Pedro Martinez, Boston Red Sox, August 10, 2002 v Minnesota Twins

pedro martinez

Pedro Shuts Down Minnesota —
Runs Career-Best Scoreless Innings Streak to 31

And Yet … Could He Be Holding
Back? One Scout Thinks So

Boston Wins 2-0 —
Moves to Within 4 Games
of Yankees in AL East Race

Saturday, August 10, 2002
Minnesota Twins at Boston Red Sox
Fenway Park, Boston, Massachusetts

Pedro’s Line

ip h r Er bb k bf pit ball stk GB FB
8 4 0 0 0 8 28 101 24 77 14 2

Box Score and play-by-play

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 r h e
Minnesota 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 4 0
Boston 0 2 0 0 0 0 0 0 x 2 9 0

Martinez zeroed in — Red Sox leave it to their ace to shut down Twins
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Pedro Martinez doesn’t need a checkup to ascertain that this summer, he is somewhere between better than ever and the best ever. Even though he left his premium fastball in the bottom of his locker, the low-octane model was more than adequate for the ace, who held the Twins to four hits and no walks in eight innings, made third base a no-fly zone, and ran his record to 16-2, a better number than he ever put up when his fastball still left a vapor trail. He has a 31-inning scoreless streak. ”He did all right,” deadpanned Nomar Garciaparra of Martinez …

No Need For Speed — Pedro: 0 Runs, 0 Walks, 8 Innings
David Heuschkel, Hartford Courant 

It’s not a famous landmark like the Citgo sign in Kenmore Square. It doesn’t dominate the skyline like the Prudential Tower. But when Pedro Martinez is on the mound at Fenway Park, nothing draws more attention than the Fleet sign above The Wall that registers the speed of pitches. It was easy to see Martinez didn’t have a good fastball Saturday. Quite frankly, he didn’t need it.

Minus heat, Martinez ices Twins
Sean McAdam, Providence Journal

Sometimes, it’s not the overpowering fastball that does the trick. Sometimes, it’s not speed that kills. Sometimes, it’s more subtle. Part of what makes Pedro Martinez so special is his ability to be great even when his stuff isn’t. … For all his brilliance and gaudy numbers — minus his Opening Day shelling, his ERA for the season is 1.78 — Martinez said it was too soon to put his season in perspective. “I’m not done yet,” he said. “At the end of the season, I will let you know how proud I am and how significant everything is to me. I’m not done. I believe I have a lot of work to do. I would like to continue to do what I did today.”

Twins marvel at ace’s assortment
Marvin Pave, Boston Globe Staff, 8/11/2002

Pedro Martinez had the Minnesota Twins eating out of his hand yesterday at Fenway Park. Last night, he was planning to have some of them, including fellow Dominican and friend David Ortiz, eating at his home. … Twins second baseman Denny Hocking described Martinez as ”a dial on the volume on a radio. When it comes time to turn it up, he turns it up.” … ”How many balls did he throw today … like four?,” added Hocking. (The answer was 24, compared with 77 strikes). …

Ace erases mates’ mistakes
Michael Gee, Boston Herald

Pedro Martinez is giving the Red Sox way too much of a good thing. Or rather, the Sox are forcing their ace to be so overgenerous. … In theory, 2-0 is a close score. In reality, when Martinez took the mound, it felt like the Red Sox had a double-digit lead. Martinez spent the afternoon walking the fine line between dominating and humiliating the Twins. Most importantly, Martinez improved his record to a blistering 12-1 in starts following a Red Sox loss. It’s the one statistic Martinez takes pride in.

Complete command
Garry Brown, Springfield Union-News

Poor Pedro Martinez. He had to make yesterday’s start for the Boston Red Sox without his best fastball. He had to improvise. He had to use breaking stuff and change-ups. The fastball was just for show now and then. Poor Pedro. … A sellout crowd of 32,018, unaware that Pedro had left his fastball in the bullpen, gave him an ovation each time he reached a two-strike count. “They expect me to get a strikeout every time, but I am used to their expectations, so that is all right,” he said in his charming way.

Don’t write off Martinez: No fastball? No problem
Steve Buckley, Boston Herald

Pedro Martinez was on the hill yesterday, meaning that Red Sox coaches, fans and beat writers arrived at Fenway Park toting X-rays, weather reports, traffic patterns and MRI readings under their arms. That’s just the way it is. Given the way li’l Petey’s arm failed him last year, and given the Opening Day concerns that he’s not, you know, “all the way back,” everyone connected with the Red Sox monitors the Dominican Dandy as though he were strapped inside one of the old-time Mercury capsules, poised to deliver a couple of orbits around the Earth.

Twin killing for Pedro
Art Davidson, MetroWest Daily News

If Ugueth Urbina had failed to hold the lead in the ninth inning yesterday, Boston manager Grady Little would have been vilified throughout New England. Little took Pedro Martinez out of the game even though he was pitching a shutout and was in total command of the talented Twins. Urbina has struggled in several recent outings, but he struck out the side in the ninth to allow the Red Sox to record a needed 2-0 victory.

Martinez comes up big for Red Sox
Ian Browne,

On a day Pedro Martinez gave the high end of the radar gun a rest, he flattened the Minnesota Twins with a gaudy arsenal of changeups, curves, cutters and perfectly located fastballs. … Martinez is 9-0 over his last 10 starts, and his ERA is down to 2.14, which is topped in the Major Leagues only by teammate Derek Lowe (2.09). … No extra mustard on the heater? No problem, according to Martinez, who topped out at 93 miles per hour, and only threw two pitches that hard. “Speed is not an issue,” Martinez said. “I believe I can make anybody look ugly with a 76 mile per hour changeup or ugly with an 88 mile-per-hour fastball.”

Red Sox get even, blank Twins
Ian Browne,

Martinez’s scoreless stretch is the longest in the Majors since Atlanta’s Greg Maddux fired 39 1/3 shutout innings in Sept., 2000. It is the longest shutout streak for the Red Sox since former ace Roger Clemens run of 30 innings in April, 1991. … Though he held a two-run lead for most of the day, the Twins never even seemed like they were in the game. The only time they staged even a hint of a threat was in the fifth, when singles by Doug Mientkiewicz and A.J. Pierzynski placed runners at first and second with two outs. Martinez wiggled out of that, getting Denny Hocking on a grounder to short. … Ugueth Urbina relieved Martinez and struck out the side in the ninth for his 27th save.

Pedro performance all Sox need for win: Shuts down Twins, 2-0
Jeff Horrigan, Boston Herald

Grady Little flatly rejected a suggestion that he utilize tomorrow’s scheduled day off to rearrange his starting rotation in order to work Pedro Martinez into the pitching plans for the series later this week in Seattle. It was pointed out to the Red Sox manager that Martinez was 10-0 with a 0.90 ERA in 10 career starts vs. the Mariners, including 5-0 with a 0.68 ERA in five starts at Safeco Field. Little was unmoved and remained adamant. “We like the way it’s set up right now,” he said. “He’s set up to pitch the first game in both Yankees series and if we move him up, he’ll miss both of those series completely.”

Ace’s finesse stumps Ortiz
Mike Shalin, Boston Herald

David Ortiz didn’t realize he would have to face fellow Dominican Pedro Martinez again in Minneapolis on Friday night, but he quickly came up with a battle plan. “I’m going to try to take him out the night before the game and give him some sangria,” the Twins designated hitter said … Like his teammates, Ortiz was baffled by a Martinez who was different from the one they knew. “The last time we saw him, he was a fastball pitcher,” Torii Hunter said. “Today, it was finesse. He was hitting his spots. He didn’t make any mistakes. That can be pretty nasty, when Pedro starts getting finesse.”

Pedro is more than recovered, he’s reinvented
Steven Krasner, Providence Journal

David Ortiz was certain he had Boston Red Sox ace right-hander Pedro Martinez right where he wanted him. The Minnesota Twins’ designated hitter, batting cleanup, had worked the count to his advantage, 3-1, with two outs in the fourth inning at Fenway Park. … “He missed with a couple of changeups away, so, okay, I’m going to get a fastball,” said Ortiz. So he stepped back into the box. He watched Pedro’s delivery, looking for the fastball. Martinez’s arm action said fastball. Ortiz swung, expecting at least a 90-mph heater. But the pitch was a 75-mph changeup, down and in. The changeup made Ortiz look silly, as he swung and missed the ball by about 10 feet. Ortiz shook his head and stepped out of the box again. The count was now full. Ortiz’s mind was racing. “Now he’s got me guessing,” said Ortiz. “He threw me a 3-and-1 changeup. Now I’m going crazy. I don’t know what to look for.” He got back into the box, the bat in his hands, but Martinez in his head. And Martinez fired a 90-mph fastball about chest high. The baffled Ortiz swung and missed, his swing late and futile. All Ortiz could do was walk back to the dugout, shaking his head. 

Martinez shuts down Twins
La Velle E. Neal III, Minnesota Star Tribune

Fans jammed into Fenway Park on Saturday to watch an immensely talented righthanded pitcher excel at his craft. And they ended up seeing two of them. Pedro Martinez may have dominated the Twins in leading the Red Sox to a 2-0 victory Saturday, but Twins righthander Joe Mays wasn’t overshadowed by much. His seven strong innings kept the sellout crowd of 32,018 from getting too giddy.

Martinez renders Twins’ plan useless
Mike Wells, Pioneer Press

Twins manager Ron Gardenhire was asked the $5 million question Saturday for about the 20th time in less than 24 hours. How do you prepare for Boston pitcher Pedro Martinez? “Nobody has figured it out yet, have they?” Gardenhire said. The Twins tried to load their lineup with left-handed hitters. They wanted to be patient at the plate. And they wanted starter Joe Mays not to give up any early runs. Like most teams that have faced the three-time Cy Young Award winner, the plan was balled up and thrown into a wastebasket early in the game.

Twins can’t come back on Martinez
Mark Sheldon,

The Minnesota Twins have 35 come-from-behind victories this season. Some of them were in spectacular fashion after being down by several runs. When the Twins fell behind the Red Sox by two runs in the second inning Saturday against superstar pitcher Pedro Martinez, you could quickly sense that another dazzling Minnesota comeback was not in the cards.

Martinez extends scoreless streak to 31 innings
Associated Press

Pedro Martinez said he wasn’t at his best. Try telling that to the Minnesota Twins. … “When I was warming up, I noticed I wasn’t as sharp and as strong as I had been,” Martinez said. “I managed to keep them off balance and sink the ball well today to get some groundballs.” Martinez … has the longest shutout string in the majors since Atlanta’s Greg Maddux went 39.1 innings in September 2000. … In his last eight starts, Martinez is 7-0 with a 0.47 ERA. … “This is one day when I had to work to earn it,” said Martinez, who was hampered last season by shoulder tendinitis. “It gives me some satisfaction inside being able to do my job even when I wasn’t as strong as other days.” … Martinez is 15-0 against the AL this year, and has been part of eight of Boston’s major league-leading 16 shutouts.

Red Sox Notebook
Gordon Edes, Boston Globe

Martinez is just the third Sox pitcher to win 16 of his first 18 decisions. Roger Clemens(1986) and Boo Ferriss(1945) are the others. They both opened 17-2. Martinez’s scoreless-inning streak is now 31, longest in the majors this season and longest since Greg Maddux of the Braves went 39.1 scoreless innings in 2000. It’s the longest streak by a Sox pitcher since Luis Tiant threw 42 consecutive scoreless innings in 1972. Lowe had a 29-inning streak broken Thursday by Oakland. Martinez is now 15-0 against AL teams this season, and 12-1 following a Sox loss. Since July 1, he is an ungodly 7-0 with an 0.46 ERA.

Hot Hillenbrand is able to double team’s pleasure
Jim Greenidge, Boston Globe 

Shea Hillenbrand had never faced Twins starter Joe Mays, but the result from his first encounter was as successful as the Red Sox third baseman’s breakout season. Hillenbrand brought home the Red Sox’ first run yesterday with an RBI double down the left-field line in the second, and came around to score on a Rey Sanchez single during a 2-0 win over Minnesota at Fenway Park. ”I just tried to get a pitch I could handle, to just put it in play,” said Hillenbrand, whose only hit supplied Pedro Martinez with all the run support he would need. ”The pitch was inside. I believe it was a changeup, down and in.”


Rumblings and Grumblings
Jayson Stark,

Pedro Martinez’s recent numbers (0.55 ERA, 25 hits, 69 strikeouts in 49.1 IP since July 1) look like vintage Pedro. But one scout says that, believe it or not, he thinks Martinez is still holding back. “He doesn’t want to exert himself unless he has to,” the scout said. “Any team he can get out with breaking stuff, he does. He throws a lot of changeups. I know that.”

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