was fired as manager shortly afterward. “Of course, we still have to be cautious with him. That's why we only went two innings with him.”
Jason Varitek was Martinez's catcher and said: “He buckled some people with some high heaters. Like everybody else, I wasn't quite sure what was gonna come out, and it came out at 100 percent.”
shows promise in return
Howard Ulman, Associated Press
Relax a little, Red Sox fans. Pedro Martinez threw a 94 mph fastball to the first batter he faced in spring training. The shoulder problem that left him winless after last May, was gone as he pitched two shutout innings in Boston's 4-2 win over the Atlanta Braves on Tuesday.
"I feel good about the way I'm throwing the ball and the way I'm feeling, so I'm pretty positive," Martinez said. "I think I'm going to be OK." The three-time Cy Young Award winner faced just seven batters, throwing strikes on the first pitch to six. Of his 29 pitches, 21 were fastballs, seven were changeups and one was a curve. He threw 21 strikes and just eight balls. ...
"It's totally different" now, Martinez said. "I feel healthy. At this time, I haven't felt soreness or pain yet and last year even when I had the good games I didn't feel all that good." ... The Red Sox plan to give him five days before his next start on Monday against Texas.
outlook is to take steps in stride
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe
Weighing Joe Kerrigan's future less than two hours before the manager's firing, Pedro Martinez was philosophical. ''If they decide to fire him, I wouldn't say I'm happy because somebody will have lost his job. But I'll just plan to do my job. I have enough to worry about.''
Martinez and Kerrigan have worked together all but one year since 1994, when Kerrigan was the pitching coach for the Montreal Expos and Martinez arrived as a 22-year-old phenom. ... ''If he's not here, we'll just go on with whoever comes over,'' Martinez said. ''Who knows who's going to come over? Who knows if I'm going to like him? Who knows if he's going to like me? You never know.''
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