March 21, 2002
St. Louis Cardinals v. Boston Red Sox
City of Palms Park, Ft. Myers, Florida
Box Score and play-by-play of Pedro's Innings
gets closer, feels stronger
Mike Petraglia. mlb.com
Location, location, location. Pedro Martinez knows enough about pitching to know that what's true in real estate is also true when you're working your way back to being a dominant Major League starter.
Martinez allowed six hits and four earned runs in five innings during Boston's 9-6 win over St. Louis at City of Palms Park. It was Martinez's fourth spring start. "Sure, I don't want to keep giving it up. But I also know what these games mean. I continue to miss spots with my fastball. I didn't make too many bad pitches today. I missed with a couple of pitches and they're good hitters and they put good swings on the ball." ...
In years past, Martinez has admitted to being bored at Spring Training. This season is different. "This is one year I really want to pitch [in Spring Training]. I need the time to work on my location and work with my breaking pitches since I haven't pitched since last August."
And according to Martinez, his right shoulder is feeling stronger now than in any of his previous four seasons in Boston. "I threw 80 pitches today," said Martinez. "I feel stronger at this point of [Spring Training] than in years past. If I'm able to throw that many pitches and still feel strong, that's a good indication that I could've stayed out and maybe have gone one more inning. The important thing for me is that if my location is there, I can keep my pitch count down and stay out there for at least five or six innings.
of doubt for Martinez
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe
The first day of spring, and it seemed like half the world wanted to know if Pedro Martinez would see his shadow. You talk about your March madness: Try the scene outside the Red Sox clubhouse yesterday afternoon. Reporters and camera crews from Japan, Santo Domingo, ESPN, NESN, the dot-com people, and the usual set of scribblers from New England crowded into a hallway to await word from maestro Martinez on his latest practice round ...
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald
With one start remaining in spring training, Pedro Martinez has found himself in a desperate search for consistency. The three-time Cy Young Award winner is scheduled to start for the Red Sox vs. the Toronto Blue Jays on April 1 at Fenway Park, but he admittedly has a long way to go in a short time if he plans to return to his dominant form. ... He struck out a spring-high eight batters but was not satisfied with the location of his fastballs. Martinez had struggled with his breaking pitches in his previous two starts, when he was hammered by the Yankees and Rangers for nine collective runs in 6 innings.
Martinez, who threw 80 pitches yesterday (59 strikes), is scheduled to make his next start Wednesday vs. Cincinnati and probably will be working on a 90-pitch limit. If all goes well, he'll be in line to start the opener at Fenway, most likely being held to 100 pitches. ... Catcher Jason Varitek: "If it's just location, I can live with that. If it's location and he seems to be laboring, then we have a problem. Only he knows, but he looks strong to me.''
picking up steam -- Mixed outing hides underlying improvement
Sean McAdam, Providence Journal
That's one small step for Pedro Martinez, one medium-size leap for the Boston Red Sox. With all eyes glued to the Red Sox' ace for an otherwise ordinary Grapefruit League exhibition outing, Martinez helped ease the anxiety level some with an improved performance yesterday in his fourth start of the spring. ...
"I felt better than any other time (this spring)," Martinez said after the Sox had defeated the Cards, 9-6. "Everything is just coming along; even though the results weren't the best today, I actually felt better. Mechanically, and also physically, I felt pretty strong, pretty loose. It's coming along -- slowly, but it's coming along."
His changeup was his most effective pitch yesterday, and while his fastball had life to it, Martinez had difficulty spotting it at times. "The fastball feels like it's there," Martinez said. "But I continued to miss. I'm not consistent and that's affected my game. I didn't make too many bad pitches. They got some good pitches and hit them. I missed with a couple of pitches, but I made some other good ones."
Says Arm Feels Good -- Little Happy With Progress
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant
Red Sox manager Grady Little said Pedro Martinez should be ready to pitch Opening Day. And with the way Martinez says he feels, there is no reason to think he won't be able to take the ball. What he does with it is another story. ... At least his changeup is working. He struck out several Cardinals with it, making a few batters look silly. "The changeup was there," Martinez said. "I could have used it all day. I have that confidence in the changeup. Everything else is just going to come with time, I guess."
says he feels great
Jay Lindsay, Associated Press
Another start, another tough outing for Pedro Martinez. But the Boston Red Sox ace said ignore the numbers because he feels stronger than he has in three years. ... After the game he said his arm felt strong and his pitch command was improved. “Even though the results weren't the best today, I actually felt better,” he said. “I felt so good at the end. I felt like I could throw one or two more innings.”
confident even with 8.56 ERA -- Boston manager not concerned
Glenn Miller, Ft. Myers News-Press
The numbers are ugly. There’s no avoiding that fact, sort of like a pimple on the end of a prom queen’s nose. Boston Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez, a three-time Cy Young Award winner, has an 8.56 spring ERA. He’s been touched for 16 hits in 16 innings. ...
St. Louis non-roster invitee Eduardo Perez, who hit .222 in Japan last year, homered off Martinez. It should be noted, the homer was helped on its way by a strong wind. Nevertheless. ... What’s going on? Should Red Sox fans begin panicking? Will the sky fall on Fenway Park this season? “I think everything’s coming along,” Martinez said. “Even though the results weren’t the best today, I actually felt better.”
wrong with Pedro?
Jim Baker, ESPN Insider
When Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez takes the mound, the world takes notice, even if it's on a Fort Myers Thursday afternoon in a game that doesn't count. Before a media horde the likes of which is not usually seen in spring training, Martinez started against the Cardinals. Someday, somebody with a lot of time on his hands is going to do a big statistical study on the correlation between spring performance and what happens once the bell rings on opening day. He'll find there isn't one -- which we already knew -- but, at least, we'll have documentation.
That said, Martinez had another shaky outing against St. Louis. Nobody with the club is feeding themselves to the alligators in dismay, however. Martinez gave up four runs on six hits against the Cardinals, but the general consensus is that he has been inconsistent because he is working through two problems: recovery from his shoulder ailment of last season and adjusting to his new, heartier frame. Martinez added 10 to 12 pounds of muscle in the offseason (depending on which report is most accurate) in an attempt to make of himself a more physically resilient individual.
Gordon Edes of the Boston Globe gave this assessment: "The eyeball view: great changeup. Better curveball, except the first-pitch hanger that [Eduardo] Perez gave the Doggie treatment over the right-center-field fence. A fastball that while it had some hair, got parted down the middle all too often..." ESPN.com's Peter Gammons counted just one fast ball cut on and missed by a Cardinal.
Catcher Jason Varitek thought it was basically a problem with location and with that of a pitcher adjusting to what is, in many ways, a new body. New manager Grady Little had a great quote about spring outings which, like much of the real and apocryphal work of the immortal Yogi Berra, makes perfect sense in a senseless universe: "You can't sit here and say they don't count," Little said, "but they don't count."
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