Pedro Martínez


Pedro Martínez : biography

October 25, 1971 –

Following the Series, Martinez announced that he had no intention of retiring,Morosi, Jon Paul. , FOX Sports. Published November 16, 2009. Retrieved November 23, 2009. but the 2010 season came and went without his signing with a team. Media reports surfaced that the Phillies had been discussing a deal to bring Martinez back for another half-season, but Martinez’s agent announced in July that he would not be pitching at all in 2010, while remaining interested in a 2011 return. In December 2010, Martinez told a reporter for El Día "I’m realizing what it is to be a normal person… It’s most likely that I don’t return to active baseball… but honestly I don’t know if I’ll definitively announce my retirement." The pitcher received some initial inquiries during the winter, but did not sign with any team for 2011. On Dec. 4, 2011, he officially announced his retirement.

Sports Illustrated

Boston Red Sox as Special Assistant

On January 24, 2013, the Boston Red Sox re-signed Martínez to be a "Special Assistant to the General Manager" (who is currently Ben Cherington).

Pitching style

Martínez’s pitching style was atypical as he commanded an arsenal of "out" pitches. His fastball, cutter, curveball and circle changeup were all well above average; combined with his historically excellent control, they proved to be an overpowering package. Martínez threw from a low three-quarter position that hid the ball very well from batters, who have remarked on the difficulty of picking up Martínez’s delivery.

Early in his career, Martínez’s fastball was consistently clocked in the 95–97 mph range. Using it in combination with his devastating changeup and occasionally mixing in his curveball, he was as dominant a pitcher as the game has ever seen. Sports Illustrated’s Joe Posnanski wrote, "There has never been a pitcher in baseball history — not Walter Johnson, not Lefty Grove, not Sandy Koufax, not Tom Seaver, not Roger Clemens — who was more overwhelming than the young Pedro."

As injuries and the aging process took their toll, Martínez made the adjustment to rely more on finesse than power. His fastball settled into the 85–88 mph range, although he was able to occasionally reach 90-91 mph when the need arose. Martínez continued to use a curveball, a circle changeup, and an occasional slider. With his command of the strike zone, he remained an effective strikeout pitcher despite the drop in velocity. Baseball historian Bill James described Martínez as being substantially more effective than his pitching peers due to his variety of pitches, pitch speeds, pinpoint control, and numerous modes of deception.

Memorable games

Imperfect hit-by-pitch

On April 13, 1994, in his second start as a Montreal Expo, Martínez lost a perfect game with one out in the eighth inning when he hit Cincinnati’s Reggie Sanders with a pitch. An angered Sanders charged the mound, attempted to tackle Martinez but was thrown to the ground by Martinez. Sanders was later ridiculed in the press for assuming that a pitcher would abandon a perfect game in order to hit a batter intentionally. Martínez allowed a leadoff single in the ninth inning, breaking up his no-hitter, and was removed for reliever John Wetteland (who loaded the bases, then allowed two sacrifice flies, thus saddling Martínez with a no-decision). Three years later, in 1997, Martínez had a one-hitter against the Reds; that hit came in the 5th inning.

Nine perfect innings

On June 3, 1995, while pitching for Montreal, he retired the first 27 Padres hitters he faced. However, the score was still tied 0–0 at that point and the game went into extra innings. The Expos scored a run in the top of the 10th, but Martínez surrendered a double to the 28th batter he faced, Bip Roberts. Expos manager Felipe Alou then removed Martínez from the game, bringing in reliever Mel Rojas, who retired the next three batters. Martínez officially recorded neither a perfect game nor a no-hitter. Until 1991, the rules would have judged it differently; however, a rule clarification specified that perfect games, even beyond nine innings, must remain perfect until the game is completed for them to be considered perfect. This retroactively decertified many no-hit games, including Ernie Shore’s perfect relief stint in 1917 and Harvey Haddix’s legendary 12 perfect innings in 1959 (lost in the 13th).