Pitching in a Pinch
Pedro Masterful with Men on Base -- 6 Strikeouts in 4 Innings (55 Pitches)
Cautious Boston Ace Says He's Ready For Opener, But Preaches Patience To Fans
March 27, 2002
Cincinnati Reds v. Boston Red Sox
City of Palms Park, Ft. Myers, Florida
Box Score and play-by-play of Pedro's Innings
Sox rally to edge Reds, 5-4
Mike Petraglia, mlb.com
Trot Nixon's solo homer off Cincinnati's Jose Rijo sparked a three-run rally as the Boston Red Sox came from behind to edge the Cincinnati Reds Wednesday at City of Palms Park.
The game provided the final spring tuneup for each club's Opening Day starter. Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez recorded his second shutout performance of the spring, scattering six hits, striking out six and walking one. Martinez finished Spring Training with a 2-1 mark and a 6.62 ERA in five starts. He will start against Toronto next Monday at Fenway Park. ...
Boston's Casey Fossum struck out Ken Griffey, Jr., Adam Dunn and Ruben Mateo in order in the seventh to pick up his second spring win. ... Boston (14-13-2) beat Cincinnati (8-20) for the first time in four tries this spring. It is just the second 20-loss spring for the Reds since 1966. ...
bears down on Reds
Ed Reed, Ft. Myers News-Press
The test came in the top of the second inning. Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez loaded the bases with Cincinnati Reds with no outs and his team holding a 1-0 lead. During his next 11 pitches, Martinez looked like the three-time Cy Young Award winner he is: Robin Jennings, strikeout swinging at a change-up. Jason LaRue, whiff at a high fastball. Wilton Guerrero, missing badly on a third strike. Inning over.
ready for Opening Day
Mike Petraglia, mlb.com
He may not be 100 percent, but Pedro Martinez is fully confident he's ready for Opening Day. ... "I'm still missing a little bit, but it'll come along as we keep working. I thought I made some improvements today but still not sharp enough. I think it's good enough to start the season and just get by. ... I'm still missing with my fastball -- elevating because I'm strong with it. That's not a bad sign because I'm still getting used to my new strength. The way I feel right now is really good. Right now, it's command more than anything," added Martinez, who will throw on the side in Fort Myers Friday before leaving Saturday for Boston.
According to Martinez, his one significant weakness going into the season is the fact he is not spotting his curveball with his normal regularity. "It was working a lot better today. But I'm a little concerned about letting go this soon in the season. ..."
Martinez also had a message for Red Sox fans. "Just be patient," said the right-hander. "They're going to have to get used to me pitching the way I do now. If I throw 30 or 35 pitches in an inning and the situation doesn't feel like I'm going to get anything good out of it, they're going to take me out right then."
preaching positives of patience
Sean McAdam, Providence Journal
Still, it's evident that Martinez's chief problem is one of confidence. Wary due to his shoulder problems of last summer, he's yet to feel fully comfortable this spring, concerned he might encounter another physical setback. Only time will return his trademark mound bravado.
"If you walk by a corner and get (mugged) by a thief, probably the next time you pass by, you're going to be looking around, aren't you?" "I got hurt and I'm a little concerned and I want to just make sure I don't make a mistake. That's what my concern is. It's not that I'm afraid of anything. I just want to make sure I don't do anything wrong. I have to be careful how I deal with myself. ...
"It's the only time in my career where I spent all that period of time without throwing a ball from a mound," he said. "I never experienced that, so it's weird. Plus, I put on 14 pounds. It's so much strength that I never experienced. I'm feeling all kinds of things. It's something I'm going to have to experience and overcome."
just marvel at master
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald
The fact that the condition of Pedro Martinez' priceless right shoulder has New England on the verge of panic is nothing short of amusing to the Cincinnati Reds. ...
"I don't know what the panic's all about because if he takes what he had today into the season, he's going to be successful, very successful,'' former National League MVP Barry Larkin said.
"That was the Pedro we all know,'' Aaron Boone said. "He had all of his pitches when he wanted them, especially when he got in jams. He got locked in.''
Martinez retired the side in order in the first inning, but got into immediate trouble in the second when the Reds loaded the bases with no outs ... The mess seemed to spark Martinez, who intensified his focus, pulled out his deadly changeup and became the Pedro of old. He struck out Robin Jennings, Jason Larue and Wilton Guerrero in order to strand the runners. "He decided he wanted to turn it on when he had the bases loaded,'' former American League MVP Ken Griffey Jr. said. "That's vintage him.'' ...
Reds reliever Jose Rijo said that Martinez was inspiring. "Pedro's the only person in baseball who's not only a pitcher, he's an entertainer."
up to speed with ace
Michael Holley, Boston Globe
Old box scores, ticket stubs, and videotapes are all mementos of Pedro Martinez at his best. His fans have seen him flash his right arm to solve problems. His fastball has had so much heat that when it landed in the catcher's mitt, you could smell leather burning. No, this is not a Pedro eulogy. It's more like a reintroduction. ...
He now uses words that weren't part of the previous Pedro vocabulary. He talks about caution and carefulness. He still is sensitive if you ask about his health. Right now, one day after his final start of spring training and four days before his first start of the regular season, Pedro is a bit vulnerable. Pedro and Vulnerable. That used to be the definition of a really bad date. ...
Martinez was asked if Boston fans should lower their expectations of him. He said they shouldn't, but they should show some patience. He was on a pitch count yesterday and he won't throw more than 75 or 80 pitches on Opening Day. For now, this is who the new Pedro is going to be. There will be few - if any - 130-pitch games. ... ''We're in this together,'' Sox manager Grady Little said. ''You're not going to see Pedro Martinez go out there and throw a nine-inning, two-hit shutout the first game. I'll tell you that. But he might have a no-hitter for five innings when we take him out.''
takes careful aim: Staying healthy is key
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald
For now, at least, he is not a different pitcher. But he is pitching differently. "I just need to be cautious with how I handle myself,'' Pedro Martinez said yesterday. "One thing I don't want, especially this year, is to get hurt, because that would be back-to-back years. I don't want to force myself when I really don't have to. This is a spring training game. ...
Of his 55 pitches against the Reds, Martinez crept over 92 mph on the radar gun just three times, reaching 93 on each occasion. ... Of Martinez' remaining fastballs, the bulk were clocked between 90-92 mph, about three or four miles slower than usual. ... "From 90 on is enough. I don't think I have to prove anything with velocity. I just have to be smart with the way I use my power.''
Pedro, A Whole New Game -- Martinez Eager To Pitch Monday
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant
Pedro Martinez has never had a spring training like this. He never had reported to camp weighing more than 190 pounds. Never had so much weighing on his mind. Never had so many people weighing in on his right shoulder. "I'm a rookie at this," Martinez said Wednesday after pitching four scoreless innings as the Red Sox defeated the Reds 5-4 at City of Palms Park.
preaches patience as he improves in final spring outing
Jay Lindsay, Associated Press
The curveball was sharper. His control was improved. His fastball was popping. But with the Boston Red Sox opener just days away, Pedro Martinez wasn't ready with any bold predictions after his last exhibition start Wednesday. ... ''I hate coming out (of games). But this is a different situation. It's my career, my job. I would just say, ... 'Be patient with the way I'm coming along.' I was in a very difficult situation last year, and I don't want to go through that again.''
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