Pedro Studies 1997 Videotape
A Return To Form: 6 IP, 3H, 0 ER, 5K
Hits 2 HRs To Drive In
April 7, 2002
Boston Red Sox at Baltimore Orioles
Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore, Maryland
Box Score and play-by-play
Nails Down First Victory Since Last May
First, Pedro Martinez turned in a performance that proved his shoulder is not a cause for concern. Then he hammered home the point. "I hope that everyone chills now. I'm not 100 percent strong yet, but I'll get there," he declared after leading the Boston Red Sox over the Baltimore Orioles 4-1 yesterday at Camden Yards
real feel-good story -- Martinez allays fears with rebound victory for Sox
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe
The temptation may be to scale the Citgo sign in Kenmore Square and shout, ''Hallelujah!'' Pedro Martinez proved yesterday for the first time since he threatened to drill Babe Ruth's ghost in the butt more than 10 months ago that he could win a baseball game again. He celebrated by signing a ball, inscribing it with ''1st win'' of 2002, and declaring to everyone within earshot, ''I believe in God. I don't believe in curses.'' ...
Though Martinez believed the Orioles may have hit the ball harder than the Blue Jays, who killed him with bloopers, he acknowledged harboring some persistent concern about his health despite his recent progress. He was diagnosed by the Sox medical staff last year with some fraying in his rotator cuff. ''This whole year is going to be a process where I'm going to have to learn and see how my body reacts. I just hope I forget about everything soon and just become the Pedro I was before, but even with that, I have to be aware that something happened to me last year that I should keep an eye on.''
outing a relief for Sox -- Boston ace quiets fears from poor opener with
domination of Orioles
Roch Kubatko, Baltimore Sun
A gusting wind that swept through New England yesterday was produced by the collective sigh coming from its baseball fans. It was strong enough to knock a few hands off the panic button. Pedro Martinez, owner of three Cy Young awards and holder of the Boston Red Sox's fate, appears to be just fine. Doubts about his physical condition were removed as easily as the hitters he faced.
rebounds against Orioles
Mark Zuckerman, Washington Times
Pedro Martinez wants you to know that he's just fine, thank you very much. That Opening Day fiasco in Boston? A fluke, a bad outing, a rough way to start the season. But hardly cause for panic among the rabid members of the Red Sox Nation. No, yesterday was more like it ... The Martinez who showed up at Camden Yards looked a lot like the one who has terrorized major league hitters for years, not the one who couldn't make it out of the fourth inning on Opening Day. "The reports we were getting was that his fastball was not as explosive as it had been and that his command was iffy," Orioles manager Mike Hargrove said. "We saw a little bit of the command thing, but he looked like he had a pretty good fastball today. He was a better pitcher than I heard he was six days ago."
a doubt, pitcher's gamesmanship unmatched
Michael Holley, Boston Globe
''I love it when someone says I can't do something,'' Pedro Martinez said yesterday. He stood at his locker in the visiting clubhouse at Camden Yards. He dug into a duffel bag, pulled out a baseball, and wrapped his long fingers around it as if he were preparing to throw a curve. ''This is the ball from my first win of 2002. I'm going to give it to a member of the media. This person - I think you know who it is - said that I wouldn't win because of what I said about the Babe. I know he said it on TV because I watched the program. I wasn't disrespecting the Babe; I'm sure the Babe was a good community man. I was just tired of people talking about the curse. I don't believe in curses. ... 'Tell the fans not to worry, OK I think the fans listen to what you guys say and write, and they worry. Tell them not to worry. I believe, thanks to God, that I have my health. I just need to work on some mechanics.''
ace trumps curse: Pedro returns to form, deals victory vs. O's
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald
Pitching at Camden Yards, which was built near the site of Ruth's birth, Martinez won his first game in more than 10 months [and] made a complete recovery from his disastrous Opening Day start vs. Toronto and gave New England hope that a return to his dominating form wasn't out of the question. "Right now I feel normal again. There's no soreness, no nothing." ...
Martinez searched for answers after last Monday's humiliating outing and said he discovered his problem in the video room, where he noticed that he wasn't getting enough leg drive. He made the appropriate adjustment to his delivery, and yesterday his right leg was once again whipping around on his follow-through due to the strength of the push off the rubber. The results were astounding.
Martinez' fastball, which was in the 92-94 mph range vs. Toronto, jumped to 94-96 mph yesterday, despite the cold weather. ... "I felt like I could pop it when I had to, but I didn't feel secure enough in my mechanics to do that before. Velocity's not the issue. I don't believe I have to throw 98 mph to get someone out. If I'm able to spot the ball well and throw around 90 and mix my pitches, that will be the key.''
moving in right direction
Sean McAdam, Providence Journal
Never mind that the temperature struggled to hit 50 degrees here, and that players were huddled in the dugout to ward off the chill. ... Slowly but surely, Martinez emerged from his uncertain hibernation. Gone was the tentativeness he had displayed most of the spring and again last Monday in the season opener against Toronto. Gone, too, were the various arm angles, the uneven mechanics and the inconsistent spotting of pitches. ...
"He looked more comfortable," said Jason Varitek. "The rotation on his pitches was tighter. What that does is give a late break to his breaking ball and an extra five feet to his fastball. It's got that extra little bit of carry. He executed his pitches better. He made a lot of quality pitches and if a pitcher makes quality pitches, the hitters are going to go sit down."
convinces Orioles he's fine
Michael Silverman, Boston Herald
The Orioles cannot relate to the fuss that swirled around New England the past week about what's wrong with Pedro Martinez. After being held to three hits and no earned runs in Martinez' six innings yesterday, the Orioles' minds are made up. The guy's all right. ...
Jerry Hairston detailed how Martinez' fastball, which topped out at 96 mph but was consistently thrown at 95, was nearly unhittable. "He's got great movement up in the zone. A ball that you think is going to be down the middle just explodes on you, chest-high, and it's tough to lay off. Especially with two strikes, you know he can throw any pitch at any time. That's why he is who he is. He threw great.''
Turn For Pedro Allows Three Hits In Six Innings
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant
Asked what encouraged him the most, Martinez said, "Quality of my pitches and the use of my legs." He watched his first start and noticed he wasn't pushing off the way he should. He compared it to one of his best outings, a three-hit shutout in 1997 with Montreal in which he struck out 14.
Martinez made the adjustments in a side session Wednesday and carried it into Sunday. "I'm not just going to sit back and relax because of this outing," said Martinez, who makes his next start Saturday against the Yankees. "I'm going to have to go back to the video room and continue to work."
[Box score of that June 14, 1997 game; Pedro's line: 9 IP 3H, 0R, 2BB 14K]
gets win, Red Sox sweep O's
Gary Washburn, mlb.com
The shoulder is fine. Pedro Martinez erased any doubts about his health on Sunday, turning in six impressive innings in Boston's 4-1 win over Baltimore at Camden Yards. Shea Hillenbrand's two homers provided all the offense the Red Sox needed to sweep the three-game series and hand the Orioles their fifth straight loss. Martinez allowed one unearned run and three hits with five strikeouts. He was able to make the Baltimore hitters chase his fastball, which was clocked as high as 97 mph. It was Martinez's first win since last May 30.
Hillenbrand share the spotlight
Becky Dubin Jenkins, mlb.com
On the day that Pedro Martinez atoned for his Opening Day performance, he was forced to share the spotlight with youngster Shea Hillenbrand. Which, of course, was fine with the three-time Cy Young Award winner, who is trying hard to forget about his injury-plagued 2001 season. "In the same way that I'm forgetting about my health, I'd like [people] to forget about the mystery of how I'm feeling every day," Martinez said about the Boston fans, who have been holding their breaths every time the right-hander moves his right shoulder.
looks as good as old
Phil O'Neill, Worcester Telegram & Gazette
All's well in Red Sox Nation -- Pedro Martinez is back on top of his game. ... “I've felt fine right along, I just haven't been clicking, there's no pain, no soreness, no nothing,” said Martinez, adding he figured out back in Boston what he was doing wrong by watching video that showed he wasn't using his legs. His fastballs were consistently in the 92-95 mph range, and manager Grady Little pointed out there was no variation in his delivery as there was in his previous start. ... “Toronto scored on a lot of dribblers. I thought Baltimore actually hit the ball harder. The best thing was the quality of my pitches, my legs, and staying ahead in the count.”
Pedro Martinez improved to 4-1 with a 1.99 ERA in his career against the Orioles. In five starts at Camden Yards, he is 2-1 with a 1.16 ERA.
Bob Hohler, Boston Globe
After five days of intense self-evaluation, Pedro Martinez will take his second crack of the season today at regaining his nonpareil form. He appeared heartened to have discovered he had not been fully using his legs in his delivery, which he believes altered his arm angle and, by extension, his control. Little said he expects Martinez to throw between 85 and 95 pitches. He threw 84 against the Jays, who pounded him for eight runs (seven earned) on nine hits, two walks and two hit batsmen. Martinez's teammates have seen his spirits rise during the week. "His body language and the expression on his face tells me a lot," Little said. "I can't wait until he gets a chance to pitch again."
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald
Pedro Martinez will be working on an 85-95 pitch count today, according to manager Grady Little, who believes his ace will rebound from his disastrous Opening Day outing. Martinez studied videos for five days and was confident that he'd discovered a delivery flaw - that he was not using enough of a leg drive. ... Martinez, by the way, wasn't amused by an errant report on New York's WFAN on Friday that he'd undergo shoulder surgery.
eyes remain on Pedro
Tony Massarotti, Boston Herald
To date, we have no reason to believe Martinez is suffering from any kind of shoulder pain or discomfort. The pitcher continues to insist he is fine and Sox officials are operating under the premise that Martinez is experiencing no physical problems. Until further notice, that is a fact. ...
In peak form, Martinez will throw roughly 10 curveballs among every 40 pitches -- 25 percent -- which translates into 25 curves for every 100-pitch outing. He throws roughly the same number of changeups, making the balance of his pitches fastballs and cut fastballs. (He typically mixes in the latter only a handful of times per game.)
Yet, on Monday against Toronto, Martinez threw only about a half-dozen curveballs among his 84 pitches, less than 10 percent. (He still threw approximately 20 changeups -- nearly 25 percent.) Part of the reason may been the cold Fenway Park temperatures, which make the ball slick and affect Martinez' grip. But part also may have been Martinez' reluctance to throw the curve because, as he revealed in the finals days if spring training, that is the element of his repertoire that puts the most strain on his shoulder.
not ready to close book on Martinez this early
Michael Holley, Boston Globe
These days, people talk about Pedro Martinez as if he were a book rather than a man. Pedro has been studied. Pedro has been examined closely for any hidden meanings. Pedro has been the main topic in dozens of discussion groups. ... A lot of the talk was grim and depressing, but none of it came from Jim Palmer. The Hall of Fame pitcher has a couple things in common with Martinez. Both men can sit down and talk about the trio of Cy Young Awards that they own. And both of them can say that they tore rotator cuffs and chose not to repair them with surgery.
"I won 245 games after I tore mine," Palmer said yesterday at Camden Yards. ... He didn't say that Martinez is too small to be a longtime dominant starter. He didn't say that Martinez reminds him of former Yankee Ron (161 pounds) Guidry. ... He didn't say that Martinez never will be the same pitcher after the tear in his shoulder.
Falters, and a Nation Mourns -- Health of Boston Ace Is a Pressing Concern
Dave Sheinin, Washington Post
If it were any other pitcher on any other team in any other market, today's outing by the visiting team's starting pitcher at Oriole Park at Camden Yards could be shrugged off as simply another right-hander trying to find his way back from a shoulder injury. But it's Pedro Martinez, and it's the Red Sox, and -- judging from the angst of Red Sox Nation -- the fate of civilization is hanging in the balance. ...
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