Pedro Martinez: The Mets Years (2005-2008)

Pedro Jaime Martinez was born October 25th, 1971, in Manoguayabo, Dominican Republic. The five-foot eleven right hander was signed by the Los Angeles dodgers as an amateur free agent in 1988.

Pedro would pitch two seasons with the Dodgers going 10-5 with a 2.61 ERA in the 1993 season.

In November 1993 he was traded to the Montreal Expos for Delino Deshields. He would pitch four years with the Expos starting out in the strike shortened 1994 season where he was 11-5 for the first place Expos.

Trivia: Imperfect Game- On April 13th, 1994, he lost a perfect game bid when with one on in the 8th inning, he hit the Reds Reggie Sanders with a pitch. Sanders charged the mound & a bench clearing brawl erupted. Sanders was ridiculed for thinking a pitcher would surrender a perfect game to hit him with a pitch.

That year no post season games were played & the Expos missed out on their second chance at getting to the playoffs. In 1995 he went 14-10 with a 3.51 ERA.

Perfect Nine Innings: On June 3rd he pitched nine perfect innings against the San Diego Padres but left in a scoreless game in the 9th inning. He earned the win in the 1-0 win.

By 1997 he was becoming one of the games top pitchers winning his first Cy Young Award. He led the NL in ERA 1.90 & complete games (13). He went 17-8 striking out 305 batters (second in the NL) with the best strike out per nine inning ratio in the league.

Red Sox Career: In November 1997 with his free agency looming, he was traded with Carl Pavano to the Boston Red Sox for a player to be named later, Tony Armas. The Sox gave him the largest contract ever given to a pitcher up to that point. In his first year he was 19-7 with a 2.89 ERA.

1999 All Star Game: Pedro was the starting pitcher for the AL with the game being played in his Red Sox home; Fenway Park. He became the first pitcher to start an All-Star game striking out the first four batters.

On September 10th, 1999, he came close to another perfect game, throwing a one hitter in the Bronx against the rival AL New York team.

In 1999 he won his second Cy Young Award, leading the league in wins (23) going 23-4 with one of the best pitching seasons ever. He also led the league in winning % (.852%) ERA (2.07) & strike outs (313). That year he was second in the MVP voting as well. He was only the eighth pitcher to ever put in back-to-back 300 plus strike out seasons.

That season he put together a record setting ten game win streaks to start out a season. He also had a record streak with strike outs in 40 consecutive innings. In that record setting streak, Pedro averaged 15 strike outs per nine innings.

1999 Post Season: in the 1999 ALDS against the Cleveland Indians, he was forced to leave the series opener with a strained back. He came in relief in Game #5 in the third inning of an 8-8 tie. He went on to pitch six scoreless / hitless innings, earning the 12-8 win.

In the ALCS he defeated the rival AL New York club & steroid user Roger Clemens, in Game #3 handing them their only post season loss.

In 2000 he started out the year with a 17 strike out game on May 6th, in a heart breaking 1-0 loss to the Tampa Rays. In his next start he struck out 15 Baltimore Orioles in a 9-0 shut out.

In September he had yet another no hitter going into the 9th inning but lost it when John Flanery singled for the Tampa Rays. 

The game started out with him hitting Gerald Williams, who then charged the mound before
being laid to rest by Sox catcher Jason Varitek.

 He won Cy Young Award number three, as he went 18-6 on the year leading the league in ERA (1.74) Shut outs 94) & strike outs (284). Injuries held him to 18 starts going 7-3 in 2001.

In 2002 he won twenty games for the second & final time in his career, going 20-4 with the league’s best win % (.833%). He also led the league in strike outs for the third & final time (239) as well as ERA 2.26. 

He won another ERA title again in 2003 going 14-4 also leading the league in winning % (.778) for the second straight year. He struck out 206 batters, it was the second of five straight 200 plus K seasons for him. He would have ten of them in his career.

2003 Post Season- Tossing Dom Zimmer Aside: In Game #3 of the ALCS after allowing runs in three straight innings, Pedro hit the AL New York teams; Karim Garcia with a pitch in the shoulder.

The bench started shouting at Martinez. He pointed to his head acknowledging that he will remember what simpleton catcher Jorge Posada was shouting at him.
The action caused coach 72-year-old Don Zimmer to come out of the dugout & try to after Pedro. Martinez just shoved him aside, as the fat old coach fell to the floor. Benches cleared & the rivalry heated up even more, but order was restored. To AL New York team haters this was a hysterical sight.
In the Red Sox 2004 history making season Pedro was 16-9 with a 3.90 ERA second on the staff to Curt Schilling (21 wins & a 3.26 ERA).

2004 Post Season: In the post season he was the winning pitcher in the ALDS Game #2 against the Anaheim Angels.

2004 ALCS: In the ALCS he took the loss in Game #2, although he pitched well three runs on four hits over six innings. 

Who's Your Daddy? It was after this game that he said the " I just tip my hat to them & call them my daddy". The chant & the phrase that he would forever be associated with "Who's Your Daddy"!! was born.

He came in relief in the 7th inning, Game #7 as the Sox completed the greatest comeback in sports history, sweeping the AL New York club after being down three games to none.

2004 World Series: In the World Series against the St. Louis Cardinals, he was the winning pitcher in Game #3 pitching seven scoreless innings. He was part of the Red Sox first championship team since 1918 making Boston sports history & forever a legend at Fenway Park.

Mets Career:
In December 2004 he signed on with the New York Mets. The acquisition of Pedro along with center fielder Carlos Beltran brought a lot of excitement to Shea Stadium for a new era under manager Willie Randolph.

 On April 4th, 2005, Pedro made his Mets debut on Opening Day 2005 in Cincinnati. His first inning was a rough one, as he gave up a three run to Adan Dunn. 

The Mets got the runs back & e left after six innings, 
allowing three runs on three hits, striking out twelve Reds. He earned decision as the Mets lost it after Braden Looper allowed bottom of the 9th inning HRs to Dunn & Joe Randa.

His next start was a beauty as he earned his first Mets win. Pedro tossed a complete game, two hit, one run victory in Atlanta beating John Smoltz & the Braves 6-1.

On April 16th, he made his Shea Stadium Mets debut going up against former Met Al Leiter & the Marlins. He earned no decision pitching seven innings allowing two runs on three hits, striking out nine. The Mets went on to win it with a walk off Ramon Castro base hit. 

On April 26th he was hit for four runs on seven hits by the Braves & took his first Mets loss.
After a 2-1 April he went on to win five straight decisions. 

On May 2nd he pitched seven innings allowing a run to the Phillies, to earn the win. In his next start he gave up five runs to the Brewers in Milwaukee, but he the Mets scored seven & he earned the win. He struck out eleven which was one shy of his season high.

On May 28th in South Florida, he shut out the Marlins for eight innings, hitting double figures in K's again with ten. In his first ten starts of 2005 he was 5-1 with a 2,15 ERA & 83 strike outs.

Over his next two starts, he would allow just one run. On June 2nd, he pitched eight innings while striking out nine Diamondbacks in a 6-1 Mets win. 

On June 7th, he tossed his second complete game, another one run two hitter, in a 3-1 victory over Roy Oswalt & the Astros. He matched his season high 12 strike outs in the win in front of 39,953 on a Tuesday night at Shea Stadium. 

The win streak was stopped when he took a loss in Seattle.

On June 12th he drove in a run with a base hit off the Angels John Lackey, but the Mets lost the game 4-3. 

Subway Series: On June 24th, he entered familiar territory going up against the A.L. New York team in the Bronx in the opener of the sub way series. He was greeted with a Derek Jeter HR in the 1st inning to start the game. 

The Mets came back with four off Mike Mussina, including a Cliff Floyd HR. Pedro allowed an RBI single to Alex Rodriquez in the 3rd but that was it. He allowed just two more hits through the 8th inning; he earned the victory in the Mets 6-4 win. The Mets took two of three in the series. 

Pedro was an immediate fan favorite; they loved his pitching & his colorful good-hearted personality.

He won his tenth game of the season just before the All Star Game.
At the All Star break he was 10-3 among the top pitchers in the league in wins (10) ERA (2.73) & strike outs (138) starts (18). He held opposing batters to an average under .200.

Mets All Star:  He made his seventh All Star team but did not pitch in the game. The game was a 7-5 A.L. win at Comerica Park in Detroit.

The Mets finished the first half at .500 in the bottom of the NL East. They would play above .500 in the second half & win 83 games (83-79) finishing third. An improvement of 12 games from the previous year.

In his first start after the break, he shut out the Atlanta Braves for six innings, taking a win over Mike Hampton. The Mets knocked out Hampton in the 2nd inning after scoring five runs, including a Mike Cameron HR. Pedro then beat the Los Angeles Dodgers at home, besting his record to 12-3, although he gave up five runs his ERA was still just 2.76. 

In August he struggled losing three of four decisions. After a loss in San Diego, he took a 2-1complete game loss to Brad Penny & the Dodgers in L.A. He then earned no decision after shutting out the Nationals for six innings at Shea.

On August 25th, he threw six shutout innings at Arizona, allowing just two hits while striking out six. He matched his season high four walks in that game as well, but the win got him to 13-5.

In September he was 2-2 finishing up the year as the Mets top pitcher. He notched two more wins & two more losses. 

On September 16th, he may have pitched his best game of the year. He threw a complete game shut out over the Atlanta Braves, striking out ten, walking two. It was his fifth double digit strike out games of the year.

He ended the year at 15-8 (9th in the NL in wins) with the league’s best winning % (.652). Pedro was the best pitcher in the NL in strike out to walks ratio with a 4.426%. He struck out 208 batters (3rd most in the NL)

He was also fifth in the league with an 8.62 strike outs per inning ratio. He issued 47 walks in 217 innings pitched. He posted a 2.82 ERA (4th in the NL) with four complete games (3rd most in the NL). Hitters batted just .204 against him & led the league in WHIP for the sixth time in his career.

Family: That year Pedro married his sweetheart Carolina Cruz whom he had met in 1998. He also became a naturized American citizen that year as well.

2006 NL Eastern Title Season: The 2006 Mets season began with a lot of promise, after an above .500 year in 2005, they acquired Carlos Delgado, Paul Loduca, José Valentin & Xavier Nady& Billy Wagner in the off season. The Mets were loaded, the fans were excited & they tore through the NL holding on to first place all year.

Pedro debuted in the third game of the season beating the Washington Nationals 10-5, even though he allowed five runs. In that game he singled to center driving in run in the 4th inning breaking the 4-4 tie. His next start was in Washington & he threw seven innings of one run, three hit ball for a 3-1 victory.

On April 17th, he beat Jorge Sosa & the Braves at Shea Stadium in a 4-3 win.

On April 22nd in San Diego, Pedro struck out a season best eleven batters. He held the Padres to ine run & just two hits over seven innings to get to 4-0.

He started out the year winning his first five games going 5-0, after beating the Braves again in Atlanta. 

On Saturday May 20th in the subway series in the Bronx, he shut out the A.L. New York team for seven innings, but Billy Wagner blew a four-run lead in the 9th inning & the Mets lost it in extras. 

Hip Injury: In a May 26th start against the Florida Marlins, he was instructed by umpires to change his undershirt as it was interfering with the vision of the pitches. 

He slipped in the runway injuring his hip & although it was not known at the time, affected his pitching. That day he gave up just two runs in seven innings, but the Mets took a 5-1 loss to Josh Johnson.

On May 31st, he pitched eight shutout innings against Arizona at Shea Stadium, but Brandon Webb was also shutting out the Mets. The Mets did win it in the 13th on Endy Chave's walk off hit. That month he struck out ten or more batters three times.

On June 6th at Dodger Stadium, he had the one of his worst outings of his season, as the Dodgers got him for seven runs on eight hits in an 8-5 loss. He came back for a win in Arizona, allowing just a run in five innings, he struck out just three.

Return to Fenway:
In interleague play he took a loss against the Orioles & then made his triumphant return to Fenway Park on June 28th. There was a lot of hype, boo's & cheers at Fenway Park as Pedro came to town. 

On the 27th, the Red Sox paid tribute to him with a two-minute video tribute. The next night he took the mound & it turned out to be another of his worst outings of the year. He lasted just three innings, getting beat up for six runs on seven hits striking out just one in the 10-2 Mets loss. 

Something was wrong. The hip injury now affected him & he missed a month of action.

He returned on July 28th, although he gave up four runs & struck out only two, he did go six innings & earned a win behind the Mets HRs from Davd Wright & Jose Reyes.

On August 3rd he held the Marlins down to one run over six innings but took no decision in the 4-1 loss. On August 9th, he had his last big game for 2006.  He pitched into the 8th inning, holding the Padres down to two runs & three hits at Shea, to earn his 9th win of the year.

Calf Injury: On Augst 14th he lasted just one inning in Philadelphia, getting shelled for six runs in the 1st inning, in another of his worst starts. Now it was clear he was hurt again, this time a calf injury kept him out for two months.

Although the Mets were riding high in first place in September, it was bad news for their star pitcher. 

Pedro made three starts in the month but gave up three runs or more each time, including seven in 2.2 innings in Atlanta on September 27th. At one point after the September 15th game, he appeared to be in tears in the dugout.

No Post Season & Surgery: The 35-year-old veteran, Pedro Martinez had a torn rotator cuff, his season was over, he would not pitch in the Mets post season. That October he underwent surgery which helped his pain but affected his velocity.

Possibly a healthy Pedro would have at least advanced the Mets to the World Series. The Mets also lost pitcher Orlando Hernandez & eventually lost the NLCS to the St. Louis Cardinals.

In 2006 he was 9-8 with a 4.48 ERA, he struck out 137 batters walked 39 in 132 innings, making 23 starts.

2007: Pedro missed most of the 2007 season, returning from his surgery in September. 

3000th Strike Out & Return: On September 3rd he pitched for the first time in almost a year, making a start in Cincinnati. In five innings he gave up three runs on five hits earning a win in the Mets 10-5 victory. That night he struck out Aaron Harrang to end the 2nd inning & notched his 3000th career strike out.

He returned to Shea Stadium on September 9th getting a win over the Houston Astros. He finished up the Mets miserable two last weeks of the season with a loss to the Cardinals on September 27th. 

In his next start he shut out the Astros for five innings at Shea in a 4-1 win. On September 15th, he pitched six innings allowing just one run against the Phillies, but the Mets bullpen blew a 3-1 lead. Pedro got no decision as the Mets lost the game. 

The Mets were still holding a 4.5 game lead in first place over the Phils. But a series sweep & five game losing streak saw that lead fade to 1.5 games.

Pedro then beat the Marlins in the midst of a three-game win streak. But the team lost five of the next six & ended the season one game out of first not making the playoffs. It was a huge disappointment.

Pedro went 3-1 in the month with 32 strike outs, seven walks & a 2.57 ERA with 27 innings pitched in five games.

2008: There was promise for Pedro after what looked like a successful return from the surgery. His first start came in the second game of the season, in Florida. By the 4th inning he gave up four runs then he heard a pop. 

It was not good. He went down with a hamstring injury sidelining him for the next two months. 

On June 3rd, he returned, but never with the same fastball he once ruled with. He pitched six strong innings, allowing three runs earning a win in San Francisco.  On June 15th he earned a win against Texas, but then lost two straight games, giving up six runs each time.

On July 7th, he earned a win at Philly leaving with a 10-2 lead, the bullpen almost blew it as the Mets hung on to a wild 10-9 win. Pedro drove in a run the game as well.

 Pedro would win one more game, on August 16th he gave up one run over seven innings at Pittsburgh.

On September 20th, he took a loss at Atlanta. In the 5th inning, Pedro doubled to center bringing in two runs for his only Mets multi RBI game.

He finished up the year at 5-6 with 87 strike outs & 4 walks in 20 starts. He posted the highest ERA of his career at 5.61. The Mets missed the post season once again, losing on the last day of the season in the final game ever played at Shea Stadium.

Mets Career: In his Mets career he pitched 79 games going 32-23 (.582%) with a 3.88 ERA, 464 strike outs & 137 walks in 486 innings.

Post Mets Career: After the season Pedro was let go to free agency. That winter, he tried to show everyone he still had something in the tank, pitching six strong innings in the World Baseball Classic. He waited for someone to offer him a contract & as the season began, he still had no takers.

That July the Phillies who had won the World Series the previous year, gave him a contract. He returned to the mound on August 12th, pitching for the Phillies at Wrigley Field. He earned the victory in the 12-5 Phillies win. 

On August 23rd he returned to Shea Stadium & earned a 9-7 win over the Mets, after pitching six innings, allowing four runs. The game ended on a very unusual unassisted triple play. 

On September 13th he pitched eight innings of shut ball against his old Mets teammates in Philadelphia, beating Tim Redding (Sean Green & Pedro Feliciano) in a 1-0 pitcher's duel.

Down the stretch he went 5-1 winning his first five decisions, as the Phillies took the NL East again.

2009 Post Season- NLCS: He did not pitch in the NLDS. In Game #2 of the NLCS he held the Dodgers scoreless for seven innings & left with a 1-0 lead. But this time the Phillies bullpen blew it, losing 3-1 in their only loss of the Series.

2009 World Series: It was another pennant & the second World Series he would play in.  He faced his old A.L. New York team rivals, taking losses in both Game #2 & Game #6.

It was his last game as he retired after the 2009 season.

Career: In an 18-year career Pedro won three Cy Young Awards, made eight All Star teams &
won a World Series Championship, making five trips to the post season.

He was 219-100 (81st most wins all time) with a .687 winning % (10th best all time). Pedro struck out 3154 batters (15th all time) with the 11th best strike out per nine inning ratio (10.04 per game). 

In his career he is tied for third all-time with the most 15 plus strike out games (10).

Pedro walked 760 batters in 2827 innings pitched (168th all time) in 409 starts (126th all time) in 476 appearances. He threw 17 shut outs, with 46 complete games.

At the plate he batted .099 with 22 hits in 434 at bats with 6 doubles 2 triples & 18 RBIs.

Honors: In 2015 Pedro was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown.

Quotes: Pedro: “I would like to thank God for the opportunity of being here. I would like all of you to not look at me as numbers, as baseball, as achievements. I would like you to actually see me as a sign of hope for a Third World country, for Latin America, someone that you can really look up to, and feel comfortable enough to say, ‘I’m proud of you.’”

Fenway Park: Two days after his induction, his uniform #45 was retired by the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Trivia: He is just the second Dominican born player to be enshrined in Cooperstown. San Francisco Giants pitcher Juan Marichal was first.

Analyst: In 2015 he joined the MLB network as an analyst. He also does post season work on pre & post game shows on TBS network. 

That year he also released his autobiography "Pedro".

Family: He is married to former ESPN Deportes sideline reporter Carolina Cruz since 2006. 

She now runs his charity foundations. Pedro has four children, three sons & a daughter. 

His son Pedro Jr. signed with the Detroit Tigers, as an international free agent in 2017.


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